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Thu 27 Dec 2018 10:57 AM

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Multichannel approach a must for UAE retailers, study shows

A new study from Collinson found that miscommunications and a failures to customise shopping experiences irritate a vast majority of UAE shoppers

Multichannel approach a must for UAE retailers, study shows

Retailers are at risk of losing their most loyal customers if they fail to take a multichannel approach, according to a new report from customer benefit and loyalty firm Collinson.

According to the report, eight in ten (81 percent) of UAE shoppers feel annoyed when they are offered promotions that are not aligned in-store and online, while the same percentage of shoppers said they become irritated when retailers show favouritism towards new customers by offering them exclusive discounts.

More than half (57 percent) of shoppers said they would be annoyed if their favourite retailers failed to use their data on preferences and past purchase behaviour to customise the shopping experience and instead send them generic sales references that aren’t relevant to them.

A vast majority of respondents (78 percent) said that missing out on offers from brands because of a failure to communicate makes them unhappy, while 75 percent of shoppers said they dislike having to search for discounts rather than being made aware of them directly.

Other retail-related sources of irritation included not being offered experiences as well as discounts (54 percent), extending promotional offers beyond a certain deadline (73 percent) and not participating in special sales periods during the year (70 percent).

The study also found a failure by many brands to encourage shoppers to purchase again, with 55 percent of UAE shoppers reporting having received irrelevant information and offers. Less than half (43 percent) said they’d only been contacted about sales and promotions, while 47 percent said they hadn’t heard back from retailers after having made a purchase.

“Sales and promotions are now expected within the retail calendar, but brands must be aware of the impact they can have on long-term customer loyalty and revenue if handled badly,” said Collinson general manager Sanjit Gill. “In a competitive environment, a retailer’s failure to continually recognise the preferences of loyal customers – even during sales periods – could cost them that shopper.”

Gill added that “there is no excuse for letting personalisation slip” if proper data has been collected.

“Using this data to understand the expectations of shoppers and targeting them with relevant offers, experiences and communications that resonate during a sale and beyond, is critical to maintaining long-term customer devotion,” he added.

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