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RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

Online retailers caught in the net of catfishing

More than three quarters (80 per cent) of consumers now consider post-purchase and delivery experience as fundamental to their desire to buy again from the same retailer, according to a study which found that customers feel ‘catfished’ if they are passed from one company to another.

Customer loyalty firm Narvar’s survey of 2,000 UK consumers suggested that online shoppers increasingly expect to receive delivery updates directly from the brand they have bought from, rather than a third-party delivery company – an experience that has been likened to the online dating phenomena of catfishing, in which a false image is used to lure in a potential mate.

The study also revealed that 74.4 per cent of all one-star reviews on TrustPilot cited poor delivery communications.

Half of online shoppers also said that building up an emotional connection to a brand or retailer was likely to affect how regularly they shop.

This emotional connection extended to a quarter saying a positive experience would likely make them more loyal to a brand than they are to other major relationships in their life – including their partner (4 per cent), their friends (6 per cent), their hometown (7 per cent) or their current job (8 per cent).

Twenty per cent of British consumers are more loyal to these brands and retailers than they are to the Royal Family, according to the study.

Anthony Gavin, EMEA regional director at Narvar, said: “Consumers have been clear that they don’t want to be ‘catfished’ by brands and retailers – we know that consumers expect to receive proactive communications about their order and delivery after a sale.

“When these communications aesthetically reflect the brand too, customers are even more emotionally engaged. This is so important as brands and retailers look to differentiate and build genuine loyalty in a highly competitive environment.”

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