Rolling Back the Truth on Loyalty
Consumers, it turns out, can be bought. In fact, the key to achieving a really
loyal customer base is to save them tons of money. Most shoppers will take
saving cold, hard cash over superior customer service practically every day
of the week. Those are the findings of the 2010 Colloquy Retail Loyalty
where Walmart came out on top as the retailer to which most shoppers pledged
their current loyalty.
“With the recession acting like a second-stage booster rocket, Walmart has
upended the status quo among its national retail peers by chewing into their
last remaining frontier: customer-professed loyalty, at least for now,” wrote
Kelly Hlavinka, a Colloquy partner and author of the report. “The glimmer
of hope for retailers is that as jobless rates go down and consumer confidence
returns, retailers may very well regain their footing if they continue to
work towards customer-centric solutions and more sustainable strategies rather
than combating Walmart on low prices.”
Colloquy surveyed 3,500 consumers in five regions across the country. Responses
were tracked in four retail categories, including department stores, grocery,
mass merchants and personal care.
In last year’s report, Costco achieved the highest customer loyalty in three
of five regions under mass merchants. The warehouse club chain ranked first
in nine of twenty categories defined by Colloquy.
“Customer service, store environment, and a wide product selection were
the underlying factors for customers’ self-professed loyalty (before) …Two
years later, customers view loyalty differently. We’ve witnessed a profound
change among consumers since the recession hit: low prices have stepped up
to become retail’s strongest loyalty lure, according to consumers. That is
something which was simply not true in 2008,” according to Ms. Hlavinka.
Questions: Has the definition of customer loyalty changed in recent years?
Are the factors that put Walmart at the top of the Colloquy Index changing
as we speak?
Do you think Walmart will be at the top of the 2011 list?
- The 2010 COLLOQUY Retail Loyalty Index – COLLOQUY
Prices Replace Customer Service in COLLOQUY 2010 Retail Loyalty Index – marketnews
- Walmart Dominates Colloquy Loyalty Study – MediaPost