UK retailers 'don’t convert one-off buyers into customers'

UK retailers are unable to convert one-time buyers into customers, because they do so little to earn their loyalty, according to research from dotdigital.

The omnichannel marketing automation platform, which benchmarks the digital marketing tactics adopted by 100 global e-commerce brands, suggested that 80 per cent of UK brands fail to reward customer loyalty, 43 per cent fail to collect key customer data necessary for personalised messaging, while 40 per cent don’t publish post-purchase reviews.

Brands fail to collect key customer data, such as date of birth, at the earliest stage of acquisition, meaning retargeting strategies lack the personalisation needed to drive ongoing engagement. The research revealed that 39 per cent of shoppers said it now takes five or more purchases before they consider themselves loyal to a brand.

However, once loyal, 35 per cent of consumers will spend more with a brand even when there are less expensive options elsewhere and 56 per cent will refer a brand to their friends and family.

Mark Jervis, marketing director at dotdigital, stated: “Retailers should move beyond the traditional ‘points for purchase’ model and tailor their programme to build an emotional bond based on customer insight - shoppers want to earn credit by taking actions other than making a purchase, so offer points for reviews and interactions with their social channels.”

Post-purchase customer reviews increase shoppers’ trust in a brand, giving a greater incentive to return. Currently, 60 per cent of UK brands request post-purchase reviews and over half of them use an independent platform to power these requests which is important as customers are more inclined to share their experiences via a third-party platform.

“Globally, the UK leads the way in omnichannel marketing, with retailers scoring highly against key success metrics when compared to other markets," added Jervis. "However, despite these advances, retailers and brands are still missing opportunities to get closer to their customer by not embedding loyalty into their selling strategies."

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