Using data-driven insights to drive customer loyalty

Kim Pattison,
Sophia Brown
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Customer expectations are quickly evolving. Unless your business can create a unique value proposition and strong connections with its customers, your relationship with your most important stakeholders is at risk. With demands for personalisation at its core, retailers are no longer encouraged but expected to build a connected consumer experience to support the customer journey and drive loyalty.

The customer journey is no longer a simple interaction between business and consumer. It’s become a complex web of interactions – spanning across websites, stores, social media, emails, apps, payment methods, and new technologies.

So how can retailers manage this demand for accessibility of products, information, and customer services via their platform of choice, as well as drive brand loyalty in a highly competitive marketplace?

Creating a tailored, connected customer experience

It all comes down to knowing your customer – not only who your audience is, but the individual’s profile, purchasing habits, and preferences. 

Linking shopping and transactional value chains with rewards and loyalty programs will allow you to personalise customer experience, tailor products, offers and communications, and enable a level of personalisation to meet varied customer preferences. 

To do this, data is the key – and connecting data points to derive meaningful outcomes will elevate your customer experience and business operations. In addition, leveraging new technology and AI advancements can further enrich data and the customer journey. By leveraging these insights, you’ll move away from sometimes inconsistent, fragmented connections or promoting the wrong products to the wrong people. 

In the age of omnichannel retail, you’ll be equipped to enable personalisation across physical, mobile and online touchpoints to meet varied customer preferences across all channels. 

Leveraging insights beyond loyalty

Data is not only key to knowing your customer and building customer loyalty, but also allows businesses to focus on the basics – product, price, availability, and experience.

As retailers, you use data to understand your operations, distribution, costs, create efficiencies, manage inventory, ensure frictionless payments methods, and build proactive partnerships and customer service initiatives. By using data analytics effectively, your business can make more informed strategic decisions that help you stay ahead of the competition and increase overall profitability. For some, this might mean focusing on their supply chains and consistently delivering ‘fair’ prices to generate loyalty, while other retailers might use loyalty rewards programs, promotion and partnerships to deepen penetration to increase customer engagement. 

But this doesn’t happen overnight. Even Australia’s largest rewards programs have evolved over time – they grow as a result of their ability to capture consumer data, are tailored based on strategic ambitions and desired outcomes of the program and combine these aspirations into meaningful customer interactions. 

Kim Pattison, Senior Manager in Grant Thornton Australia’s Debt & Payments Advisory, said, ‘A key example of evolving loyalty programs is FlyBuys. With over 8.6 million members, FlyBuys has become an ecosystem that enables strong customer management by capturing information on purchase habits while delivering loyalty rewards to customers. Over time, they’ve improved the user experience, data collection, tailored communications and set up partnerships with relevant businesses drawing on the deep insights gathered. This has allowed FlyBuys to grow retail sales and increase market share through more impactful communications and offers.’ 

The evolution of FlyBuys is a clear example that in this fast-moving consumer market, loyalty goes beyond collecting points via rewards programs. It’s about understanding your buyer persona and delivering a unique, tailored experience based on their wants and needs.

Alongside this, ask for personalisation – consumers want you to know them, but on their terms. With recent data breaches renewing consumer interest in what data businesses are keeping, transparency around data collection, storage and use is more important than ever. 

To discuss optimising your customer interactions and leveraging data insights to maximise customer engagement and operations in the context of your business, please get in touch.