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How to Build Brand Loyalty Post the Pandemic

Who hasn’t this pandemic affected? By now, almost everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or the other. How are brands building brand loyalty in these times?

Research shows that about 86% buyers like to pay more for a great customer experience and retailers who have invested in a great customer experience have been reaping the benefits during the pandemic. They have seen how technology can be a big enabler in dealing with unexpected and unprecedented situations.

The rapid growth of e-commerce in 2020 comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. A consumer who typically used the supermarket closer to them is no longer limited to a location and can opt to shop based on the preference for product offerings, choice, convenience, or better customer experience. This opens up the market, but at the same time, the consumer now has access to more competitors and has more awareness about the price and various product options. It therefore comes down to how you differentiate your product and communicate value, especially when it is not the lowest price.

In an increasingly crowded, pandemic-affected market, building and expanding customer loyalty can be critical for short-term and long-term success. Social and customer analytics tools can help provide data that can be leveraged to engage customers. They can help identify customer needs and gauge the pulse of the customer so that retailers can enhance the customer and product experience.

Having experienced and knowledgeable sales associates, both in-store and online, ensures that customers get the best holistic shopping experience. Customer experience drives loyalty, so it is a top priority. Product will continue to be king in retail, but it is critical to balance differentiated merchandise with personalized engagement and superior customer experience.

Retailers are cementing their online presence with technology that elevates customer experience like 3D models, innovative AR tools like virtual tryon, virtual showrooms, and live video calling. With such technology, they ensure physical distancing guidelines, the wellness and safety of their customers, and a superior customer experience that replicates an in-store experience.

Some stores have implemented innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to monitor social distancing and mask compliance while some use queue management solutions like self-checkout areas and mobile pay options. Implementation of such solutions will make the customers and employees feel valued and safe and increase brand loyalty.

An important and critical part of customer experience online is safety and security of their transactions as well as privacy of their data. Using the latest technology for ensuring the safety and privacy of customer details and transactions goes a long way in building the trust of the customer.

The way forward is to realize that one poor customer experience can result in the loss of a lifelong customer and vice versa. The thoughtful tech-enabled implementation of safety guidelines can create an in-person experience that inspires confidence. The emphasis on customer experience and personalization both online and offline is a trend and lesson that cannot be ignored in these times.