How to Boost Loyalty with Retail Media Technology

With inflation at an all-time high (and showing no signs of slowing down), retailers face multiple marketplace hurdles—from high food costs and supply chain disruptions to inventory imbalances. As shoppers rethink the buying journey in favor of better deals, retailers must reconsider how they deliver value in a difficult market—navigating the added challenge of adapting to rapidly-changing customer behaviors. 

While lower prices are top of mind for today’s shoppers, it’s not enough to only offer Everyday Low Prices (EDLP) for retailers looking to build a loyal customer base. Shoppers are straying from their favorite brands and going out of their way to use coupons, find promotions, and try a new retailer or brand if it means more savings.

If these changing behaviors aren’t enough to consider, retailers are also faced with upcoming elimination of third-party cookies. To keep up with today’s popular e-commerce giants and third-party providers, retailers need to elevate their multi-channel strategies and leverage first-party data tools to prioritize both personalization and privacy.

The bottom line: In today’s difficult and unpredictable retail landscape, it’s never been more important to attract and retain a loyal customer base. However, the challenges retailers face can also mean opportunities—and with the right retail media technology, retailers can successfully foster long-term loyalty from their customer base. Here’s how. 

Navigating an Evolving Retail Landscape 

One of the biggest shifts we’ve witnessed in today’s retail landscape is that shoppers are increasingly buying online—whether through websites or mobile apps. This shift was accelerated by the pandemic, as many shoppers became reliant on the internet and mobile apps to deliver groceries, electronics, furniture, and everything in between directly to their doorstep. E-commerce sales increased by $244.2 billion—or a whopping 43%—in 2020 alone. 

And yet, despite the online shopping evolution, in-store shopping still reigns supreme. In fact, over 90% of shoppers still prefer to purchase in-store. Why? Shoppers increasingly want to avoid third-party delivery fees, find better deals, and secure greater savings. And their shopping experience is only enhanced by their smartphone. 

According to a recent survey by Klarna, 92% of respondents said they use their phones to secure the best deals or price promotions while shopping. In other words, shoppers want the best of both worlds—a streamlined online experience and a convenient, efficient experience in-store. Considering 

Other reasons consumers reported using smartphones while shopping are to:

  • Read reviews and watch videos (69%)
  • Compare a considered purchase to similar products (58%)
  • Gather more information and product specifications (55%)
  • Consider exclusive, personalized offers (53%)
  • Check availability for out-of-stock items (44%)

As shoppers continue to return in-person to brick-and-mortar retailers, they are still relying on their favorite mobile apps and retail media technology to supplement and streamline their experience. In other words, today’s retailers have to meet shoppers at the crossroads of in-store and online shopping—and embrace the opportunity to create an integrated shopping experience that meets shoppers where they are while still delivering the value they expect.

How to Leverage Retail Media Technology and Win

The key to meeting shoppers where they are? Evolving with their needs—and modernizing with available retail media technology solutions. Here’s how retailers are using these solutions to strengthen customer loyalty.

1. Invest in digital solutions—specifically mobile apps that help shoppers find savings

A retail mobile app is no longer a fringe benefit but a necessity for today’s shoppers. In fact, Target found 75% of its guests start their shopping trips on mobile devices, and 1 in 3 shoppers clicked on a mobile search ad before they ended up in the store. 

Although today’s shopper depends more on mobile apps to make informed decisions, a wide majority of customers still prefer to shop in-store. That’s why retailers need to leverage mobile apps that complement the in-store experience.

With inventory at a premium, it’s critical that shoppers have insight into local pricing, product availability, and digital coupons before they make the trip in-person. By making sure shoppers know what’s available in-store—and what they’ll be spending—ahead of time, you provide a stronger shopping experience that in turn builds trust and loyalty.

2. Build a digital retail loyalty program, driven by first-party data

The retailers that lead their competitors in this market will know how to connect with their customers in a personalized, data-driven way. According to McKinsey surveys, 80% of customers want personalization from retailers—and they’re willing to exchange personal data in order to receive more relevant offers matching their interests and purchase habits. With third-party cookies on their way out the door, the time is now to leverage first-party data. 

By adopting technology that tracks individual habits and preferences, you can deliver personalized suggestions, promotions, and savings that will encourage more return trips, higher basket size, and greater loyalty—considering 78% of consumers reported personalized content made them more likely to repurchase.

3. Establish a digital retail platform 

Now more than ever, a digital retail platform is the epicenter of the customer journey. It helps to drive purchase decisions, strengthen relationships, and deliver a connected experience. The best loyalty programs know this—and give their customers a mobile experience they can rely on when they’re at home, browsing the aisles in-person, and everywhere in between. 

Equipped with first-party data that shows which brands your customers trust, you can begin building meaningful partnerships that drive margin-rich revenue. Not only that—this data offers valuable insights into what your customers want from a loyalty program, from relevant rewards and digital optimization to engaging retail tools like click-and-collect, scan-and-go, and in-store product scanning. 

The Time to Embrace Retail Media Technology Is Now

Retailers must identify new approaches that will not only deliver savings but enable shoppers to integrate their online and in-person shopping experiences. When shopping at your favorite store is seamless and simple, you provide shoppers with value that will keep them returning time and time again. 

With a Swiftly-powered retail media platform, creating a connected shopping experience that builds customer loyalty is seamless. Our analytics tool uses first-party data to create an omnichannel view of your customers’ shopping habits, empowering you to make strategic decisions that lead to increased loyalty, growth, and revenue. 

What’s more—we provide space for CPG partner advertising that connects shoppers with the latest products and offers, tailored to what they’re browsing or adding to their in-app shopping cart.  Even if you already have an app, our platform can integrate your loyalty program content and add engaging retail tools like click-and-collect, scan-and-go, in-store product scanning, digital circulars, and more so your app addresses shoppers’ changing needs. 

Ready to embrace retail media technology, elevate your business, and build brand loyalty? Contact Swiftly to get started.

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