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The top drivers of consumer loyalty are...


When it comes to being loyal to a retailer or brand, the majority of U.S. consumers are swayed by their pocketbooks.

Nine out of 10 (92%) loyal customers rank price and value as the top factor in driving loyalty to specific retailers, followed by product/quality (79%) and variety/selection (71%), according to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ survey on brand loyalty.

The importance of the retail experience also continues to be significant, as 62% consumers are willing to spend more if their shopping experience is customized to their personal interests. However, a negative experience comes at a price. Eighty-two percent consumers say that they will buy elsewhere if they experience poor customer service or rude employees.

“Retail is a highly competitive industry and the well-informed consumer has more influence on retailers and brands than ever before,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “A physical retail space is vital for brands and retailers to have a competitive advantage and connect with consumers. Consumers want the best experience and the best value, in turn rewarding brands and retailers with their loyalty.”

In other findings:

• Consumers of all generations are most loyal to food and beverage retailers, with 95% of GenXers, 94% of Baby Boomers and 90% of Millennials selecting these based upon product brand.

• Asked which type of brand they prefer, 90% of consumers say they prefer national brands to store or local brands. Seventy nine percent of consumers are loyal to national brands when it comes to electronic devices, followed by apparel and footwear (65%) and health and beauty products (59%).

• Millennials are less affected by negative customer experiences with 74% saying they would switch to buying from a different retailer if they received poor customer service. This compares to 86% of GenXers and 85% of Baby Boomers who would switch immediately if customer service is poor.

• Millennials show the greatest brand loyalty with 58% stating that they will buy the same brand of products no matter what. The greater the variety of brands a store offers, the more likely millennials are to frequent the store, with 80% of them citing variety as a driving force in visiting a store.

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