Brand loyalty took a back seat to other factors among shoppers during COVID-19 and the trend is expected to continue.
A majority (57%) of respondents in a survey of over 100 North American retail leaders in the CPG sector across big box, retail pharmacies and grocery by Blis and WBR cited that during COVID-19, consumers were more focused on prices, and 59% of respondents saw a significant drop in brand loyalty among their customers. A separate analysis by Blis also found that while brand loyalty had decreased due to price, store loyalty had increased during the same period.
In the coming months, 52% of respondents believe their customers will keep their shopping focused on value rather than specific brands. Also, 44% believe there will be more demand for the buy-online-pick up-in-store model and 43% said there will be more demand for omnichannel or "channel-agnostic" customer experiences.
In positive news for brick-and-mortar retailers, when identifying any shifts in their marketing budget in the next 12 months, 36% of respondents said they'll be looking to move budgets to in-store activity, followed by e-commerce (31%) and brand awareness (25%).
• When looking at specific retail tactics that respondents have already adopted to boost consumer engagement, "click to cart" shopping features (60%), contactless payment technology (58%) and location-based advertising for relevant offers (56%), were cited as the most popular.
• The strategies retailers will be undertaking to bridge the online and in-store shopping experiences in the next 12 months, include creating dedicated spaces for pickup and home delivery (54%), leveraging stores as edge warehouses for home delivery (48%) and location-based mobile promotions, discounts and advertising (41%).
"It's promising to see that as we emerge from the pandemic, retailers are pumping budgets back in-store,” said Gil Larsen, managing director, Blis U.S. “Ultimately, the next generation of retail shoppers are demanding an omnichannel experience that provides the same value and convenience regardless of which channels they use. And they expect retailers to accommodate their needs regardless of how they engage.”