Retail has always been a hugely customer-centric industry, but inflation and the increased cost-of-living has redefined consumer demands. Customers are looking for value and are much more likely to shop around for the best deals before making a purchase.

This presents the following three opportunities for retailers in 2024. 

  1. Consumers are savvier than ever which presents unique opportunities to offer personalised offers and content

Retailers across all categories are facing strong headwinds with rising interest rates and high inflation resulting in a cost-of-living crisis among ANZ households.

The rising cost-of-living pressures are impacting brand loyalty with consumers now more open to product and retailer switching. Shoppers are also becoming savvier. They are spending less and delaying purchases and are also increasingly turning to cashback and loyalty programs for better deals.

This is why loyalty programs continue to grow in popularity amongst retailers and consumers alike throughout the ANZ market. With price and cost of goods becoming more of a focus, offering exciting and tangible benefits tied to a strong loyalty program will ensure retailers retain loyal customers again and again and increase the Customer Lifetime Value. So whilst there might be a short term investment to build, grow, or enhance your loyalty program, the idea is that it will pay off in the long term.

Stocard paves the way for brands to increase their visibility to a highly engaged audience, foster genuine connections and build lasting loyalty. Stocard’s has more than 5 million users in ANZ which equates to 25% of the shoppers in ANZ and 85% of these are the primary household financial decision maker.

Shoppers can effortlessly turn their smartphone into a mobile wallet and let retailers and brands connect with customers to share promotions, offers, content, and deals which can be used and applied in store and online. The average user engages with the Stocard app more than 10 times a month and on average has 11 loyalty cards stored on the platform.  We see interest in wide ranging verticals from grocery to fashion to beauty to electronics, and everything in between. This means we can provide brands and retailers with a rich behavioral data set to help them achieve their marketing goals. 

2. Significance of loyalty programs in depressed consumer spending environment

Retailers are doubling down on loyalty programs to ensure that they have differentiated marketing and communications strategies to provide personalised customer experiences that address different consumer needs. The most successful loyalty programs connect in-store to online channels, therefore creating a frictionless buying experience, while providing tangible benefits of the program to retain that sticky customer.

With so many fragmented touchpoints to consider, mobile platforms are crucial to obtaining real-time data and a 360-view of individuals. For example, by combining GPS tracking data with the retailer’s loyalty card, marketers can offer customers personalised promotions based on previous purchase history, and online and in-store shopping behavior and solutions like geo located push notifications ensure retailers can communicate with customers in and around their physical stores. Rewarding customer loyalty is essential as the cost of acquiring new customers is expensive for retailers so targeting existing customers with marketing content has the opportunity to drive a greater ROI.

One customer we have been working with to increase customer engagement with their loyalty program through promotions is Kathmandu. Stocard worked with Kathmandu not only to increase the number of customers signing up to their loyalty program, but also to reach more newly acquired customers with members-only offers. This involved a targeted campaign showcasing the member only promotions. The campaign was targeted at customers who showed an interest in adventure apparel, outdoor recreation, sports and competitor brands.

As a result of the campaign, Kathmandu Summit Club members received a more personalised digital experience of the brand through receiving personalised, members only promotions via the Stocard app. Furthermore, the campaign saw an industry leading 10.3% activation rate from the sign-ups, during the 3-month campaign period.

3. Closing the attribution loop has never been so important

Retailers that are agile and those that will succeed during times of uncertainty inevitably are the ones who get ahead of the curve and embrace change. Now is the time for retailers to partner with the broader technology ecosystem to help them make this happen.

By bridging the gap between online and offline touchpoints, mobile channels such as Stocard are highly effective at driving foot traffic and sales growth in bricks and mortar stores – particularly when combined with location-based personalisation capabilities. Stocard provides brands and retailers with first party data about their customers that purchase in store as a result of seeing promotional campaigns on the Stocard app, thus closing the attribution loop.

For example, over the last couple of years Stocard bridged the gap between Country Road’s online and offline touchpoints. As a result of the partnership, 1.4 million offers were opened by customers. 1.3 million purchases were made through geotargeting and 492,000 store purchases were made by Country Road loyalty members.

In conclusion, Stocard is excited for 2024 and how we can support our partners in the ANZ retail landscape and the wider sector in leveraging these trends.

Tyler W. Condon is head of partner success at Stocard.