Customer retention is more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. In addition: Regular customers are enormously important for retail companies because they ensure regular sales and free advertising if they are happy and recommend your business to others. This makes it all the more surprising that companies often fail to prioritise their regular customers while they go on the lookout for new customers with expensive marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, this is a very one-sided view of things. Of course, new customers are important but your regular customers deserve special attention so that they remain loyal to you in the long term.
Customer segmentation: Who are your regular customers?
Of course, it is not enough to separate the new customers from the regular customers because neither group is homogeneous. Nevertheless, your regular customers will probably have some similarities. These include demographic characteristics such as age, gender or marital status or sociographic characteristics such as educational level, occupation and income. Origin, place of residence and living arrangements also play a role. Also analyse their behaviour: When, on which days and at what time do your customers go shopping? Are they very price-oriented? Which devices do they use when shopping - online and offline?
All these characteristics are important for customer segmentation. Use them to separate the individual groups as clearly as possible and thus avoid wastage in your customer loyalty measures. It can help to describe a buyer persona for the customer segments, i.e. to describe the characteristics, interests, needs and requirements of a representative person in the respective group in as much detail as possible, and to add images for the persona. A lack of customer understanding is one of the most common reasons why marketing activities are not profitable.
Customer lifecycle: Your customers change
The customer lifecycle describes the development that a customer goes through over time. For example, a woman when she is a single student has different requirements to a few years later when she has a fixed income, is married and is a mother... the person is still the same but she will probably be interested in different products, perhaps clothes at a higher price point, suit trousers instead of jeans or, more recently, baby clothes instead of party clothes. This shows how important it is to continuously collect and update customer data and to stay close to the customer. Of course, it is possible that what you are offering is simply no longer compatible with what the customer wants. A certain level of regular customers dying off is therefore also normal. In general, however, you should see customer segmentation as an ongoing process.
Social and economic barriers to change
Emotions, trust, solidarity, identification with the brand... these are all reasons why your regular customers do not simply migrate to the competition. We also talk about social or psychological barriers to change here. The customer has chosen your shop or brand and does not want to change. More than that: This kind of loyalty often leads to further recommendations in the social environment of your regular customer.
The economic barriers to switching include bonus programmes, loyalty campaigns or regular customer discounts, ultimately rewards and monetary advantages that ensure that your regular customers do not migrate.
Customer loyalty measures in retail
You can strengthen the barriers to switching in a targeted manner through customer loyalty measures. Remember: Each measure should be measured, reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted. This is the only way to ensure that costs and benefits are in the right ratio and that you actually reach the right target group.