An innovative solution to loyalty marketing at eTail’s summit for ecommerce leaders and NRF Converge

eTail ecommerce shopping

Ecommerce competition is fiercer than ever, fueled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it harder than ever for brands to maintain customer loyalty. Forrester predicts that in 2021, marketing message volume will increase by 40%, forcing brands to become more innovative to stand out from the competition. Forrester also predicts that loyalty and retention-based marketing spend will increase by 30% – because there is some economic uncertainty, brands want to ensure they’re staying top of mind and retaining the customers they have. 

Why is customer loyalty so important?

  • Loyal customers are not as easily swayed by price or availability – they’re willing to wait and spend more for the brands they like
  • Loyal customers are repeat purchasers – they keep coming back to brands they love
  • Loyal customers will recommend your brand to family and friends

Research shows that emotion is the primary driver of customer loyalty

Forrester research shows that emotion – or how an experience makes a customer feel – is the most important dimension to creating and sustaining brand loyalty. It is more important than “effectiveness”, meaning the experience drove value, and “ease”, meaning that it was not difficult to get value from the experience.

Forrester also asked customers about 27 emotions and studied how each affects customer retention, enrichment, and advocacy (the three pillars of customer loyalty) – they found six emotions that most often create loyalty across industries:

  • Happy
  • Delighted
  • Appreciated
  • Confident
  • Respected
  • Valued

Brands should make sure customers are feeling these emotions in their interactions, or risk losing them to the competition.

Using customer segmentation to create emotion and brand loyalty

One new tactic that brands are integrating into their customer acquisition and loyalty strategy is the use of segmentation and affinity marketing – tapping into who a consumer is as a person (military, first responder, teacher, student, nurse, etc.) and using that to create a sense of emotion and brand loyalty. Some brands are doing this by offering exclusive offers and discounts to members of certain affinity groups through platforms like – and they’re seeing impressive results: 25% increase in target customer acquisition, 30-40% increase in average order value, and 300% ROI.

Members of affinity groups also say that they prefer to purchase from brands that offer exclusive incentives:

  • 68% of military members/spouses prefer to purchase from brands that offer military discounts
  • 84% of teachers are more loyal to brands that offer teacher discounts
  • 65% of nurses are more likely to purchase from brands with special promotions for nurses

Hear one teacher’s enthusiasm for the discounts she receives from her favorite brands through in this TikTok video.

Get more on this topic at eTail Summit and NRF Converge will be discussing this topic at NRF Converge on June 22nd 11:30-11:45 am EDT and eTail on June 29th 11:40-11:55am EDT. At eTail, we will be joined by three partners, TrueCar, Verizon, and Under Armour, who are true thought leaders in this space and will be sharing innovative ideas with the audience.

Register for these events to watch our sessions and visit our booth! You can also contact us here before the event to schedule a call with us to discuss your brand’s loyalty marketing strategy.

Sources: Forrester, Webinar: B2C Marketing Predictions 2021, 2021, Forrester, The US Customer Experience Index, 2020, Military Survey, Teacher Survey, “The Pulse of the Nurse Shopper” Survey