Labor shortages, rising costs, supply chain issues, digital disruptions and continued Covid variants are just a few of the hurdles confronting merchants in the new year.
Retailers will also have new opportunities in 2022: consumers shopping from anywhere and anytime on their computers or mobile devices, stores transforming into showrooms or fulfillment social hubs, products being shipped for home delivery at ever-increasing speeds, and digitization everywhere.
So, how can retailers thrive in 2022 and beyond, even amid continuing uncertainty? There is no one “silver-bullet” solution, but fortunately merchants do have an affordable, easy-to-implement tool that can help address many of these issues at once.
The Biggest Challenges Facing Independent Retailers Right Now
Small retailers have been hit with some of the biggest challenges, especially with the switch to online shopping and an increasingly crowded marketplace. Online shopping is a two-sided coin, offering a new marketing channel for retailers, but also making it much more difficult to build and maintain customer loyalty without an in-person connection.
The Waning of Customer Loyalty
Customers no longer have just a couple of options when looking to purchase goods or services. Today, they have dozens or hundreds of choices.
The amount of information available to customers has expanded exponentially. Savvy shoppers tend to spend time researching their purchases – and consider the entire customer experience while doing so – before committing.
That amount of choice has also led to a waning of customer loyalty, with customers switching between retailers and online channels from purchase to purchase. This decline in customer loyalty presents a unique retailing problem, as retailers try to find new and innovative ways to appeal to buyers – both existing and potential.
However, there are methods retailers can employ to create new opportunities to build brand loyalty among their customers. The information age door swings both ways – more data is available to customers, but there’s more available about them, too. With the right know-how and tools, retailers can come up with modern strategies to keep shoppers coming back for more.
Consumers are Choosing Multichannel Buying Experiences
It’s no surprise around 96% of Americans utilize online shopping in one way or another. However, those same Americans spend about 65% of their total shopping budget in traditional brick-and-mortar locations.
In other words, while almost everyone is shopping online, they are making the majority of purchases in-store. The solution is to focus on creating a consistent, second-to-none customer experience across both in-store and on-line channels.
Coupons, points and punchcards don’t cut it anymore. Today, loyalty rewards must have real punch.
As consumers become savvier, businesses have to get more creative to stay relevant. The average person is exposed to an estimated 5,000 marketing messages each day, making it a challenge for merchants to get noticed amidst all the noise.
A customer rewards program that truly captures your customer’s attention and builds loyalty will cut across many problems facing retailers in the coming year.
The Customer Loyalty Accelerator (CLA) app for Shopify and Clover platforms does all of this, and even more. A groundbreaking loyalty program, CLA uses the power of spending-based store credits to reward return customer visits – and higher spending –generating more revenue for your store. CLA also includes a Referral Promotion feature to broaden your customer base. In addition, Clover merchants can integrate a Gift Card program right within your loyalty program for even greater reach.