Technology and social innovations have changed the way brands compete for customer attention and have also altered the consumers’ idea of what loyalty is.
In just a few years everyone who owns a mobile phone in the UK will have a smartphone.
But already the impact of this technology is being felt as consumers use their phones to compare prices when they are in-store. And this can stop them making a purchase on the High Street, instead opting to buy online.
The modern day consumer is after instant gratification whether its in an in-store environment or online. They want to have information and they want it now.
But despite some firms claiming mobile apps are the next big thing, they’re not if you don’t have a joined up social community of users to go with it.
Having an app that’s been downloaded doesn’t necessarily help with customer loyalty as it all hangs on whether people are using it and even if it is used it doesn’t mean it is helping bring loyalty.
The key to keeping your customers faithful is convenience and persistent and consistent engagement. Love them or hate them, Starbucks in the US has it sussed. Its loyalty card is a mobile one, it takes payments by mobile and it even invites customers to suggest and vote on new product ideas and furniture for its latest branch online.
But even the mighty Starbucks felt the backlash of its social media standing when the news broke that is hadn’t paid any corporation tax in the UK since 2009 in 2012. Tens of millions of Twitter users heard all about it and many voiced their concerns with mentions of boycotting the chain.
So, if you live by social media, prepare to, if not die, be injured by it too, and use it in a joined up way and wisely with the help of experts in the field of communication. Then we can all be joyful and triumphant!