In the absence of a multichannel approach, retailers in the UAE are at risk of losing their most loyal customers, indicates Collinson – specialists in customer benefits and loyalty.
Eight in ten (81%) shoppers in the UAE feel annoyed when retailers they are loyal to offer promotions that are not aligned in-store and online. The same percentage of shoppers (81%) are irritated when retailers they buy from show favouritism to new customers by offering them exclusive discounts. Shoppers today also expect to be known by the brands they are loyal to, even during sales periods. Over half (57%) would be annoyed if their favourite retailer failed to use their data on preferences and past purchase behaviour to customise the experience, and instead send generic sales messages that aren’t relevant to them.
Communication is critical for retailers to maintain a strong relationship with their loyal customers. Over three quarters (78%) of UAE shoppers expressed missing out on an offer from their favourite brand as a result of them failing to communicate properly. Added to this, three quarters (75%) of shoppers are irritated if retailers make them search for discounts than making them aware of promotions directly.
Over half (54%) would be unhappy if they were just offered discounts over experiences such as VIP access to new products or prize giveaways. Under three quarters (73%) of customers would be irritated if time-sensitive promotions were still available to others even after the stated deadline has passed. Seven in 10 shoppers would be annoyed if their favourite brands failed to offer promotions and discounts at expected times during the year.
The study also reveals that brands in the UAE are not doing enough to build relationships with shoppers beyond a promotion or sales period. Insight is critical for retailers to gain a deeper understanding of customers and their preferences, and yet just over half (57%) of consumers were encouraged to register rather than checkout as a guest when making a purchase online. Added to this, over a third (36%) of retailers failed to invite shoppers to join a loyalty programme.
The research also highlights a failure by retail brands to encourage shoppers to purchase again, with 55% of customers in the UAE receiving irrelevant information and offers, and only half of shoppers being given an immediate incentive to consider their next purchase. Less than half (43%) of shoppers have only been contacted about sales and promotions, whilst 47% haven’t heard from the retailer again since they made their purchase.
“In today’s world where there is so much customer data now available, there is no excuse for letting personalisation slip. Using data to understand the expectations of shoppers and targeting them with relevant offers, experiences and communications that resonate during a sale and beyond, is critical to maintaining long-term customer devotion,” says Sanjit Gill, general manager, Collinson.