Childhood days of collecting small change for a piggy bank may seem like a long winded approach to financial efficiency, but the lessons of prudent saving, budgeting and most importantly patience – can be key to getting ahead in the current economic climate both for businesses and consumers alike. Hard pressed consumers have become savvy at spotting bargains/ finding ways to save money and it’s important for businesses to be aware of the general change in customer’s spending habits to improve customer retention.
One way consumers are making substantial savings is by spending a little time calculating income against regular outgoings and developing a weekly or monthly budget. Looking at figures isn’t fun, and whilst this may in fact sound too simple to be of use, once aware of both how much they are spending and primarily where they’re spending it, ways of reducing this spend become much clearer. The key to customer retention for businesses is to be aware of the intended target market – knowing how they approach saving and subsequently positioning your brand as an essential purchase.
Consumers are now shopping around
Businesses operate in a competitive market and in many sectors, like energy for example, for consumers prices can seem frustratingly similar between suppliers. There is however evidence of fierce competition presented through indirect promotions like customer benefits and rewards. Even if consumers don’t take advantage of rewards immediately they retain information for future use. Price comparison sites can help with this process for utility bills and insurance especially, but sometimes this involves them engaging with your brand on the phone – consumers taking ten minutes out to get a quote or two will be receptive to any extra benefits you can communicate to them, making it easier for your company to achieve customer retention. A recent high-profile promotion is Tesco’s BOGOL (buy one get one later), designed to improve customer retention instead of just moving volume of stock.
Considering before buying
Bigger purchases like cars, furniture, computers, mp3 players, etc. can all set consumers back substantial amounts of their hard earned income. Before they buy, they can check to see if there is any scope for negotiation on price, or if the supplier would throw anything else in! More importantly though, consumers now usually ensure that they’re buying the right item beforehand. It’s too easy to regret an impulse purchase just a few months later, or to get a gift wrong for a loved one on Christmas eve. At the end of the day, if times are tough consumers should always ask, “Do I really need this?” A good technique people are using is waiting a day for every £100 in the price (or £10 for smaller purchases) – if still happy by the end of this period then they’ll at least have had a chance to think it through thoroughly and check out the competition. In this instance if you can’t sell to them straight away, it’s about making the effort and giving them a reason to return (competitive price, the best service, any optional extras you’ll throw in just for them) – nurturing their needs and respecting a requirement for space plus reassurances.
Ordering pre-purchase vouchers
High street stores and big name brands like Debenhams, Topshop, Miss Selfridge, PC World and B&Q often either provide their own form of pre-purchase voucher, or are part of a wider voucher like Love2shop or SayShoppingPass. Through membership to a loyalty and membership programme or discount club such as The Big Savings Club or The Home & Garden Club for example, consumers are able to take advantage of savings of up to 7% on many of these vouchers. With Christmas on its way consumers will be spending more over the next few months on both everyday expenditure like energy, right through to gifts for friends and family and luxuries like good food and drink. So is this something your business can take part in? One of the easiest ways to achieve customer retention from vouchers or discounts is through a loyalty and membership programme or discount club. The operators of the loyalty and membership programme or discount club such as The Rocket Marketing Group, manage the club and can design bespoke vouchers featuring your discount to feature in print and online. This marketing service is usually free, all your brand has to do is offer members of the loyalty and membership programmes an exclusive discount.
Not yet made the most of customer retention by offering consumers an exclusive discount through a loyalty and membership programme or discount club? Contact Us today.