About 90% of consumers said they're equally or more brand loyal than they were a year ago, according to a new survey from e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they're loyal to up to five brands, while 26.2% said they are loyal to between six and 10 brands.
Product inspires brand loyalty most (77.8%), followed by price (63%). Customer service and the brand's loyalty program also drive customers to return (26.1% and 22.3%, respectively).
It takes time to build brand loyalty. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they need to buy from the same company five or more times to consider themselves loyal, while 33% said they must shop from the same company three times.
Shoppers tie loyalty to frequency, according to this survey. Nearly 68% of respondents said that being "brand loyal" means they tend to buy from the same brand, while about 40% said loyalty means they love the brand. Almost 38% said that loyalty meant buying from the brand even when competitors had lower prices.
But what keeps them coming back? "To win, brands need to stay at the top of their game by offering amazing products at a fair price and creating valuable experiences worth coming back to," Yotpo CEO and co-founder Tomer Tagrin said in a statement. "The survey shows that even loyalty programs need to excite to drive engagement."
Loyalty programs have received added attention from retailers lately as they look to earn repeat visits from customers. Macy's, Target and Nordstrom have added new options for shoppers to earn rewards without a store credit card. H&M in May rolled out its loyalty program to the U.S. with two tiers of membership and a partnership with blowout chain Drybar. A 2019 report from Gartner found that 78% of loyalty programs offer experiential rewards compared to 61% the year prior; those rewards included birthday perks, early product or sale access, and event invitations.
That shift toward experiential rewards indicates a new understanding for retailers that loyalty must be earned with something beyond the mere occasional coupon. With more ways to shop and pay and more direct-to-consumer brands gaining traction, Yotpo's survey provides a reminder that price, while a driver of repeat business, isn't always a top measure of brand loyalty. Customer satisfaction in the product will keep them coming back.
That loyalty can mean a lot to retailers looking to score big during the holiday season. Forty-one percent of people surveyed by Yotpo said they are more likely to buy something from a brand they love when shopping for holiday gifts.