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Rethinking Retail Loyalty Programs

It’s time to look beyond discounts and promotions.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: RossHelen/iStock.com

In consulting firm Accenture’s most recent Consumer Pulse survey, a whopping 85 percent of respondents say they’re currently grappling with uncertainty — and expect to for some time. Such doubts mean retailers should rethink how they sustain and increase customer loyalty, Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Accenture’s Retail industry group, writes on Forbes.com.

“One obvious route is to double down on discounts and promotions, which have long been a key focus of retail loyalty programs, …” Standish notes. “However, it’s important retailers ask themselves how sustainable a discount-focused loyalty strategy really is. Because there’s a clear risk of a race to the bottom on pricing.”

Not only that, she notes, a narrow focus on price is a missed opportunity, failing to capture the full span of desires and expectations that consumers have from a retail brand.

“Consumers today have a broader conception of brand loyalty than in the past. They’re looking for the right selection of products, conveniently available, with fast delivery and hassle-free returns — all wrapped in a high level of knowledgeable customer service.”

Click here for more from Standish on how retailers can go about creating a state-of-the-art loyalty model that hits all those marks.

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