Just 16% of UK consumers think that retailers react to their feedback — despite 69% of businesses claiming to do so. That’s according to new data released by Emarsys, an SAP company, at this year’s NRF – Retail’s Big Show.
The research, which surveyed both consumers and retailers across the UK, highlights the struggle to keep up with customers and identifies a number of disconnects between the two. It found that 28% of UK consumers believe their feedback is being used purely for marketing purposes rather than making meaningful changes. More than a quarter (26%) have no idea what happens to their feedback, while 29% believe that it either isn’t acted upon or goes completely unread.
With over two thirds (69%) of businesses stating that they review feedback in detail and make changes based on the content, these numbers indicate that many consumers don’t trust brands to act on their demands.
Rebuilding trust through loyalty
To close this gap and rebuild customer trust, Emarsys findings suggest a renewed focus on customer loyalty.
For UK consumers, rewarding customer loyalty (32%) tops the list of what they want to see from retailers in 2023. This is followed by improving customer service (30%), more sustainability (24%) and understanding customers better (22%).
For retailers, the list is slightly different. Improving customer service (39%) is their top priority for 2023, followed by understanding customers (39%), and rewarding customer loyalty (37%).
The research indicates that Gibson Guitars and Reformation Ltd, two Emarsys customers, have had extensive success using this approach.
When it comes to communicating with customers, one in five UK consumers (21%) never want to hear from retailers, despite just 0.4% of brands believing that this is the case.
Another 18% only want to be contacted monthly, and 10% every 2-3 weeks — meaning almost half of all UK consumers do not want weekly contact with retail brands.
By contrast, 21% of businesses believe that their customers want to hear from them every single day; another 30% multiple times a week; and 25% on a weekly basis.
According to Emarsys, this disconnect could be due to a lack of omnichannel strategy. For retailers, it’s not necessarily about cutting contact — it’s about getting it right and understanding exactly what customers want to hear from them, and where they want to hear about it.
In fact, 29% of consumers would still like to hear about upcoming sales in-store, while a third (34%) want to hear about upcoming sales via email, and 21% want to hear about them on social media.
Discussing the new research, Meghann York, Global Head of Product Marketing, Emarsys said: “These research results are reflective of changing consumer demands and the need for retailers to align with their needs to remain competitive.
“In today’s uncertain economic times, meeting customers where they are means everything. Retailers in 2023 need to be brave with their communications, undergoing a process of ruthless prioritization that leaves only the most meaningful, curated communications at the heart of their marketing. If you get your message right – your customers will not only want to hear from you, but they’ll also want to engage with you.
“This is only achievable through an obsession with the customer; understanding exactly what they want to hear, at exactly the right frequency, and delivering that personalization everywhere they go.”
Emarsys and Gibson will be discussing what it means to be customer-obsessed and how customer-obsession drives true loyalty, as identified by the Emarsys Customer Loyalty Index, at NRF 2023.
Emarsys, Replacements and Disney Theatrical will be delving into Emarsys’ latest research on loyalty trends and revealing the omnichannel marketing strategies that deepen customer relationships, improve retention, and drive business growth faster than ever before.