November 13, 2022
Retail Growth

How to Maximize Customer Retention this Season

Sean Turner

The countdown has started. As we approach the end of the year, retailers across the country with be pulling out all the stops to attract as many customers as possible. Shoppers, on the other hand, will be looking for the best way to stay on budget, even if it means opting away from their retailer of choice.  

With the explosion of omnichannel solutions that target customers throughout their entire shopping journey, it’s important for retailers—especially those with brick-and-mortar locations—to ensure they have an airtight strategy to retain shopper interest and loyalty before the competition does.

Thanks to shoppers’ dependence on e-commerce and online options during the pandemic, retailers find themselves at a crossroads of hoping things dial back to traditional marketing tactics and blind customer loyalty (unlikely) or embracing the innovative technology, tools and solutions that are already alive and well within the market to meet customers where they are. The former will have you watching your customers head elsewhere, while the latter may just make this your strongest year ever.

Giving Shoppers What They Want

Shoppers have one primary goal when they’re planning their purchases… to get as much bang for their buck as possible. They also expect retailers to provide them the tools they need to reach that goal. In today’s retail environment, a leap into the world of retail technology is the only solution.  

Shoppers have become, first, more tech savvy, using digital resources to guide their shopping journey—and to find deals—while still choosing to complete their purchases in-store. But they also want to feel a connection to the brands and retailers that they give their business to, and that is where the real opportunity lies. By employing innovative solutions that connect with customers and fuel their saving, you’re hitting both priorities with equal force. These four customer-centric solutions will get you started…

#1: Invest in the App

The driving force behind your relationship with your customers can, literally, be in the palm of their hand. In 2022, 30.4 million Americans were reported to be using a grocery store app. With that number steadily rising, retailers who aren’t already utilizing a mobile app to engage and address their customers’ needs will be left in the dark.

There are endless ways that you can meet your customers’ needs, but the most important things to keep in mind are ease-of-use and targeted content for maximum savings. If shoppers can do their research into deals, then clip coupons, create shopping lists and redeem exclusive savings seamlessly in one place, they’ll keep coming back for more.

Your first step is to find a technology partner that is innovative, agile and in-sync with current retail trends. Once secured, that partner can collaborate with your team to build a mobile app your customers will depend on for savings and convenience, especially during retail’s busiest seasons.

#2: Remember That Loyalty Is Key

Your biggest asset is your relationship with customers. The amazing mobile app that we’re talking about needs to have a loyalty program attached to it to keep shoppers engaged. Whether you’re offering cash back, points toward gas, exclusive promotions or shopping challenges, the way that you engage and incentivize your customers to return is key to your success. In fact, 63% of grocery store shoppers say loyalty programs influence where they shop. With those kinds of numbers, there can only be an upside to developing a program of your own.

#3: Monetize by Personalizing

Connecting with your customers one-on-one goes hand-in-hand with your loyalty program. When shoppers feel seen, with offers and suggestions tailored to their individual preferences and shopping habits, they’re going to take notice. Once you show them that you not only understand their needs but anticipate ways to help their shopping trip be convenient and savings rich, you’re speaking volumes about how important they are to you and your business.

Retail personalization is quickly becoming the norm for retailers that understand the value of connecting with shoppers on an individual level, while also keeping an eye on the ever-important first-party data that can fuel their entire digital presence.

#4: Up Your Retail Media Game

The glue of your retail technology program comes in the form of a robust retail media platform. Why? Ad revenue, brand relationships and first-party data. These three things, together, can tie all your digital efforts together, giving customers a truly seamless experience with your store.

Currently, there are $100B in retail media dollars on the table for retailers to get their share of, you just need to platform to get there. Not only will you get dollars to invest back into your business, but you’ll build brand relationships that can be leveraged to bring savings to customer—and return trips to you.

Your retail media platform will also provide first-party data that will offer a glimpse into each individual shopper’s habits, giving you the information you need to strengthen your loyalty program, provide targeted, personalized content, and protect your customer relationships from the competition.

Retention… To the Max

It’s no secret that end-of-year sales can make or break your business. Set yourself up for success with the tools and solutions your customers want. When you take the steps to build a strong retail technology platform, there’s no reason you can’t attract and retain loyal customers—and Q4 dollars—that will catapult you into a successful and profitable new year.