More than half won't shop brands with difficult websites

Android is edging out iOS in terms of brand loyalty (Image Krystian Nawrocki / iStockPhoto)
A hard-to-navigate website can kill customer loyalty. (Krystian Nawrocki/iStockPhoto)

Convenience, experience, services and communications are the winning ingredients in keeping customers happy and loyal, according to a 2018 Loyalty Forecast from Fresh Relevance and research firm YouGov.

The first ingredient, convenience, goes without saying in 2018. Of those surveyed, 60% said they would stop buying from an online store if the website was hard to navigate. And an even higher rate of baby boomers, 71%, require an easy-to-navigate website. Nearly half of these shoppers, 46%, would think less of the brand overall due to a poor website, and 38% are highly unlikely to buy from the retailer if they have a bad mobile experience.

The second ingredient, experience, is also crucial, despite the popularity of online purchasing. As many as 43% of respondents said they want to try products before they buy online. In addition, 22% said they would prefer a brand that offers related amenities and experiences such as makeovers or personal stylists.

RELATED: DSW uses member feedback to update loyalty program

Free Webinar Series

Customer Experience Part 2: Stop Treating Your Best Customers Like Criminals

Don't miss this two-part webinar series, presented by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, dedicated to emerging cybercrime trends, their impacts on customer experience, and how one crucial tool – a Digital Identity Network - can be used to reduce friction while mitigating risk throughout the customer journey.

Third, shoppers are looking for ease in shipping and returns. The services most requested in the survey include free returns, 69%; free two-day shipping, 68%; free pickup for returns, 65%; in-store returns for online purchases, 55%; and same-day shipping, 42%.

And what is not important, or contributing to the ease of shopping, is some of the emerging technology that retailers are testing out. Only 17% of respondents said scan-and-go checkout is critical, and just 12% care about pickup towers for online orders.

RELATED: Target joins multitender loyalty trend

The final ingredient, communications, needs to be targeted in 2018. More than 1 in 4 respondents said they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that sends tailored messages. However, 35% don't find being called by their first name to be an effective strategy.

Finally, 41% of consumers would drop a retailer that regularly emailed them irrelevant information, and 25% want to be sent recommendations based on items they've viewed or purchased.

Read more on