3 Customer Loyalty Predictions for 2021

Customer Loyalty Predictions

  1. Priority shift within organizations

There are many changing forces in the world today. Across the globe, people are changing behaviors. Many are being more astute when it comes to being financially responsible. Many are focusing on doing good for others and the planet.  These new mindsets are changing the way people make purchase decisions. These mindsets apply to both, us as individuals and us as employees, making decisions on behalf of our organizations.   

All organizations need to understand these changing behaviors and these changing priorities. People purchasing our products are mindful of what organizations are doing proactively to support people, causes, charities, and our world. People want to see the organizations they’re doing business with supporting the same causes they are. They want an organization to be empathic to their needs and what is important to them. They want organizations to walk with them; even more, they want them to walk in their shoes. 

Throughout 2021 and beyond, organizations need to consciously articulate to customers and would-be customers about their position and what they’re doing to support the people and the world we live in.  

     2. Increased adoption of loyalty by both B2B and B2C organizations

Recessionary times and times of general economic uncertainty, time and time again we’ve seen organizations shift the spend and focus from acquisition to retention efforts. For many reasons, this is a proven approach to maintaining and growing business during turbulent times. The two major reasons 1) when customers have limited resources, they are more thoughtful and cautious about how and where they spend.  This is true for individuals as well as organizations. Organizations will limit and/or shift spend to what’s most imperative to at least sustain until they can better predict the future. 2) With recessions hitting about every 10 years, we have enough data to show that organizations who focused on existing customers, recognizing them, and improving their experiences have fared far better than those organizations who either continued to focus on acquisition, cut costs, and/or slowed customer communications. 

Adopting or enhancing existing loyalty strategies during uncertain times has proven successful. As Bain & Co has found, a 5% increase in customer retention can equate to 75%+ in increased profitability.  

    3. Wide use of loyalty technology 

Loyalty technology is going to become mainstream. In 2021 we will see significant movement in this direction. To start, loyalty technology will no longer be a silo off to the side of an organizations’ tech stack. It will now be embedded, sharing much needed zero and first-party data across all organizational functions.  

Ecomm, CRM, Call centers all of these technologies, and the experiences they deliver are significantly enhanced when organizations pull in loyalty data. This data and the insights that can be gleaned from the data is the key to delivering hyper-personalized relevant communications and experiences. Whether you are selling B2C or B2B, your customer expects you to know who they are, what’s important to them, what they’ve purchased before, and make offers or share content is that relevant based on all of this information they’ve shared. Loyalty initiatives and technology will get you there fast.

In addition to becoming the heart of the Marcom tech stack, loyalty initiatives will look different in 2021 and beyond.  These initiatives will begin with a value exchange commitment. Commitment to share data, protect data and use data in a way that enhances “my” customer experience. You’ll see loyalty initiatives with the data exchange at the core, without a commitment to points or tiers or discounts. We don’t see loyalty programs going away, but we do see the strategies being extended to a more simple form to start. Adding in additional benefits over time, as the needs of an organization dictate.  

If you’re considering loyalty for your B2B or B2C organization, the team at Annex Cloud can help steer you as you develop your roadmap. The Annex Cloud Loyalty Experience Manager™ is a built-in module, allowing organizations to start with the value exchange and grow into more sophisticated initiatives. Additionally, with over 100 integrations and partnerships, the Annex Cloud solution can be easily embedded and connected to your entire tech stack.  Contact us to learn more today.

 
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