When I ask myself ‘why is loyalty so important’, I look outside of retail for a deeper understanding. I know it’s more than fair to expect that my family and close friends will get more of my time, and probably more of my money when push comes to shove as opposed to a stranger. It goes without saying, and definitely occurs with little resistance on my part. It’s all an innate reaction. So then it all starts to make sense as to why retailers and manufactures alike rely on loyalty as strong customer loyalty translates directly into sales when it comes to the Canadian fashion and apparel industry. Imagine a world where consumers give their time and money without even a second thought? And they came back time and time again?
Let’s take a look at one of the spotlight categories in Canada - both in terms of dollars and units - the women’s activewear category. In this category alone, three-quarters of female consumers, 73 per cent, indicate they are loyal to at least one brand. These loyal consumers will spend about twice as much on a brand they are loyal to, compared with a brand that evokes little or no loyalty. Furthermore, when it comes to repurchase intent in this category, loyal consumers are about 35 per cent more likely to buy again and again, making loyalty important for both growth and sustainability. Now if a retailer can replicate loyalty success amongst all its key categories – the return would be significant across the board.
At the end of the day, in an economy where there is growing uncertainty, political unrest and increasing prices, there is a growing consumer set that want to ensure that every hard earned dollar is going to something that they know, trust and feel good about. On the retailer side, while innovation is key to attracting the consumer initially, what will cause a consumer to not want to go anywhere else time and time again in an economy where there are a multitude of entrants in each category – that loyalty quotient is the answer to leading against the pack.