Leads to loyalty and acquisition into retention: How can retailers drive sustainable growth in 2024?

Tips & Tricks
May 16, 2024

It’s hard to overstate the size of Australia’s retail industry. Collectively, 155,000 businesses account for 11% of total GDP and employ almost one-and-a-half million Australians. In 2023, we spent over $63 billion in ecommerce alone. Needless to say, it's an incredibly competitive market, where the battle for attention and wallet share is intense. It’s being compounded by economic pressures, which are making shoppers more discerning in the brands they engage with.

Earning their loyalty is essential for all retailers, irrespective of their size - and particularly in the saturated, competitive ecommerce space. By most forecasts, customer retention is anywhere between four and eight times more cost-effective than customer acquisition. At SHOPLINE, we believe in relationships rather purely than transactions, and that relationships incentivise loyalty and repeat purchasing. To understand how retailers are approaching not only loyalty, and many other things, SHOPLINE recently conducted and launched our Unified Commerce Benchmarking Study.

But what did the research find? And how can retailers turn one-off shoppers into brand ambassadors? 

Generating Loyalty 

To enhance customer engagement and incentivise loyalty, our research found that membership and loyalty programs stand out as the most effective tools for incentivising repeat purchases and fostering brand advocacy according to 60% of retailers. This is particularly prominent for very large retailers - those with a GVM (gross value merchandising) of AUD$100 million or more. In fact, the vast majority (89%) of these respondents have implemented loyalty or membership programs, which they’re using to incentivise repeat purchases and pursue sustainable, long-term growth.

However, adoption rates are much lower amongst small retailers - those with a GVM of less than AUD$10 million - with just 31% offering loyalty programs to their customers. Based on the results  retailers of all sizes achieve through SHOPLINE loyalty programs, it’s critical for small retailers to address this lack of adoption. We provide solutions for customer activation and repurchase to help turn customers into loyal, engaged members. For example, through SHOPLINE’s Member System, retailers can create tiers that reward their top customers with exclusive perks, increase engagement and repeat purchases with points and even use customers as ambassadors with referral codes.

Of those that already do deploy loyalty programs, many aren’t fully optimising their approach. In fact, just 49% are available across multiple channels. To truly unlock the potential of their loyalty program, retailers must embrace a unified approach. Unified commerce is a holistic experience across all customer touchpoints. If retailers can successfully roll out loyalty programs that recognise how shoppers purchase in-store and online, rather than just one or another, they’ll be able to provide greater rewards - and therefore, greater incentives for their customers to become more regular shoppers.

Retention and Revenue

At SHOPLINE, we understand the impact of customer retention, particularly today when economic headwinds and competition continue to intensify. Global retail giants like Amazon, Temu and Shein are fantastic examples of the impact of repeat purchasing. Whether it’s product choice, delivery optionality or eye-catching price points, they’re winning the loyalty of millions of Aussie shoppers.

While their reach and resources dwarf those of many local retailers, through unified commerce and loyalty programs, retailers can turn one-off shoppers into repeat customers. Through SHOPLINE’s unified platform, we provide the tools retailers of all sizes need to reach customers, build member systems, manage orders and inventory, manage every channel, streamline the payment process and analyse every aspect of their operation.

Through this holistic, unified approach retailers have the ideal foundation on which to launch their loyalty program. SHOPLINE retailers who clearly define the goals and structure of their loyalty scheme, offer meaningful rewards and incentives, gamify the experience, integrate the experience across one unified platform, and encourage social shares and referrals are driving significant gains. 

Australia’s retail industry is vibrant and competitive. Despite cost-of-living pressures, Aussies spent over AUD$361 billion on retail goods in 2023. With 155,000 businesses vying for the attention of their audience’s loyalty, standing out can be a challenge. The retailers - irrespective of their GVM, what they sell and who they sell it to - who will lead by example in the months and years ahead are those who understand the power of loyalty and the strategies that incentivise it.  

Curious to see how SHOPLINE can help you reach your commerce goals? Book in your demo today and see how easy it is to grow your business with SHOPLINE:

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