Consumers are no longer brand loyal – and they’re even gaming the system to lock in lower prices

In a new YouGov survey commissioned by dotmailer which looks at online shopping habits, UK and US consumers are going to all lengths to secure the best price. So how do marketers combat consumers’ lack of loyalty?

With the emergence of online shopping came the rise of choice. As those internet-savvy shoppers realized that they were no longer tied to one or two retailers for a specific product, they began to search and compare. And now, it seems the best of us are willing to do extensive research to find the best deal online: 80% of UK consumers and 73% of US consumers said they won’t rest until the price is right.

Retailers therefore need to be conscious of competitor pricing and also deliver on the ever-important customer experience if they want to remain favorable in the market.

Cunning tactics to outsmart the abandoned cart

‘Shopping around’ has not only become a mainstream activity, but consumers are becoming wise to the tricks that can bag them the best deals from online brands.

An interesting trend that emerged from the survey was consumers from both regions will abandon shopping carts in the hope that brands will deliver a last-ditch discount to close the sale (15% US; 13% UK). What’s more, around a fifth (19% US; 17% UK) abandon their carts on different websites to compare deals.

Cart recovery programs are a proven way to pull back reluctant customers and in our 2017 Hitting the Mark report, we were surprised that 60% of retailers didn’t have these emails in place. However, marketers should be wary of leveraging discounts in abandoned cart emails, especially if they’re including them in every campaign; doing so will train people to abandon their carts each and every time.

One way to overcome this dilemma is to look deeper into who your target customers are – for example, you might want to encourage new prospective customers to make their first purchase and in this instance, a discount-led cart recovery email might be appropriate and fruitful.

Consumers love email for offers – but how can marketers make them love email for email?

A common tactic adopted by companies is to offer discounts in exchange for website visitors’ email addresses. And this technique is certainly working, with 39% of UK consumers and 41% of US consumers saying they’ll happily part with their email address to get money off or discount codes.

The area that many brands fail in is thinking beyond the first purchase and how to use email to turn one-time buyers into regular loyal customers. The key way to do this is by engaging contacts with interesting and relevant content and offers. In this free guide, we offer up tips on how to introduce a content-led approach to email marketing so brand messaging isn’t solely focused on discounting. The other way to minimize the ‘one-night stand’ of the ecommerce world is by introducing a smart loyalty program that offers points for more than just purchases; check out our partner LoyaltyLion.

It appears that US retailers are better at delivering the right content at the right times to the right people, with just over a third of US consumers (35%) saying they rarely receive emails relevant to their situation, compared to more than half in the UK (52%).

Are UK consumers more impatient than Americans?

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, these popular shopping days have become global phenomena. But it seems US consumers are more likely to hold off from purchasing until dedicated sales days compared to UK shoppers (US 40%; UK 30%).

Are UK consumers impatient and impulsive when it comes to purchasing the products they want, or do they feel as though the offers are simply not worth waiting for? The former is confirmed in research conducted in July by YouGov for Fetch, revealing that UK consumers admit to being more impatient today than they were five years ago. 42% of people blamed technology for their impetuosity, which makes sense when you consider how smartphones have bred an on-demand, ‘what-you-want-when-you-want-it’ society.

Regardless of the quality of deals offered on Black Friday, there’s certainly a difference in the way US consumers shop compared to the guys in the UK.

To be successful in the world of ecommerce, marketers need to take a holistic approach and think about the entire customer journey. It’s easy to plug holes as and when problems occur, but the true solution is to understand how to capitalize on the customer lifecycle.

The online shopping research was conducted in June 2017 by YouGov on behalf of dotmailer and its communications agency, M&C Saatchi. The total sample comprises 2,061 UK respondents and 1,145 US respondents.

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