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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Consumer Loyalty

This teaser for a study by Forrester Resarch

Portrait Of A Loyalist
By Lisa Bradner
Loyal consumers are more likely to be female, family oriented, and older. Active purchasers, they shop around and speak with their friends and family about their preferences before pledging their loyalty.

Not so good. This means younger consumers are less loyal (harder to keep / more skeptical). The long term trend is for younger consumers to become the older consumers, and for older consumers to retire and, in general, consume less. The long term trend is for fewer family households. The long term trend has been for more females to enter the work force and become more time stressed.

Lisa Bradner continues:
To capture these lucrative consumers, marketers should personalize their brand experience, engage in a dialogue, and facilitate their need for cross-channel shopping.

Some of this is marketing speak, but if it means "get your stores, catalogs and websites all coordinated with each other" I'm all for it. There's a lot of variance here. Take two businesses which both sell bicycling gear: I think REI does a good job with this; Performance Bicycle does not.

I think this may be due to incentives; I don't think the Performance store benefits much, if at all, from web / phone orders made on the store premises. But they benefit considerably if you buy something that's in the store. I suspect the incentive structure at REI is more balanced, but I don't know for sure.