Decoding Loyalty

The Dual Pillars of Customer Loyalty: Emotional and Behavioral Insights

Loyalty has two distinct aspects: behaviors and emotions. Behavioral loyalty is about predicting what a customer will buy next based on their past purchases; however, it doesn't tell us how easy or hard it would be to change a customer's shopping patterns. For instance, how might a customer's behaviors change if their preferred brand or store becomes involved in a social media debate? On the other hand, emotional loyalty is about a customer's affection for a brand. Data on emotional loyalty can help us understand which brands or stores a customer might consider. However, without behavior data it can't reliably predict the final choice at shelf. This choice can be influenced by sales, new products, or items being out of stock.

There is a trend among brands and retailers to unify these two types of loyalty. Brands partner with Ipsos to create virtual simulations of shopping experiences that capture both behavior and emotional responses in various situations. By placing shoppers in a virtual store, giving them a specified mission under designed conditions, capturing how they shop and following up with related questions about their behaviors and purchases as well as their opinions about the retailer, brands, and overall experience, we break down those barriers to loyalty. 

This helps them grasp how significant an emotional reaction needs to be to disrupt behaviors and how significant a behavioral intervention needs to be to override emotional ties. Having this insight at the individual level allows shopper marketers to continuously present the optimal shopping experience to drive purchasing today and tomorrow.

Brendan Light

Global Head of Virtual Experience