Building Customer Loyalty with the 4 Cs

Online retail is a competitive space, and brands and retailers need to do more to cement loyalty with customers than offer discount codes and coupons. Recently, we zeroed in on the landscape in the UK, seeking an answer to the question, "What moments make UK consumers repeat-purchase?"

To understand the impact of customer experience on whether a customer makes another purchase, we surveyed 2,000 (UK) consumers. Now, for the first time, the retail industry in the UK can see which key ingredients make up a perfect post-sale experience.

This study reveals that retailers need to offer their customers communication, choice, control and connection—the essential building blocks for brand loyalty.  

Communication: No news is NOT good news

Communication is the foundation for loyalty. We found that 81% of consumers agree that receiving proactive updates on the progress of an order is a critical factor in their decision to buy again.  Specifically, 80% want proactive updates about delivery schedules, even if it is to tell them about a delay. Poor communication around delivery statuses are one of the most regularly cited reasons for a 1-star review on TrustPilot.

Choice: Customers want options

Choice leads to loyalty, as 80% of survey participants say they were more likely to be loyal to brands and retailers that offer a range of convenient and flexible delivery options. They're looking for estimated delivery dates as well: 74% say that this information on a pre-purchase page was an important factor in their likelihood of making a repeat purchase.

Providing delivery information before the "buy" button answers vital questions before customers need to ask them. Improving the customer journey gives the customer more confidence and is the second step to building a loyal customer base.

Control: Empower your customers

Customers like to feel in control.

60% of UK consumers are more likely to return to a brand or retailer to make another purchase when they’re able to choose how a brand or retailer communicates with them (e.g., email, SMS, chatbot, voice, etc.).  

Equally, 60% of consumers value brands and retailers that continue to communicate with them even after they've bought something and don't send them to third-party websites for delivery tracking updates.


Connecting with a brand emotionally is the final rung in the Hierarchy of Post -Purchase Needs, and occurs once the first three criteria have been met. Customers want to be valued and “not just another order number.”

While customers might still like a good deal, cutting prices and offering discount codes is only good for short-term wins. In order to build true brand loyalty, 53% of consumers say that thoughtful and personal experiences are more important than discounts.

On average, returning customers spend 67% more than new customers. By perfecting the 4 Cs, brands and retailers can make significant strides in improving customer retention and brand loyalty.

Stay tuned for more findings from the "Hierarchy of Post-Purchase Needs" report later this year.

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