Head of partnerships ANZ at Yotpo, Rad Mitic (main photo), argues that brands shouldn’t take shoppers’ loyalty for granted if they want to keep them on side, as a brand’s core values, respect for privacy, and loyalty program are key to keeping them coming back for more…
Aussies shop with our hearts, not just our wallets, and half of us will quickly ditch a brand that doesn’t align with our core values.
Australians clearly have a unique sense of pride and affinity with local brands. We certainly love to support our home-grown success stories, with 86 per cent of us preferring to shop direct with our favourite brands rather than shop on Amazon.
Two-thirds of Australian shoppers consider themselves a loyal customer if they’ve purchased from a brand four times or more. Today’s consumers want to feel valued every time they shop, and they expect their relationships with brands to go far beyond the transaction.
Loyalty doesn’t just mean repeat purchases. It also means pride in association with the brand, recommending the brand to others and buying from the brand despite cheaper competitors.
All of this presents true-blue Aussies merchants with a big advantage over their international rivals – even behemoths like Amazon – but they shouldn’t get too complacent.
For local brands to build and maintain this bond, consumers need to feel connected and engaged in a way that comes across as personal and authentic. Despite strong customer loyalty to home-grown brands, it’s clear that this bond can be easily broken.
In Yotpo’s annual State of Brand Loyalty survey, Australians identify the three key factors which impact their loyalty to a brand: alignment with their core values, data transparency and an efficient loyalty program.
Three-quarters of Aussies say they’re more inclined to buy from brands whose values align with their own. Gen Z are the most steadfast in their convictions, with 90 per cent closely aligning their spending with their values.
From its environmental record to its treatment of workers – including supply chain partnerships – disassociation with a brand’s core values is one of the top reasons why Australian shoppers will decide to take their business elsewhere.
Aussies also take privacy seriously and they’re increasingly mindful of how their personal information is used. An overwhelming majority say it is important that brands are transparent about how they use their data, if they want to retain loyal customers.
With tighter Australian privacy regulations on the cards, transparency and best practice data governance must be a priority for brands. Those who do so are likely to reap the rewards, as two-thirds of Australian consumers are willing to share their information with brands they love in exchange for discounts, points, and rewards.
As the local eCommerce industry accelerates, the savviest marketers continue to shift their focus to customer retention. Strategic loyalty programs, which deliver hyper-relevant personalised experiences, keep shoppers coming back.
Survey respondents ranked loyalty programs as the top experience brands could provide to make them more loyal, followed by simple and easy-to-understand return policies, positive on-site search, and mobile-friendly experiences.
Popular activewear label LSKD is one example of how loyalty done right, can transform the way customers interact with brands. By leveraging an omni-channel approach, LSKD has successfully driven subscribers from their pop-up (which has a notable 89 per cent CVR), as well as from checkout, from their loyalty program, and through word of mouth via their Facebook group.
Since integrating tools like to Yotpo SMSBump six months ago, LSKD’s subscriber growth has skyrocketed 310%. The brand used SMS notifications to engage with customers at touch points like welcome-to-program, abandoned cart, browse abandonment, and loyalty points reminder flows for an average of 81x ROI.
As a brand who prioritises providing an overall value exchange over discounts, they asked themselves, “How can we give our community value and also give them a reason to sign up?” says Will Bolton, Digital Marketing at LSKD. According to a recent survey, 53 per cent of global shoppers would sign up for SMS because they want to know immediately about promotions, offers, and updates, and 49 per cent say early access to sales or new releases is a primary motivator for opting in. The most valuable incentive for customers, LSKD found, was giving them this opportunity to always stay informed.
This trend is reflected more broadly than LSKD’s customer base. Aussies care more about loyalty programs than the rest of the world. Our research found Loyalty programs influence their decision to make repeat purchases with a brand, especially if it means free shipping, gifts, brand swag or early access to sales.
In line with Australia’s strong foodie culture, the data also indicated food and beverages is the category where Aussies are most willing to participate in loyalty programs (78%), far ahead of fashion & apparel (53%) or beauty & cosmetics (48 per cent).
Interestingly, brands which operate with a subscription model are much more likely to generate quick loyalty from consumers, with almost three-quarters of Aussies saying that a subscription service makes them feel loyal to a brand.
Yet, despite Amazon’s highly successful Prime subscription service, the data found Australian shoppers are far less likely to shop from Amazon (14 per cent) and instead prefer to shop from a brand’s website directly (63 per cent).
Aussies love their home-grown brands, but brands shouldn’t take their loyalty for granted. A brand’s core values, respect for privacy, and loyalty program are the key to keeping them coming back for more.
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