What’s at the heart of any business? Products, services, profits? All of these things are important, but at its core, a business is about people.
The way you engage with your customers will shape the future of your company, in more ways than one. It only takes a matter of minutes for an unhappy customer to post about their experiences online, devastating the value of your brand on a public platform. On the other hand, customers can boost your brand image with positive reviews and continued loyalty.
Engaging with your customers will tell you a lot about them too—their pain points, expectations, needs, and challenges. These factors, in turn, will help you fine-tune your strategy to strengthen the relationships you build with your target audience.
Looking towards post-pandemic retail customer engagement, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the market. By staying ahead of the industry’s curve, you can be proactive in optimizing your marketing and customer engagement strategies and adapting to the kind of market shifts we saw in 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this guide, we’ve collected the most insightful customer engagement statistics in one place to help you refine your plan for 2021 and beyond. First things first, though, because it is very important to understand why investing resources in data mining the industry statistics can prove to be beneficial for any brand.
What You Can Learn from Analyzing Customer Engagement Statistics
Data-driven marketing offers industry leaders the chance to get a competitive advantage in both market growth and customer satisfaction. Analyzing customer engagement statistics of recent years can help you identify emerging trends that have the potential to skyrocket customer loyalty and CLV.
With a combination of both information pulled from data analytics and broader customer engagement trends, you can make decisions informed by retail data, behavioral data, and more to sharpen your retail customer engagement strategy.
Emerging Customer Engagement Trends in the Retail Industry
After the transformation of the retail industry in 2020, the landscape is set to shift even more in 2021. While the stakes might not be as high, marketers need to keep their eye on the evolution of retail customer engagement. Some behaviors driven by the pandemic have become permanent, while other technologies are being adapted to fit the new world.
Here are a few key customer engagement trends to know for 2021:
- 85% of marketing executives report that “significantly more” of their marketing decisions will be based on analytics in 2022. (Gartner)
- About 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. (PWC)
- A Microsoft report found that by 2025, 95% of customer interactions will be through AI-powered channels. (Microsoft)
- The pandemic increased the urgency of digital transformation, with a 65% increase in digital customer interaction during the pandemic. (McKinsey)
- 91% of customers report that they are more likely to shop with brands who recognize and remember them, as well as offer relevant offers and recommendations. (Accenture)
- The global augmented reality (AR) market, including “try before you buy” and scannable QR codes, is expected to reach $75 billion by 2023. (Think For Impact)
- 43% of consumers have increased their use of social media to discover new products and brands. (Marketing Charts)
- Another 80% of consumers now expect companies to interact with them on their socials. (Convince & Convert)
Omnichannel Retail Customer Engagement Statistics
The modern-day consumer demands consistency across different channels, whether it’s in-app, SMS, or social media. Providing a seamless experience across all platforms is becoming a priority.
More and more, consumers are also demanding the omnichannel experience:
- Nine out of 10 consumers want a seamless omnichannel experience. (CX Today)
- While 71% of all consumers want a consistent service experience across all channels, only 29% report that they’re getting it. (Gladly)
- Around 60% of millennials expect a consistent brand experience whether in-store, online, or communicating by phone. (SDL)
- 49% of consumers buy from their favorite omnichannel companies at least once per week. (MarTech)
- 90% of consumers expect companies to have an online portal for customer service. (Microsoft)
- More than 60% of consumers prefer resolving basic customer service problems through a website or app. (American Express)
Despite the high demand, not all businesses are making omnichannel retail customer engagement a priority — and this can come at a cost:
- The number of companies investing in omnichannel engagement has increased from 20% in 2012 to more than 80% today. (PWC)
- Nearly 90% of retail leaders agree that a seamless omnichannel strategy is critical to success. (Research Live)
- 55% of companies don’t have a cross-channel strategy. (The CMO Club)
- Not investing in omnichannel can lead to an opportunity cost of 10% in lost revenue. (VendHQ)
- 60% of companies believe they’re providing a good mobile experience, while only 22% of customers feel the same. (Qualtrics)
Statistics also show that businesses that do leverage omnichannel customer engagement can produce concrete results:
- Companies with omnichannel customer engagement see an increase in 9.5% year-over-year annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for other companies. (Aberdeen Group)
- Strong omnichannel companies also see a 7.5% year-over-year decrease in cost per contact, compared to 0.2% for other companies. (Aberdeen Group)
- Companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies without it. (Aberdeen Group)
- Omnichannel customers tend to spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. (Harvard Business Review)
- Campaigns with four or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300%. (Gartner Research)
- Marketers with seven or more marketing channels are 26% more likely to say it produces good or excellent results. (PFL)
In-Store Customer Engagement Statistics
With the onset of COVID-19, many marketers shifted their focus to digital retail sales. This means that in-store retail spending took a serious blow. 40% of US consumers reduced retail spending after the pandemic hit. Now that the world is beginning to open up, however, in-store retail customer engagement will be more important than ever, especially since 80% of shoppers state that they “feel good” when shopping in a physical store again.
