Customer loyalty is a top priority no matter what you are selling—especially in retail.
Just ask Tony Hsieh, whose focus on Zappos’ workforce created the platinum standard of customer service that yielded a storied (and envied) level of customer engagement and loyalty.
The most important component by far is customer engagement. “Retailers should ask themselves, ‘how do I create a partnership with the consumer?’ instead of pulling one over on them,” says Harvard Business School senior lecturer José Alvarez. Many customers see loyalty programs as a way of being ambushed by the retailer.
Many retailers see smartphones as a successful way of engaging customers—but are they?
I have to wonder if they are taking into account the real numbers.
- Asian Americans 67.3%
- Hispanics 57.3%
- African Americans 54.4%
- Whites 44.7%
Now take a look how the money breaks down.
Stop & Shop recently rolled out Scan It! Mobile, an app that turns a customer’s iPhone into a mobile scanner and checkout.
Gender-wise, smartphone use is nearly identical, 50.9% women 50.1% men, but age is a different story, with two out of three 25-34 year-olds having smartphones.
The median net worth of households headed by someone 65 or older is $170,494, 42 percent higher than in 1984, while the median net worth for younger-age households is $3,662, down 68 percent from a quarter century ago, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center.
I’m a long way from being any kind of expert, but it seems to me that basing a loyalty/customer engagement model on smartphones, let alone iPhones, doesn’t make much sense when viewed through the lens of actual usage and related income stats.