Increasing customer loyalty through omnichannel strategies is a great way for retailers to keep customers coming back. But that goes further than just giving customers rewards for purchases. Retailers must meet their customers wherever they are in their journey, whether it be in-store, on social media, by phone, catalog, or text messaging.
Here are ten tips on how to use omnichannel strategies to boost customer loyalty:
1. Provide Personal Service
By developing personal relationships with customers, you can create an emotional connection that will inspire them to stay loyal. Many high-end stores offer personalized shopping advice based on the customer's preferences and past purchases. This is easier for boutiques and places that have regulars like contractors for hardware stores, fashionistas for apparel stores, or hobbyists for comic or hobby stores. It isn't the amount they buy that shows their loyalty; it's that they desire to come in more frequently.
2. Offer Real-Time Support
Customers want fast service and support when they need it, so make sure your omnichannel strategy includes real-time support options such as chatbots that are available 24/7. No one wants to have to wait for the store to open when they have a question or are trying to put a project together. When that happens, they'll go to YouTube or TikTok to get advice.
3. Create Custom Experiences
Today's customers expect their experience with your brand to be tailored to them; using omnichannel strategies allows you to do this by analyzing data points like location, purchase history, and browsing behavior across multiple channels. While cookies are used to allow tracking of many online behaviors, finding a way to gather customer information and then serve up what is most meaningful in your app, blog, or other communication is becoming increasingly easy to personalize.
4. Leverage Cross-Channel Promotions
Give customers incentives for engaging with your brand across multiple channels by providing exclusive offers that are only available when a customer engages with you on different platforms. You might have an influencer on Instagram, a live in-person trunk show, a live stream for a product drop, or a bounceback offer if they come into the store after buying something online. The key is being creative for each channel but being aware they all serve the same customer.
5. Give Associates All the Information They Need
Equip your employees with the information they need about a customer before they interact so they can better serve them. For example, associates should have access to all of a shopper’s past purchases so they can give custom recommendations for new items or even suggest an updated version of something the shopper already owns. This used to be done on note cards but now can be done digitally.
6. Introduce Virtual Closets or Toolboxes
Creating virtual closets and toolboxes gives shoppers more ways to organize their products while also providing insight into what they’ve bought in the past, which, as mentioned above, could help steer future purchases back toward your store. This has been exclusive to big box retailers and online giants like Amazon, but as the technology becomes affordable, these tools will be widely available for smart retailers to add.
7. Encourage Feedback & Reviews
Inviting customers to leave feedback or reviews after their transactions helps to build trust between your brand and potential customers, as well as helps you continually improve upon the services you offer and gain valuable insights into what shoppers are looking for from physical stores today. Launching a new product? Ask your tribe via email survey, online pool, or hashtag what they think about your messaging. If you have loyal customer information, you can request they post a 5-star review directly to your Google page by texting a link. The goal is to strategically ask your best customers to share in case you get a few that aren't so great.
8. Connect Offline & Online Experiences
Unifying online and offline experiences creates consistency in communication between customers and associates. Customers shop in different ways - when and how they want - and when you accept and work with that, customer loyalty will increase. That means loyalty points and rewards need to be seen as one shopping cart that follows them on whatever channel they use.
9. Reward Friends Through Referrals
Everyone loves free stuff—and when it comes from people you know, everyone loves it even more. Consider implementing referral programs where customers can receive rewards for referring other friends and family members. This could be by asking them to share a promotion, a social post, or a BombBomb video to get some other benefit. That increases both sales volume and loyalty at the same time. Now, if you could somehow combine the dollar amount those referrals spent with the amount your original customer spends, you would be able to truly see how that one loyal customer influences your store's sales.
10. Take Advantage of Targeted Messaging
Using targeted messaging requires a certain level of understanding about each individual customer—which omnichannel tactics allow you to do. By leveraging data already collected, you can craft specific SMS messages tailored just for them based on their location, purchase trends, or preferences. Again that takes a robust CRM that tracks everything securely. Being able to target every message means when your customer receives it, you have higher value because it feels genuine...even if an algorithm provides it.
By leveraging these simple but effective methods within your omnichannel strategy, retailers can increase customer loyalty by creating tailored experiences, supporting them in real-time, and displaying knowledge about individual shopping habits —all factors which contribute toward creating repeat business opportunities.
And that helps them rave about not only one experience in your store but throughout the year.
Of course, to get customers to really rave about your in-store experience, everyone needs to be on the same page knowing how to create an exceptional experience. Lucky you, I have a program that does just that called SalesRX.com.