Experiences influence where consumers choose to spend their money, according to findings from a study released on Monday.
The Merkle study, which collected data on March 22, 2019, analyzes the types of emotional experiences that spur long-term connected relationships with brands.
Findings suggest 66% of consumers care more about the experience than price when it comes to making a purchase, and 52% of online shoppers say they stopped shopping on a brand website after having a poor site experience.
Experiences are often more powerful in driving customer loyalty than price. By delivering positive and unique customer experiences with a focus on digital, companies can gain the loyalty of each customer.
Attracting new customers may bring visitors to a website, but an excellent customer experience is essential to ensuring the acquisition budget pays off in returns.
Amazon, Apple and Nike were the top mentioned brands in the study when it comes to delivering a personalized experience, with Amazon being cited by more than half of respondents. The top three cited reasons were: easy to work with, great customer service and fast deliveries.
The study shows Amazon developed the Prime membership, where consumers pay for a personalized experience. Apple sells a lifestyle, rather than the products. Nike attracted consumers by monitoring preferences and shifting the focus from products to the individual’s reaction.
Respondents cited unknown quality as the top hesitation to trying a new brand. Overcoming customer fears of the unknown improves overall customer perceptions, but marketers can better understand the potential and existing hesitations by determining consumer motivations, pain points and behavior that drives purchases.
Recommendations are the top way to trust an unknown brand.
Merkle’s research also found that brands don’t necessarily compete with other brands, but rather they compete for consumer time and trust based on culture, according to Andrew Galup, marketing coordinator at Merkle, who penned a post on experience earlier in June.
He wrote that more brands are shifting from focusing on the products to building customer partnerships. Building on relationships should come first, products then follow.