Retention is a major challenge for consumer brands. What are the winning strategies to drive consumer loyalty and generate engagement? In this article, we share five recommendations to create a stronger relationship and increase sales in-store.

Think digital


While many consumers still shop in physical stores, digital plays a growing role. According to Hootsuite, 86% of the UK population goes online every day, spending almost six hours on the internet. The Deloitte Digital Influence in UK Retail study shows that the influence of digital devices on in-store purchase behaviour has grown by 175% in two years.

Mobile and digital devices have an impact on:

  • Footfall: 78% of UK consumers use digital devices for shopping related activities before / during their most recent shopping trip.
  • In-store conversion: conversion is 42% higher for shoppers who use a digital device prior to or during their store visit.
  • Order value: 21% of UK consumers spend more when using a digital device while shopping.

A large number of consumers are mobile-first and use apps to grocery shop. GlobalData’s Monthly Spend Tracker report shows that nearly half the consumers who use retailers’ apps do so to get notifications about promotions. According to Nielsen Shopper Trends, 36% of consumers aged 18-34 use an app all or some of the time to grocery shop.

As such, many FMCG companies are working on their digital transformation. Louise Kristensen, Regional Digital Commerce Director, EMEA at GSK Consumer Healthcare, told Marketing Week: “We need to think digital first, and about how we meet consumers’ needs at the right time.” She shared: “Our digital transformation runs across a really broad spectrum – whether that’s establishing consumers’ needs, looking at how we can have the best content, be in the best possible space or embrace mobile-first.”

Develop attractive content


According to a study from Clutch, 82% of consumers have purchased a product or service as a result of consuming content. Relevant content is one of the most powerful ways to engage with consumers.

The Havas Meaningful Brands 2019 report shows that:

  • 90% of UK consumers expect brands to provide content
  • 68% of UK consumers believe brands should play a role in improving their quality of life and wellbeing
  • 63% of UK consumers believe the content being created by brands in Britain is poor, irrelevant and fails to deliver
  • 61% of UK consumers say they want brands to provide content that is interesting, entertaining or offers useful experiences or services that stand apart from the brand’s usual services (78% of UK Millennials).

Havas claims content has six roles: inspire, entertain, educate, inform, help and reward. When it comes to the food industry for example, consumers especially expect to be inspired, informed and rewarded. For personal care, the top three expectations are for brands to help, inspire and reward.

Knorr for example launched an innovative campaign that transforms consumers’ Instagram feeds into personalised recipe recommendations. Philippa Atkinson, Senior Brand Manager for Knorr UK & Ireland, told Mobile Marketing Magazine: “Eat Your Feed is an innovative concept that showcases the transformative power of Knorr stocks to a new younger generation, adding twists to their favourite recipes or discovering news ones. We’re excited to be the first Instagram-inspired recipe solution – using our consumers own posts to prompt recipes with real value and relevance we know they’ll love, as well as a reminder of the great adventures they’ve had in the past.”

shopmium petite 5 conseils

Communicate your commitments


Consumers increasingly expect brands to be a purposeful force for good in the world and to stand up for what they believe in. The 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study reveals that 57% of UK consumers now buy on belief. This trend is rapidly growing: in 2017, only 37% bought on belief. These belief-driven buyers choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on where it stands on the political or social issues they care about.

Debora Koyama, Chief Marketing Officer for Europe at Mondelez International, recently shared as reported by Food Navigator: “People are choosing brands based on what companies stand for. That is a huge opportunity and responsibility.”

The company has been working on sustainably sourced cocoa, through its Cocoa Life programme. It announced last year that all Oreos are now made with sustainably sourced cocoa. Glenn Caton, President, Northern Europe at Mondelez International, said: “Through Cocoa Life, we want to become an accountable partner for our cocoa farmers, not just a buyer. Cocoa Life truly transforms communities by delivering real and measurable improvements for cocoa farmers. Independent assessments show that we are having a genuine impact and seeing the Cocoa Life logo on the front of packs will give consumers the confidence that whenever they buy an Oreo product they are making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Create personalised offers


UK consumers want personalisation and it has become a key factor of loyalty. According to the Ecrebo Consumer Insight Index:

  • 86% of UK consumers say personalisation influences their buying behaviour
  • 68% of UK consumers expect to be offered promotions based on past purchases
  • 31% of UK consumers say personalised offers demonstrate the brand understands them.

Sophie Blum, former P&G Vice President Brand Europe, told Marketing Week : “This depth and intimacy of understanding every single consumer is very new. That is what’s transforming the profession. You either get overwhelmed, or you embrace it with tools to be able to interact with and answer [consumers] in a way that is better than your competitors”. She added: “At P&G we have this ongoing understanding of one-to-one [messaging]. It’s a day-to-day journey. We are there to accompany consumers by having the right message at the right time.”

In the UK, P&G has created the Supersavvyme platform. Consumers can find personalised offers of samples, recommendations and ideas related to P&G’s portfolio of household brands. The platform is one of the top P&G brands trial generator worldwide.

Trigger emotions


According to a study from Capgemini, emotions are the main driver of loyalty. 86% of consumers with high emotional engagement say they always think of the brands they are loyal to when they need something, and 82% always buy the brand when they need something. This compares to 56% and 38% of consumers with low emotional engagement. In addition, emotionally engaged consumers spend more:

  • 70% of consumers with high emotional engagement spend up to two times or more on brands they are loyal to
  • 49% of consumers with low emotional engagement say the same.

Philadelphia sought to create an emotional connection with the recent “Savour the Moment” campaign. David Cameron, Brand Manager for Philadelphia, explained when launching the campaign: “Our everyday lives are getting busier and therefore, we can rush through life, missing small but special moments which we may regret later in life. The new creative will connect with consumers using uplifting user-generated content and then through our product, showing that Philadelphia’s unique taste can help them appreciate the joy of everyday moments.”

High-profile events such as the recent Women’s Football World Cup, which many brands have leveraged, can also be an opportunity to establish an emotional link.

As a conclusion, to improve consumer loyalty and engagement, think digital, develop attractive content, communicate your commitments, create personalised offers and trigger emotions. By applying these five recommendations, you should see improved loyalty and engagement and generate sales in-store.