Email is the most popular engagement channel among mass-market retailers. But it is not the fastest-growing during this inflationary period, judging by the Verint Guide To Customer Engagement in the Retail Industry, a two-part study released Friday.
The study shows that retailers are using these channels to connect with their customers:
However, email volume is not growing as quickly that of some other channels:
Yet email is in a three-way tie for first place among channels that have been automated:
This is happening as consumers express economic uncertainty. Of those polled, 62% are less confident in the current state of the economy.
Among those in the 55-74 age range, that figure rises to 78%. But only 47% of people aged 18-24 are less confident.
What are consumers doing about it? Of those who are less confident, 88% are spending less/saving more.
Specifically, they are cutting back on:
Loyalty is critical in this climate — 91% of consumers regularly buy from their favorite mass market retailers, 33% weekly. And 42% spend at least $100.
But only 23% buy from new retailers at least once a week. Moreover, a mere 22% have purchased from a mass-market retailer for the first time. But 76% of those that have returned for additional buys.
What drives retail loyalty? Consumers want:
That last number is surprising, for 88% also say they are likely to make repeat purchases following a positive experiences, and 82% to recommend the company to friends or family.
How are retailers staying in touch? These channels are experiencing the following volumes:
Here are the channels retailers plan to add in the next 12 months. Perhaps because it is already so widely used, email does not appear in this list:
Verint surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers and 200 businesses in July, 2022.