Feb 2, 2022
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Webstores must work harder to stop consumers switching brands - report

Feb 2, 2022

Attracting customers to your website is one thing, keeping them is another. If you didn’t realise it already, UK e-commerce businesses need to work harder to prevent consumers switching brands, according to new research from Fresh Relevance suggests.


A survey of  2,000 respondents shows that 35% frequently try new brands and have no problem switching from a brand they have used previously. Meanwhile, 42% say they prefer shopping with brands they have previously shopped with but would switch to a different brand depending on the circumstances.

So why do consumers switch brands? Price sensitivity, mostly. Some 40% have switched brands in the past because a different brand offered a better price. 

In addition to price, convenience is a key factor when it comes to loyalty, with 27% staying loyal to brands that make it easy to buy again. Delivering great customer service (24%) is also a key factor in retaining loyal customers.

For 33%, family and friend referrals, the desire to try something new, along with stock availability are other reasons for switching.

Has the Covid-19 pandemic affected customer loyalty? Not for 47%, but 23% did say they have switched more frequently since the pandemic began.

And 23% of consumers said they tried a new brand during Black Friday or Christmas 2021. This was particularly the case for younger consumers, with 38% of respondents aged 16-34 saying they purchased from a brand for the first time during this period. 

“This reflects changing consumer behaviour and is something for e-commerce businesses to be aware of next peak season,” the report said.

CEO & co-founder of Fresh Relevance, Mike Austin, said: “There are a number of easy yet highly impactful ways to improve customer loyalty and deter consumers from switching brands. These include optimising out-of-stock pages, implementing a referral programme, segmenting returning customers to target them with loyalty perks, and setting up triggered emails, such as replenishment messages, to improve customer service.”

Austin added: “While it might be unrealistic to frequently add new products to your store, things can be kept fresh and engaging through the use of targeted promotions, recommending related or similar products to those the customer usually buys. Recommendations along with back-in-stock email are two fundamentals in combating stock related customer churn.”

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