What drives customer loyalty for your consignment shop?

October 9, 2015

Think about what makes you loyal to a particular shop. Is it the convenience of their location? Is it the friendliness of the employees? Has the store created a fun shopping experience with merchandising and unique items? Price is always key for most consumers, but in a study released in September by Synchrony Financial titled “The Retail Customer Experience“, certain actions by a shop were found to improve the customer loyalty. Here are those 4 key customer experiences that will build loyalty in shoppers. I have to preface this particular post by saying I don’t agree with two of them, but who am I to question a scientific study?

Build customer loyalty by letting them pick their own sale item

According to Synchrony this ranked highest in the survey, with 42% of customers finding this a valuable shopping feature. Customers love to feel they have some control over when and how they save. They also feel this helps to “personalize” the shopping experience. Hobby Lobby offers a weekly online coupon where you can save 40% off one regularly priced item and I’ve always been a sucker for it. I love the feeling that I’ve saved on the items I choose not that Hobby Lobby chooses for me.

Hassle-free returns builds loyalty

This was noted by 41% of respondents as important. Their favorite benefits included no time limit, no need for a receipt and free postage on returns. Many consignment, thrift and antique stores do not allow returns and I must admit I have a problem with no time limit or receipt. These services were started by some of the biggest chain department stores such as J C Penney’s, Sears and Macy’s. To apply this service to a smaller resale shop seems very difficult. However, offering a “buyer’s remorse” time period or a set 14- day return policy is possible to help build customer loyalty.

No coupons needed to always get the sale price

Let’s face it, the days of clipping coupons are dwindling. Nearly 40% of survey participants automatically wanted the lowest price without having to clip or find discounts listed elsewhere. Like the Hobby Lobby coupon listed above, shoppers want to receive deals on their smartphones and many of the larger stores are beginning to use “beacons.” A beacon will target a customer in a particular department of a store and immediately send a message about a special price on an item they’re currently viewing. I, for one, find that creepy but Millennials are all about it. This would be the second experience in the study I have a problem with especially as a marketer. Often I suggest using coupons to draw customers back in to the shop. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Boomer and I still love a coupon.

hands holding Earn points to redeem for extra savings

Ranked by 33% of shoppers as an important benefit, rewards points are still a strong loyalty builder. Often a solid Rewards Points program can lead them to spend more with the shop when rewards are easy to accumulate and redeem. Many POS systems such as SimpleConsign have a built-in Rewards Points program that you can easily implement without the use of punch cards, etc.

A final point of the survey also worth mentioning is that 73% of shoppers at apparel stores will shop more often as a result of helpful, attentive associates; clothes they like and a variety of merchandise; and good value and prices. I suppose 2 out of 4 ain’t bad when it comes to agreeing with this particular survey.

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy, “Why your shoppers leave empty-handed

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Coordinator for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.