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Getting into consumers’ mindset: five emotional cues that drive sales and loyalty

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Retailers that align their services with customers’ emotions increase the volume of purchases and likelihood of recommendations says a new study.

While retailers plan their customer-centric strategies under no universally agreed guidelines, what are the five main emotional triggers that drive sales and loyalty?

Consumers that find retailers’ using the same set of emotional factors in their services found in strong human relationships including the relevance of experiences, ease of shopping, transparency in communications, understanding their needs and preferences and emotional rewards for their loyalty-are likely to spend and stay loyal, suggests a study by C Space.

The study polled 26,000 US consumers to understand their rational and emotional aspects that play a part in choosing a retailer. Some 1000 companies across 19 industries were analysed to understand how much retailers’ online and in-store experiences match with their customers rational and emotional aspects.

“Customers have the ultimate power: the power of choice,” says Charles Trevail, global chief executive officer of both C Space and Interbrand.

“A choice is a powerful force and one that isn’t entirely rational. Choices are made in the context of a customer’s experience—past, present and future. It stands to reason that customers choose companies that offer better experiences—who meet our emotional needs as well as our functional ones. Companies that connect with who we want to be, not who their data says we were.”

He continues: “Our research shows that mapping emotional cues to customer experience is the key to competitive advantage and growth. The companies that customers rate most highly are the ones that understand the relevance, what to stand for and when to listen. If a customer believes a company is ‘getting it right’ they are more likely to behave in ways that help drive growth through repeat purchase, recommendation and loyalty.”

The report suggests that retailers’ growth comes from understanding shoppers emotional needs, preferences and desires and implementing these factors into their customer-centric strategies. Retailers that are taken these traits into an account saw a direct correlation between business performance, driven by customer advocacy and repeat purchasing.

“What sometimes retailers get wrong is understanding humans, their emotions, hopes, and fears,” said Dr Nick Coates, creative consultancy Director, in conversation with InternetRetailing.

Bridging the convenience and ideas gap for Christmas peak 

Dr Nick Coates adds: “Let’s think about when people buy a gift at Christmas, they think-will it be on time? There is this thing called ‘men shopping’ that is very last minute. If you’re a man and shop last minute, you want to know that your purchase will arrive quickly so you can pick it up somewhere convenient. That’s an important message to communicate.”

“Consumers struggle with ideas around Christmas. ASOS is doing a great job offering free worldwide shipping and returns. It’s about bringing shops to the customer and communicating that [seamlessness of shopping] is possible to overcome the stress people experience at Christmas. It is also about giving consumers ideas. Customers often meet a ‘tyranny of choice’ as there is so much to choose from, so how do you as a retailer make it easy for shoppers to find items that make them look cool, that’s a reasonable price?

“Retailers should use a set of services and promises [such as] ‘we guarantee the delivery by’ is what shoppers want to hear.

Image credit: Fotolia

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