Consumers inevitably have different feelings about brands and how likely they are to use and re-use a particular service - but is loyalty diluted because of the web?
Some marketing gurus have suggested that brand loyalty is dead, or pretty close to being something from a bygone age.
Those pesky millennials are apparently to blame, inevitably, plus constant connectivity to the web has given consumers more choice - thus making it harder to create loyalty.
The tourism sector, in particular, is supposedly under huge pressure to create loyalty due to leisure travel not being a frequent purchase and price (rather than value) driving decisions.
Perhaps so, but Facebook has spent some time this year trying to fathom out how far (or not) the loyalty-is-dead argument goes.
The social networking giant asked almost 15,000 adults in the US about their buying habits and feelings towards brands online in five verticals (car insurance, airlines, hotels, grocery and restaurants).
The headline finding is that 77% of people across all five verticals will return to the same brands again - however, broken down that figure is split between "brand loyalists" (37% - make repeat purchases and a loyal to a company) and "repeat purchasers" (buy again but not loyal to a company).
Some of the key travel elements in the research include the following:
"Travel loyalty is driven by trust and by emotive values"
- 24% of airline brand loyalists value service and 17% value trust, while 35% of repeat purchasers value price and 21% value flight availability
- 23% of hotel brand loyalists value service and 21% value trust, while 31% of repeat purchasers value locations and 30% value price.
"Millennials are generally as likely as Boomers to be travel brand loyalists"
- 32% of airline brand loyalists are Millennials and 37% are Boomers
- 23% of hotel brand loyalists are Millennials and 30% are Boomers
"Millennials have unique barriers to travel loyalty"
- They are 2.33x more likely to cite an airline being hard to contact as a barrier
- They are 2.00x more likely to cite a hotel being hard to contact as a barrier
Another interesting finding from the study surrounds the changes in brand loyalty behaviour as consumers become parents.
The report says:
"New parents are particularly more loyal in verticals that might not trigger as much loyalty in non-parents, such as hotels.
"This is especially true of verticals with products and services that tend to be more experiential. We think it's because a desire to experiment gets replaced with a desire to stick to what they know."
NB: The full report from Facebook is here.
NB2:Loyalty online image via Pixabay.