When it comes to shopping behavior, price is always a key motivator. However, to sustain a customer’s loyalty over the long term, retailers often find it valuable to focus on the customer experience. But which experiences are most important to shoppers? And how likely are they to influence a change in behavior? Which are the most profitable areas for retailers to focus on and which are the least?
According to a recent study, 53 percent of consumers would pay a higher price for the experiences they value most. But, the most important impact of great customer experiences is loyalty. The majority say they would be more loyal to stores that provided their personal top three customer experience benefits.
Customers are looking for ways to feel valued and make their lives easier.
When customers were asked which elements they valued most in the shopping experience, four concepts were rated highest. The elements rated highest were of a practical nature – things that eliminated stress, gave shoppers more control and made their lives easier. Analyzing the top benefits:
- Pick your own sale items. This feature was the highest rated item in the survey, with 42 percent of customers stating it was the most important. This is different from lowest price. It’s about giving shoppers the control to personalize their experiences based on their needs and wants.
- Hassle-free returns. Knowing an item can be returned is valuable to customers, and retail brands with generous return policies are highly regarded. Some best-in-class return policies include: no time limit on returns, no need for a receipt with a return or free postage on shipping returns.
- No coupons needed to always get the sale price. Receiving the lowest price without working for it reduces stress for customers. Retail credit card value propositions sometimes include “best price” programs, particularly for premium customers, so customers don’t need to clip coupons to automatically get the sale price.
- Customers who redeem loyalty points for savings feel valued. Customers love points-based programs and they drive loyal behavior for retailers. If programs are easy for customers to accumulate and redeem points, they often visit more often and spend more.