Building Loyalty in the Era of Unlimited Choices for Consumers

Growth marketing comes down to gaining customer loyalty and mastering the art of omnichannel marketing. However, all of this is much easier said than done.

Many of these concerns got the expert opinions of the conversation between Mrinal Singhal, AVP Marketing, Yatra, Sharad Harjai, Sr. Director Marketing, Grofers, and Amit Tandon VP Marketing, HealthKart. They put forth some insights into building a brand and the science and logic behind accurate customer loyalty.

Check out the whole discussion here.

Decide The Right Channels

If there is one factor most business heads can agree to, each distribution channel cannot function individually if the aim is to build brand loyalty. As Mrinal Singhal of Yatra put it: “Business problems are not solved in silos.”

One of the reasons is that the brand messaging has to remain consistent across all platforms. Be it the design, the text, the language — all the elements must look like they belong to the same ecosystem.

This structure does not mean you do not have channel experts. You have people and teams who are pros at their domain, but they all take action when there is a need for improvement.

Secondly, irrespective of the channel, the user’s journey from engagement to purchase needs to be very smooth. This is the only way to build a strong and loyal base. This could be a little rough for brands that work both online and offline. In such a case, the store and online experience must both be equally comfortable.

“Centralised training team to ensure that each and every channel, online and offline, talk the same language and ethics is our way to do it,” said Amit Tandon the VP Marketing, Healthkart. This practice will help you keep customers happy, redirect customers from the store to the app; that inevitably reduces the acquisition costs.

Metric To Track For Growth

For a business that sees a lot of repeat customers, the process of tracking growth is robust, like in the case of online grocery shopping or daily essentials. Consumers are conscientious about what they buy, which brands they buy, and do not watch for changing their lifestyle. In such a case, changing the data points will not be helpful.

The ideal north-star metric for such a brand would be the Monthly Wallet Share. This number can ensure that a consumer is spending an adequate amount on any platform.

A family spends an average of seven thousand rupees a month on groceries. This means if your wallet receives the same amounts, you are the primary destination for purchase.

Another important metric is the Net Promoter Score. This is a measurement of customer satisfaction and loyalty to a brand. It is calculated on a scale of zero to ten, based on how much a consumer will recommend the brand to others. At a company like HeathKart, this is a core metric.

This process is impossible if your business only sees customers two to four times a year. Like in a travel platform, the user would visit a platform that gives the best details, and a loyalty program does not occur. In such a case, the use of a 90-Day-Return-Rate is a wonderful metric to consider.

The Ideal Usecase For Retention With a Loyalty Program

Loyalty as a program does not exist in all industries, as we mentioned above. For such enterprises, the platform would have to be flawless to ensure repeat customers. There are a few customers who come back to your platform for its familiarity.

Another way is to provide better service to ensure the retention of these consumers. “At a call-center level, we give lower turn-around time to such customers,” said Mrinal Singhal. You can also give them better prices or offerings for coming back to a platform.

In the same way, a company that sells premium products cannot offer a loyalty program since the cost cannot be reduced on them. Here too, the method of providing better service to return consumers can go a long way. A company like HealthKart tries to do this by taking money away from the flirtatious customers (who are only browsing) and giving it to power customers (those who actually purchase).

However, the loyalty program is a must-have in the case of an FMCG business. In the case of an online maker like Grofers, their program called “Smart Bachat Club” has gained very high popularity. They noticed that over 60% of all sales come from members of the programs; which is ideal retention.

How Do Companies Benefit From This In a Price-Sensitive Market?

Grofers, for example, enforces and encourages this program for the user by constantly highlighting the benefits of the platform. For instance, every listed product will show the price difference between its actual cost and the loyalty program next to them.

They notice that as a loyal member, you will not just buy cheap items from the offerings. Over time, they start to use this platform as a primary source for shopping online. This leads to the sale of more high-margin products and indirectly gives a better profit.

Building Customer Segmentation For Loyalty

Various brands use various methods of consumer segmentation; here are three:

1. Based On Spending

HealthKart implements the method of providing loyal service to the customers who spend more and often on their platform. They are called “power-users” and offer more to the platform. By providing more value to them, the brand can extract repeat business from frequent platforms.

2. Based On The Group

Another segmentation is possible based on the group of consumers. For example, Yatra works with Small-And-Medium-Size businesses to set up a loyalty proposition. With this effort, they can ensure regular business and offer discounts, reduced rescheduling costs, free-on-board meals, and much more.

3. Based On Conversion Score

One of the most widely implied metrics is the conversion score. This percentage value shows how many times a user engages with the platforms or external elements like newsletters, social media, etc.

Most brands provide better services and discounts to those users who have a higher score.

Working A price-sensitive Market

The Indian market is price sensitive. An average consumer in India would only sign up for a subscription model only when they can reap more befits for investment.

Sharad Harjai explains how they altered their user experience of Grofers to ensure the customer can see the benefits of their loyalty program. This included adding the price of each product as a member and as a general shopper. This clear distinction in the price will encourage users to opt for a subscription model in a price-sensitive market.

Deciding A Retention Plan

One last piece of learning would be to build a more extensive user base. “If you want to have more loyal customers, the best way is to bring more customers,” said Mrinal Singhal. You can never be sure what would change the loyalty of a user. Devising a user retention plan will help you achieve this.