There has never been a better time to develop a robust online loyalty strategy as 75% of people shop online at least once a month. With so many people turning to online shopping these programs can play a huge role in building overall brand loyalty for online businesses.
The world has moved online. An ONS summary showed that online sales accounted for over 33% of all retail sales in the UK in 2020. New online shopping behaviors have encouraged ecommerce businesses to innovate when it comes to e-loyalty and online loyalty programs.
Methods of retaining a loyal customer base that has worked for so long are now being adapted to suit the online sphere. We want to help you capitalize on customer satisfaction and loyalty in online and offline environments.
What is e-loyalty?
E-Loyalty is an evolution of brand loyalty. E-Loyalty refers to:
The repeated satisfaction of a customer with a specific ecommerce website that keeps them coming back to purchase products or services.
To really capitalize on e-loyalty, it is important to recognize the difference between online consumer behavior and traditional consumer behavior.
When it comes to online retail the power is largely in the customer’s hands. The diverse and varied nature of online shopping means that brands have to work even harder to develop customer loyalty.
Building customer loyalty online can be developed by “quality customer support, on-time delivery, comprehensive product information, reasonable shipping and handling prices, and clear and trustworthy online privacy policies” (IGIGlobal).
Why is it important to build loyalty online?
So you’re interested in building an online loyalty program but you are still unsure why it is a useful tool for your business. Thankfully we know of more than a few reasons to start developing a loyalty program for your online business.
Firstly, you should consider the trends in online shopping and the future of retail in general. It’s estimated that by the year 2040, 95% of purchases will be through ecommerce – you need to be available for shoppers to find you in this space.
Being available means having an obvious and accessible online presence. It also means maintaining emotional connections with customers when there’s no in-person interaction.
Customer loyalty in online shopping is dependent on personality almost as much as accessibility. Customers won’t want to interact with your website if it is out-dated, unremarkable or void of personality.
It is also important to focus your resources on online loyalty marketing because it enables you to widen your reach. You’re able to build trust and attract new shoppers who aren’t only close by – your market to sell becomes larger.
You can also look to capitalize on the social element of online retail. People tend to share their experiences of their brands online – you need to be where customers talk about products.
Finally, the availability of useful data means you could do so much more with your online platform. You have more access to data so you can better personalize the shopping experience – 73% of people prefer to do business with brands that personalize the shopping experience.
How to increase customer loyalty online
The steps to increasing customer loyalty online can be complex. Paramount to what you choose is that you need to focus on consistency, care, and community. We’ll use the success of Cupshe to illustrate exactly what we mean.
By keeping the loyalty program on brand (Cupshe have called theirs Sunchasers Club and use their brand’s colors) shoppers think of the loyalty program as an extension of the brand experience.
Consistency is key in the online sphere where there are so many brands competing for attention. Customer loyalty online can be built very simply through association with distinctive formatting, coloring, and copy.
You can also increase customer loyalty online by demonstrating that you care about your shoppers’ experience with your brand.
Cupshe uses loyalty tiers to give their top-tier customers exclusive perks showing shoppers they value them. A tiered loyalty program in particular encourages customers to engage and gives them a reason to keep returning.
This is an easy step that will develop a relationship with your customers and allow you to extend brand loyalty into e-loyalty.
Cupshe encourages its already loyal customers to refer others to the brand by giving them 1,000 points for every successful referral – this means that Cupshe gets more like-minded customers who spend 200% more.
Additionally, referred customers are four times more likely to mention your brand to other customers. Focussing on referrals and loyalty will help you widen your customer base.
Building an online community around your brand is a great way of establishing loyalty.
The success of these methods is clear when we look at Cupshe’s results. Thanks to their on-brand loyalty program and integrations, their loyalty program members now spend 40% more than guest shoppers and have a 50% higher repeat purchase rate. Read the rest of the Cupshe case study to learn more about how the brand built a loyal customer base.
The best online loyalty programs will be capitalising on all these factors to ensure they can build a robust online presence.
The importance of brand loyalty has been known for many years. Now it is time to build a reliable bank of e-loyalty through precise and professional loyalty programs.
We know that more and more customers are moving online. The best online loyalty programs will respond to this trend and focus on consistency, care and building a community.
The steps to converting interest into loyalty are simple. In place of in-person customer loyalty you should begin to invest in loyalty programs for your ecommerce business. It’s time to walk the path from brand loyalty to e-loyalty.
For more examples of brands who are killing the online loyalty game download the LoyaltyLion Hall of Fame.
About the author
Mollie is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.
This article originally appeared by our friends at LoyaltyLion.