The new year is almost upon us, and businesses are looking to the market to learn how they can potentially do better in 2022. Over the last year, the importance of establishing customer loyalty became recognized as a key to ongoing success, and now business owners across industries are looking to identify current customer trends that will help them get ahead in the year to come. For this reason, our team has compiled a list of the biggest trends that are currently affecting customer loyalty and are expected to continue to grow throughout 2022.
Beginning with trend number one: mobile apps.
Over the past few years, mobile loyalty apps have become increasingly important to many businesses' loyalty-program strategies. The reason for this is because of mobile phones, in general, are becoming more and more central to people’s daily lives. As studies have shown, “as recently as 2016, [mobile commerce] represented 52.4%” of all online sales: meaning “almost three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases are coming from mobile,” with numbers expected to grow to “68% by 2022.”
More alarming, however, are the stats from businesses that didn’t use mobile last year as part of their customer-retention strategy. According to smallbiztrends.com, “66 percent of companies that saw a decrease in customer loyalty over the past year do not have a mobile app”: making a strong case for business owners to consider incorporating mobile in their overall customer-retention strategy.
With mobile loyalty apps, retailers can provide better service to customers by offering them more opportunities to shop and make payments how and when they want. Additionally, apps can also allow customers to enjoy the benefits of greater personalization, direct access to customer support, and more convenience with services overall. As for business owners, mobile loyalty apps can be used to collect more-accurate user analytics and do better targeted marketing. In sum, the trend towards mobile is one that currently shows no signs of slowing, and business owners can expect to see more emphasis on mobile loyalty apps in the years to come.
In the internet age, customers have more options than ever when it comes to finding places to shop, and for businesses, this means that the days of having to compete locally for customers are over and the days of having to compete globally are here. Locality is no longer a limitation when it comes to acquiring goods, and this presents both a challenge and an opportunity for vendors. As a challenge, it requires capturing an audience and somehow turning them into loyal customers, and as an opportunity, it creates a chance to capture potential audiences from around the world.
One way to capture a potential audience is to segment it, by targeting specific demographics that are likely to buy your brand, and this requires getting to know your audience through data analytics. Gathering accurate user data is easily the best way to learn about customers’ behavior, and with more accurate information about users, brands can hyper-focus their marketing to target individual audience members and enhance their experience of the brand through personalization.
In this way, better data can lead to more targeted, personalized messages to your users, as well as greater insights into how they prefer to shop and when. While this trend towards user-data acquisition is nothing new, it is expected to continue growing well past 2022 into the future. If businesses have not yet found a way to track their target market’s user data, then they should strongly consider investing in a platform that can track digital analytics and other important metrics of user behavior.
With greater options being made available to consumers to shop from, the need for customer satisfaction is at an all-time high. For this reason, personalization is quickly becoming one of the most effective strategies for promoting greater customer retention. Through personalization, businesses can design targeted ads and content that are made to appeal to customer’s personal tastes; in doing this, customers are likely to find greater value in the brand and continue being loyal to the business.
In 2022, businesses can expect to see a greater emphasis being placed on personalization than in years before, with mobile loyalty programs being given particular attention. To ensure greater customer retention in 2022, business owners should strongly consider adding more elements of personalization to potential customer touchpoints, such as emails, websites, and mobile apps. Moreover, they should also consider investing in pattern-recognition technology, such as A.I., that can provide better user analytics; doing this can help business owners to leverage data that can then be used to create greater personalization.
Over the last year, the need for businesses to demonstrate their value beyond their ability to provide goods was made evident as businesses were left to deal with the fallout of the global pandemic and supply-chain shortage. For this reason, making a brand more than just a touchpoint for sales has become a major trend in customer loyalty, and one that is expected to continue long after 2022.
As many businesses have already discovered, offering more opportunities to engage with a brand outside of sales is an effective way to produce loyalty, by creating additional value that can build emotional connections, and one of the best ways to do this is through the use of gamified mobile apps.
With gamified apps, users can turn to brands for entertainment and become more deeply engaged with them on a regular basis. Gamification can also be used to turn certain aspects of shopping into a game, which can be useful for promoting upsells and creating repeat customers. In most cases, however, simply incorporating a fun game with simple features into your loyalty program’s mobile app is enough to make users engage more often and develop deeper connections to the brand.
Of all the major trends to have taken place last year, in 2021, the biggest and most impactful was undoubtedly the emergence of automation as a leading tool for optimizing workflows. With automation, business owners can delegate routine and repetitive tasks to run automatically, leaving room to give more attention to other, less tedious aspects of business.
Some of the most popular uses for automation that have appeared over the last year include the use a chatbots, A.I data tracking, automated reporting, and scheduling content to launch at specific preplanned times. Given that automation is still only in its infancy, its current applications are best used for streamlining routine tasks, such as data processing and collection; however, as the technology continues to improve, automation is expected to play a more central role for businesses across industries in the years to come.
In this article, we went over several of leading trends currently taking place in customer loyalty, which are expected to continue to grow into 2022. As readers will note, a prevalent theme taking place in these trends is the need for creating better user experiences based upon accurate customer data. With better data, businesses can learn more about their current customers and design features that can suit their particular needs. Furthermore, by utilizing the right technology and programs to obtain data from customers, businesses can optimize workflows and save themselves both energy, time and money.
Looking for a Better Way to Improve Loyalty?
With Loyal~n~Save, you can make it easier for customers to spread the love, with team-sharing and collaborative point-building features. Loyal~n~Save is a premium loyalty rewards program designed to increase customer retention and improve engagement. With it, businesses can create a personalized, gamified experience for customers that’ll allow them to build points and earn rewards just for shopping.
Loyal~n~Save also comes with a host of convenient features designed specifically to help business owners gain retention, including tools for campaign planning, easy sharing, and user-based pattern recognition, which can help you to create a more personalized experience for your customers. Loyal~n~Save also gives users the option to build teams, send gifts, and earn points easily just from having other active shoppers on their team.
If you’re curious about Loyal~n~Save and would like to know more, then contact one of our loyalty specialists @ https://loyalnsave.com/ or call our toll-free number @ 845-796-9944. You can also follow us on any of our social media @ https://www.facebook.com/LoyalNSave/ or @ https://www.linkedin.com/company/loyal-n-save/, or you can subscribe to our weekly blog to get more useful tips and tricks about how to increase customer retention.
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog today. We hope to hear from you in the future!
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.