Creative Marketing | 2/08/2022

Retailers in a recession: creating a retention strategy that succeeds

Posted by Chloe Seabrook

With several indicators pointing towards a recession in the UK, retailers need to buckle up and act strategically if they are to weather the storm. Brand loyalty, changing consumer habits and creating value are all areas to consider.

According to market research company, GfK, consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since the firm started tracking it in 1974. Shoppers are already reining in their expenditure and trading down so let’s dive in and see what lessons from the pandemic retailers can learn to see them through.

A data-driven strategy

Here at Fox&Bear we love nothing more than deep diving into data to find out what’s working, what’s not, why your customers are engaging in different services and how we can translate this data into a meaningful strategy that will help drive revenue, new customers, or brand loyalty – whatever your key objective is.

As people tighten their purse strings, consumer habits change, so don’t be afraid to re-visit your latest customer data, website analytics or social media engagement. What people deem essential and non-essential is likely to change so it’s important to look at how you’re positioning products and how you’re communicating value. It’s also worth noting that Google data will no longer be processed in Universal Analytics. Instead, Google will be offering Google Analytics 4 as the go-to digital marketing analytics platform. You can read all about that here to get fully up-to-speed.

Grow loyalty through marketing

We know that people buy people and when you look at some of the world’s most successful brands, their stories, history, and heritage all play a part in deeming why they are successful, why they have long-standing customers and why those customers are their biggest brand advocates. Retaining customers is also on average five times cheaper than attracting new ones and if you already have a pool of loyal customers, they’re likely to stick with you even when times are hard, rather than run the risk of trying something new.

Email marketing can be an excellent channel to support brand loyalty offering a truly personalised experience through targeted offers, news and stories. Use this channel to remind your loyal customers why they love your brand and your products and don’t be afraid to be honest and open. Consumers value trust and authenticity so be sure to share your brand’s own challenges and support your customers.

Create value

While many brands will start slashing prices in a bid to retain customers, the smart and savvy retailers will use this as an opportunity to create value and re-frame consumers’ habits and spending. Did you know that Amazon launched its first Kindle just as the global financial crisis was unfolding in late 2007. Amazon created value here and people continued to buy even though it was a new product. Take a step back to review your current product list and see how the products fit into your customer’s lives.

Before you start slashing prices in a bid to stay afloat, take a look at how your business faired through the pandemic. What worked? What didn’t? How did you pull through and come out on top? If we’ve got one final piece of advice it would be to stop and review before you make any big decisions. Look at your customer, sales and marketing data to ensure you’re pulling back in the right areas.

We’ve got a whole den of experience working on retailer marketing strategies and we’d be more than happy to have a chat with you about your strategy. Say hello here!