Friday,20 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1178, (2 - 8 January 2014)
Friday,20 October, 2017
Issue 1178, (2 - 8 January 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Mobile customer loyalty

Nielsen
Nielsen
Al-Ahram Weekly

EGYPTIAN consumers are known for their search for the best shopping deals and offers, and a recent survey by Nielsen, the global information company, showed that 92 per cent of Egyptians were more likely to shop at retailers that offered loyalty programmes, marketing schemes that reward members with purchase incentives, Nesma Nowar reports.
The results came despite the fact that only 36 per cent of those surveyed said that such programmes were available where they shopped.
Electronics and mobile phones won the highest loyalty sentiments of Egyptian customers, with 37 per cent of respondents claiming complete loyalty to mobile phone brands, personal computer brands (31 per cent) and mobile service providers (28 per cent). The previous three categories scored the highest percentages across the 16 categories measured by the survey.
On the other hand, Egyptian respondents reported the lowest levels of loyalty to food and beverage categories, as 36 per cent of Egyptian consumers surveyed said they were not loyal and were likely to switch brands of snacks. The results were 33 per cent in cereal categories and 30 per cent in carbonated soft drinks.
Egyptians also reported low loyalty levels to online retailers and supermarkets, where 42 per cent of respondents said they were not loyal to online retailers and 25 per cent were not loyal to supermarkets or retailers.
Tamer Al-Arabi, Nielsen’s managing director for Egypt and the Levant, ascribed this to the fact that promotions in snack and beverage categories pushed consumers to shop around for deals. Retailers were more focused on offering new promotions each month than connecting with the unique needs of their shoppers, he said.
Al-Arabi said that retailers should be investing in loyalty programmes that gave them valuable insights into how to better meet customer needs. “Savvy retailers should work hard to find new and innovative ways to achieve the benefits most important to their customers,” Al-Arabi said in a statement.
Loyalty programmes are important for customers due to the benefits they offer them. According to the survey, 69 per cent of Egyptian respondents said that discounted or free products were the most valuable loyalty programme benefit. Enhanced customer service and free shipping incentives followed by 60 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively.
The benefits of a loyalty programme tend to shape customers’ choice of a certain brand and their decision to switch from one brand to another. The survey showed that 35 per cent of Egyptians polled said that getting a better price would encourage them to switch brands, service providers or retailers, followed by better quality and a better service agreement.
“While good prices may initially offer consumers enough motivation to change allegiance to a new product, they won’t keep consumers for long if the product doesn’t deliver on its promise,” said Al-Arabi. “Getting the price/value equation right, having products in stock, and offering a satisfying shopping experience are vital ways to build long-lasting customer loyalty.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries throughout the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America to evaluate consumer views on loyalty levels across 16 categories including fast-moving consumer goods, technology products and retail establishments.
The survey found that on average more respondents claimed to be not loyal than completely loyal to brands, service providers and retailers. Most respondents said they were mostly loyal, or unlikely to switch brands or providers without significant incentives.
Respondents in the Middle East/Africa showed the highest percentage of complete loyalty for mobile phone brands with 35 per cent and mobile service providers with 28 per cent, exceeding the global average. They were also the most loyal to snack brands compared to other regions with 21 per cent for each.
Other Nielsen studies indicate that while availability and choice may be contributing factors for the level of loyalty, loyal brand patronage is highly correlated with consumers in the Middle East region.
“In our region, we see evidence of highly price-sensitive consumers choosing brands that are not always the lowest-price alternative,” said Al-Arabi. “Making a switch from a tried-and-true product to something new can represent a trade-off that consumers with little discretionary income are not willing to make.”
“New brand adopters are usually found among consumers with higher socioeconomic status,” he commented.

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