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Keep business booming with satisfied customers

From customer service to loyalty programs, here are some ways to keep your shoppers satisfied and turn them into repeat customers

As the grocery industry becomes increasingly competitive with the rise of food delivery options, businesses are constantly competing for customer dollars.

This is why now more than ever customer retention and loyalty must be top of mind for marketers and retailers alike. Although attracting new consumers is important for growth, it’s imperative to keep existing customers happy as well to ensure long-term business loyalty. According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one in certain industries. In fact, that same study found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits anywhere between 25 and 95 per cent.

Treating existing shoppers well early on sparks brand loyalty and ignites long-term customer relationships.

From customer service to loyalty programs, here are some ways to keep your shoppers satisfied and turn them into repeat customers:

Consider loyalty and rewards programs. Consumers are bombarded with endless choice when it comes to shopping so retailers need to set themselves apart with superior service. One way this can be achieved is through loyalty and rewards programs. A study by ICLP shows that 74% of Baby Boomers claim they would be encouraged to spend with a brand that has a loyalty program. Generation X also finds these programs attractive (58%). At American Express, we’ve recognized the importance of loyalty and rewards programs and continue to evolve our Membership Rewards program and work closely with our co-brand partners to ensure we’re meeting the needs of today’s consumer.

Simplify Your Customer Journey. With the grocery industry making its way into the world of e-commerce, it is becoming more and more evident that convenience is key. A study from the Baymard Institute says that 68 per cent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the transaction is completed and although there are a multitude of reasons for this, one of the main triggers is inconvenient checkouts.  Although not every grocer has moved into the digital age, the sentiment of convenience holds true to the in-store experience as well.  Especially as omnichannel customers continue to shop both online and in store, it will be important to maintain a consistent experience for customers across retail channels.  Making sure your customers can navigate through the store; ask for help and have a seamless transaction will ensure satisfied and repeat shoppers.

Recognize Customer Feedback. In the world of social media, there is a growing need for real-time responses and it is easy for shoppers to give retailers feedback on their experience. Taking customer feedback into consideration and applying it to business practices can do wonders for brand loyalty. According to data from Apptentive, 97 per cent of consumers said they are somewhat likely to become more loyal to a company that implements their feedback, showcasing the value of listening to your customers. What’s more, 55 per cent of consumers who leave feedback in a mobile app are not likely to remain a customer if their feedback goes seemingly ignored, proving that timely recognition is crucial to a business’ success.

Whether it’s introducing loyalty and rewards programs, making the shopping experience more convenient or applying customer feedback to business practices, everything boils down to making sure your customers are happy. While industry changes are rampant, and technology is changing the game, bricks and mortar grocery experience is still alive and well.  Continuing to evolve service to match consumer expectation and personalize on their terms will help businesses continue to thrive amidst change.

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