Here are a few stats that outline the digital vs in-store customer engagement sphere:
- 80% of consumers will go to the store when they have an item they need or want to buy immediately. (Google)
- 61% of shoppers would rather shop at brands that have in-person locations, rather than those that are solely online. (Google)
- Consumers of all ages report that going to physical stores to buy items is their first choice, including 62% of Baby Boomers and 58% of Gen-Z. (Salesforce)
- 70% of online shoppers reported having used buy online or pick up in-store services. (Business Insider)
- 72% of digital shoppers consider the in-store experience as the most important channel when making a purchase. (Invesp)
- 71% of in-store shoppers say their smartphone has become more important to their in-store experience. (Invesp)
- Shoppers who buy from a business both in-store and online have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop through only one channel. (IDC)
- While 51% of Americans favor online shopping or eCommerce, another 49% say that not being able to try an item on in-store is their least favorite part of online shopping. (BigCommerce)
Retail Customer Experience Statistics
With technology at its fingertips, your customer base is being exposed to more options than ever before. They’re starting to expect more from brands—prioritizing customer experience above all when selecting which brands to work with.
An important challenge many businesses face is closing the customer experience gap or the difference between what customers expect and how well a brand feels they’re meeting these expectations.
Putting customers’ needs first and delivering top-notch customer experiences can significantly impact your business’s bottom line:
- 80% of customers say that their customer experience is just as important as the product or service the business provides. (Salesforce)
- 37% of companies are investing more in customer experience because they’re losing business to their competitors. (CSG)
- Consumers will pay a 16% price premium for a great customer experience. (PwC)
- Customer experience is the driving factor behind customer loyalty, more than brand and price combined. (Gartner)
- When companies offer personalized customer experiences, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase. (Epsilon)
- 40% of consumers are also more likely to spend more than they had initially planned when their customer experience is highly personalized. (BCG)
- 78% of consumers say that they’re more likely to be loyal to a company that understands them and “what they’re looking for.” (Acquia)
Customer Service Statistics
Great customer experiences can translate to customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Each engagement a customer has with a company—from social media to in-person interactions—plays a role in their customer experience. However, neglecting customer experience can damage not only your sales, but the overall reputation of the company.
Statistics show that consumers highly value good customer service:
- 89% of consumers report switching to a competitor after a poor customer service experience. (Harris Interactive)
- 91% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and 84% of them trusted those reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. (BrightLocal)
- When considering making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price. (Gartner)
- 66% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 say that they expect more from customer service than they did last year. (Microsoft)
- When they’ve had a bad experience, 95% of consumers share those experiences with others. (Zendesk)
- After one bad experience with a company, 17% of consumers will walk away. After several bad experiences, 59% will leave. (PWC)
- It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience. (Parature)
When customer service is a priority, businesses reap the benefits:
- Businesses that deliver better customer experiences can expect to see revenues between 4% and 8% above their market. (Bain & Company)
- 81% of companies that deliver excellent customer experiences are outperforming their competition (Peppers & Rogers Group)
- 52% of customers say that they made an additional purchase from a business after a positive customer service experience (Dimensional Research)
- Bringing in new customers costs anywhere between five and 25 times more than retaining existing customers (Harvard Business Review)
- A 5% increase in customer retention can produce 25% more profit (Bain & Company)
Customer Engagement Social Media Statistics
Social media can be a powerful tool for many reasons: It boosts brand awareness, expands marketing reach and ROI, and can drive new consumers to your business.
It’s also a critical tool for retail customer engagement. Consumers may turn to your social media pages to learn more about the products you offer, check out your reviews, and resolve customer service complaints. Engaging with your customers on all platforms is crucial to building a long-lasting relationship.
Over the past few years, social media has expanded in popularity — and become increasingly important to the marketing space:
- In 2020, 28% of customer service leaders listed social media engagement as a “top priority” for their company. (Adobe)
- Over 53% of the world’s population is on social media. (Hootsuite)
- 54% of consumers who browse social platforms say they use it to research products. (Global Web Index)
- 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out, but average response rates across all industries are lower than 25%. (Sprout Social)
- 15% of companies say more than 25% of their customer service requests are initiated over social channels. (Salesforce)
- Customer service interactions over Twitter have increased 250% over two years. (Conversocial)
These statistics also show that good engagement over social media can lead to powerful results:
- Answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by 25%. (Convince & Convert)
- Companies that don’t respond to comments on social media face up to a 15% increase in churn rate. (Gartner)
- Resolving a customer service complaint on social media is 83% cheaper than through a call center interaction. (Go Globe)
Turning the Retail Customer Engagement Statistics into Action
Looking back at these statistics for the past few years, it’s clear that 2021 and beyond is headed in one direction: customer-centric marketing.
In the post-pandemic era, it’s no longer enough to just offer good deals and high-quality products or services. Your customers’ expectations have evolved, and in order to win their loyalty, you’ll need to be more strategic and flexible than ever.
This means keeping an eye on the latest industry trends and making adjustments to your business strategy will be of critical importance in the post-COVID-19 era. It all comes down to focusing on your consumer, analyzing the data, leveraging technology, and then developing a comprehensive strategy based on these insights.
If you can put these retail customer engagement statistics into action, you’ll be on track to boost customer engagement, increase customer loyalty, and skyrocket the company’s financial balance sheets.