For companies that engage their customers face-to-face, like retailers and hospitality businesses, customer retention is often a breeze. As long as your product is good and your service is friendly, a large portion of your customers will be back.
But for brands that don’t have direct communication or interaction with the end-consumer, retaining customers can be a pretty high hurdle to jump. This category includes most brands in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sector, which in itself is an extremely competitive industry.
Let’s consider that the average supermarket stocks its shelves with more than 40,000 different items these days. This puts most FMCG producers in a firm “Battle of the Brands” scenario.
Of course, that’s just one supermarket. More than 40% of consumers say they shop at multiple supermarkets, which makes any particular FMCG manufacturer’s product even less conspicuous alongside its many competitors.
The Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs
Learn how to create a successful loyalty program that retains customers and boosts sales.
In short, brands within the FMCG sector need to jump over some pretty high hurdles to acquire customers. This makes it even more crucial that they hold onto their existing customers.
When it comes to intermediaries (such as supermarkets, pharmacies, wholesalers and online retailers), brands often have little to no direct influence over them. However, these brands are reliant on the intermediary to administer and promote their brand to the consumer.
The FMCG producer is at the start of the chain and the final customer is at the end of it, with the intermediary in-between. Which poses the question:
How can brands that sell their products through intermediaries directly engage their customers, when no contact is ever made between the brand and the final consumer during the customer journey?
The answer is a digital loyalty program.
FMCG brands can increase customer loyalty with a digital loyalty program, and “cut out the middleman”. With a well-structured rewards program and loyalty marketing strategy, FMCG brands can foster the same level of brand loyalty enjoyed by businesses that interact with their end-customers directly.
There are some obvious benefits to implementing a loyalty program that most marketers are already aware of:
– customer retention
– increased referrals
– more frequent visits
– bigger basket-size
But how can a digital loyalty program help FMCG brands increase brand loyalty?
1. Direct communication between the brand and the end-customer
If an FMCG brand can incentivise customers to join its loyalty program, then the brand gains direct communication to the very people buying its products. Suddenly, the brand is no longer relying on intermediaries to promote its products for them.
Customers can be notified of competitions, new products, and receive reminders about their loyalty status (i.e. “Hey John, you’re only 3 points away from a free X with any Y!” or “Purchase any of our products this Thursday for double points towards your next reward”).
2. Customer data, which allows brands to track and analyse consumer behaviour
If customers are scanning their receipts or QR codes in a brand’s loyalty app (more on that shortly) to accrue points and redeem rewards, then the brand gains access to all kinds of invaluable information, like:
– what customers are buying
– where they are buying it
– when they are buying it
– how often they are buying it
– what else they are buying with it
– a whole host of other things that help the brand make informed decisions on what aspects of the business and products need tweaking, adjusting, and so on.
This data is gold for marketers.
With access to this information, marketing teams can segment their customers, identify marketing opportunities, and perhaps most importantly, help brands with….
By seeing exactly what each individual customer is buying from you, brands can send each customer increasingly tailored offers, communications and rewards.
This is called personalization, and when executed well, it can boost customer satisfaction as much as 604%. FMCG brands can increase customer loyalty this way.
The importance of personalization is no longer a secret. Loyalty One conducted a study in late 2018, whereby 87% of the companies interviewed said they were using loyalty data to optimize the customer experience… don’t be part of the 13% that isn’t keeping up!
For brands that are selling FMCG through third party retailers, this kind of customer engagement is a total game-changer.
With a digital loyalty program, FMCG brands can offer their customers a unique and tailored brand experience which is completely independent of the physical shop each consumer is buying the product from.
For example, let’s say a supplier of Mexican food products notices that many of its customers are only buying its taco shells, and then purchasing the taco seasoning from a different Mexican food producer.
This valuable insight provides a great opportunity for the brand to run a personalized campaign targeting this specific customer segment. With any luck, this will drive sales of the brand’s taco seasoning products and reclaim those customers from its competitors.
By implementing a well-structured digital loyalty program, FMCG brands can increase customer loyalty exponentially.
Want some tips on how to create a successful loyalty marketing plan to get your new FMCG rewards program off the ground? Check out our other article here.
Otherwise, read our advice on how a receipt scanning validation method can make it easier for the end-customer to engage your FMCG brand’s loyalty program.
Want a convenient and powerful customer loyalty solution to drive sales and increase customer retention? Let’s chat.
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