Customer Loyalty and Customer Satisfaction – The Trends for 2023
Online retail, which is usually quite reliable when it comes to success, could not continue its growth course unchecked in 2022 due to inflation and high energy prices. These factors will continue to affect the industry this year. So what are the developments that will have greater significance in 2023?
Admittedly, it is a bit like complaining that your Ferrari needs a tuneup, but after years of continuous growth, the eCommerce market had to live with weaker sales in 2022. The high inflation rates and the sharp rise in energy prices have already dampened consumer sentiment in the past year. According to the BEVH (industry association), the growing fears of recession also led to online retail sales falling by almost four and a half percent in the first three quarters of 2022; compared to the year before. This poor buying behaviour among consumers is likely to continue for a while in 2023.
The environment has become more difficult, we know that, but how do we deal with it in regards to the consumer? How do we positively influence consumer satisfaction and loyalty?
When consumers spend less money on average, it becomes all the more important for online retailers to build loyalty to their brand.
According to the Consumer Behaviour Trends 2023 study by Qualtrics XM Institute, it seems that human relationships will become more important than the effectiveness of the services themselves. In addition, the ability to innovate, when it comes to consumers, is crucial. This means that we are once again circling back to the magic word Customer Lifetime Value, which has already taken on an increasingly important role in the eCommerce market in recent years. Due to the recession, online retail will have no choice but to take even more extensive measures.
For example, subscription models are gradually cementing themselves as an increasingly popular option for customer loyalty in e-commerce. The topic of sustainability is not losing any of its importance either. On the contrary, with a view to the environment, even price-conscious shopping can be made possible. And let’s not forget technologies such as artificial intelligence and sophisticated omnichannel strategies; all for the personal shopping experience.
Apart from customer loyalty, those trends that enable price-conscious shopping are also gaining in importance in times of recession. This also includes so-called re-commerce. This trend is certainly not new as far as the resale of used products is concerned. Just think of eBay & Co., which have defined direct second-hand sales from consumer to consumer. But now we are looking at the manufacturers themselves, who are jumping on the bandwagon and offering return options and marketplaces for passing on to others in their online shops. In this way, online retailers can actively manage the topic of second-hand under their own brand and integrate it directly into their own online shop.
ReCommerce not only offers consumers an affordable way to shop, it also provides manufacturers and online shops with an additional source of income. This is because the branded clothing can be resold countless times, contributes to brand loyalty and also allows for increased positioning in terms of sustainability. In other words, it’s a win-win-win situation for consumers, manufacturers, online shops and the environment.
For most online retailers, the first priority is to stabilise the supply of goods. The Corona pandemic has shown us how quickly supply bottlenecks can occur and we are also currently feeling the effects of the Ukraine war on many supply chains.
Let’s not forget the sustainability aspect, because this still has to be taken into account in logistics as well. The focus is increasingly shifting from the public and consumers to aspects such as environmentally friendly packaging, sustainable handling of returns, short delivery routes, alternative drives for vehicles and storage facilities, and there is also re-commerce again.
Let’s leave the economic situation aside for a moment; despite everything, technical development is advancing continuously and requires constant adjustments, especially in eCommerce and logistics. Artificial intelligence has been making its advantages known for a long time, and this year it is once again at the top of the list in terms of technologies in logistics. Even if many still shy away from it. The many possible applications and opportunities to be tapped for logistics, above all the ability to use resources more efficiently, clearly speak for themselves. We are curious to see whether 2023 will be the year in which the logistics industry opens up to AI and which trends will ultimately actually find their way into eCommerce in order to inspire consumers and increase their loyalty.
In summary, customer experience and loyalty are more important than ever to retain loyal customers and logistics plays a significant role in this.