How to Retain Retail Customer Loyalty During the Inflation Crisis
The world of retail is more complicated than ever, and times are tough, especially where finances are concerned. For starters, social distancing from the global pandemic shifted many customers away from retail shops in favor of online retailers. Further, skyrocketing inflation has become a profit roadblock of sorts, as the rising cost of everything from food to energy also equates to higher costs at the consumer level.
Not all is lost in terms of retaining customer loyalty, however, and it’s also an exciting time for retail as we learn to adapt. Despite the potentially lasting effects of inflation, savvy business owners have a few tricks up their sleeve, to entice customers into shopping. From analyzing consumer data and market trends to offering loyalty deals, here are a few ways to make a profit without scaring customers away during the inflation crisis.
Make Use of Available Data
Retail businesses of all types have seen their customer base shift throughout the pandemic, and many have closed their doors altogether because they were unable to adapt. The good news is that thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to gather and analyze business data that can help you avoid a similar fate.
When it comes to data analytics, the sky’s the limit. There’s so much data out there that business owners may become paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of it all. To overcome data analysis paralysis, keep a clear focus on your goal — in this case, retaining consumer loyalty.
Ask for Consumer Feedback
Consumer feedback is a crucial element of data collection and analysis. With valuable consumer data in hand, you can modify and improve marketing strategies accordingly, optimizing the reach of your business.
When gathering email sample feedback data, make sure to be as specific as possible with your questions. Targeted questions are more likely to provide useful data than generic feedback and generalized statements. It’s also a good idea to offer an incentive to consumers who take the time to provide feedback, such as a discount on their next visit.
Refresh Your Marketing Strategy
Sometimes, consumer feedback and similar data may lead a company towards an entirely different strategy altogether. After analyzing relevant data, you may decide to start fresh and encourage loyalty with a brand new strategy tailored to your customer base. Rebranding has been the key to continued success for numerous companies throughout history, including Harley Davidson, which upped its product quality in the 1980s following consumer outcry.
Implement Pricing Tiers
For the modern consumer adapting to sustained inflation, the concept of value is of paramount importance. According to DeVry University, alienating loyal customers who may be struggling financially as a result of the pandemic is one of the biggest mistakes a small business owner can make.
To combat the issue, your pricing strategy should thus weigh production costs and other expenses under inflation with customer needs, paying specific attention to value. Pricing tiers, ranging from top shelf to value brands and products, are strong options for business owners at every stage of the retail journey. By providing a wide range of products at numerous price points, you may even be able to expand your reach while also retaining a loyal customer base.
Offer Deals and Discounts to Loyal Customers
As previously mentioned, consumers are more likely to provide detailed survey feedback when they are rewarded in some way. The same can be said for customer loyalty. It sounds like a no-brainer, but providing loyal customers with deals, whether in the form of promotions, coupons, rewards, or something else altogether, keeps them coming back.
The world is complicated, but increasing your retail sales doesn’t have to be. No matter the nature of your retail operation, retaining customer loyalty under inflation can be easily achieved by listening to customer needs, providing quality products at a variety of price points, and rewarding loyalty.