Did you know that 60% of major U.S. grocers have lost share of American consumers’ wallets over the past five years? In an era where choice is at an all-time high, digital discovery is driving disloyalty. Today’s consumers are attracted to purchasing paths that lead them to the right product at the right price—wherever that may be at that moment. As a result, consumers are less loyal to brands and business today than ever. They are gravitating toward personalized experiences—regardless of brand loyalty or retail allegiances.
While many view the rise of consumer disloyalty as a serious challenge, at Nielsen we believe that there is an opportunity to change an industry mindset around consumer disloyalty. In fact, when equipped with the right tools and datasets, brands and retailers can embrace retail infidelity as a means to foster growth.
On stage at this year’s NRF 2019 – Retail’s Big Show, the biggest retail conference in the world, Nielsen’s Julie Currie, SVP of Retail Product Leadership, and Joel Percy, Chief Strategic Consultant at CiValue, a Nielsen Connect Partner, presented a compelling case around how and why retailers should be embracing consumer disloyalty.
Amid a packed room of retail executives, disloyalty became a desirable outcome to pursue. Why? As Julie and Joel illustrated, the pot of disloyal consumers is growing at a faster rate than those who are loyal.
“In the age of disloyalty, it is the selfless retailer who will win over customers,” explained Julie. “Throwing retail allegiances to the wayside, today’s retailers must be extremely well informed and tuned into the needs and wants of the individual consumer—stretching beyond their core consumer and beyond targeting the masses. The selfless retailer will do everything they can to meet the needs of the individual consumer, regardless of the fact that they are or aren’t a current customer.”
While consumer centricity and personalization in marketing is certainly not new, the application of it toward attracting disloyal consumers is something that should be explored. At NRF, ciValue’s Joel reinforced the point.
“Customer-driven marketing strategies can help a retailer become a consumer’s first choice,” he noted. “For retailers, it all starts with gaining a stronger understanding of the consumer—and that is enabled by stronger data and tools that enables customer-centric decisions across a retailer’s business. The key is to enrich consumer relationship by listening, adapting and learning. Empower consumers to provide feedback on offers to enable machine learning. Foster better consumer connections by utilizing the power of open data collaboration. And execute higher quality offerings by truly giving people what they want.”
So, what’s a retailer to do? Julie and Joel presented three takeaways for those looking to adapt to this changing reality.
- Integrate customer data from outside your stores – Simply put, this means filling in the blind spots about the consumers who are shopping your store, as well as those not shopping your store.
- Begin sharing customer level data internally and externally – Democratize your data; make customer insights accessible and actionable across the organization.
- Add core items to your offer bank to dramatically grow sales coverage – A retailer’s personalization tactic is only as good as the offers they are able to provide to a consumer (also known as a retailer’s offer bank.) How strong is your offer bank? Think to yourself, what percentage of sales is represented in your offer bank? If it is lower than 70 or 80%, there is still room to grow.