Go Back The State of Brand Loyalty 2022

Emotional Loyalty Is In — and Has to Be Earned

Shoppers have made one thing clear: Brands have to go above and beyond to earn shopper loyalty.

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While last year’s customers felt more brand loyal, 2022’s shoppers make brands earn their repeat business.

Behavioral loyalty is only one piece of the puzzle

It’s no longer enough to win on price or product quality alone — trust, great shopping experiences, and excellent customer service are an even more valuable currency among today’s shoppers. When asked what feelings or expectations they associate with brands to which they are loyal, shoppers answered as follows:

Emotional loyalty was a hot topic this year in eCommerce. It goes beyond doling out points or moving shoppers up VIP tiers; it means tapping into that genuine connection shoppers feel toward their favorite brands. But, as shown by respondents’ answers, behavioral loyalty is only one piece of the puzzle. Brands need to gain shoppers’ emotional loyalty to catalyze action.

When asked how many times they buy from a brand before considering themselves loyal, 38.5% of global shoppers said 5+ times, an 11% increase YoY. Today’s customers want exceptional experiences and a sense of trust from brands to which they are loyal, but shoppers also need to feel valued every time they shop. Consumers no longer feel connected to a brand after one or two purchases — it takes time and repeated positive interactions to establish long-term loyalty.

Overwhelmingly, over 80% of global respondents said being loyal to a brand meant they tend to buy from the same brand, compared to 76% in 2020. Other popular answers included: “I recommend the brands to others” (47% of global respondents) and “I’m proud to be associated with the brand” (43.34% of global respondents).

Top-tier experiences, exceptional customer service, genuine connection with a brand — based on shoppers’ expectations for brand loyalty, it’s no surprise that loyalty programs make the majority (60%) of global shoppers more loyal to a brand. Loyalty programs deliver hyper-relevant, personalized experiences that make shoppers feel valued. And, they ensure that customers have these relationship-catalyzing moments every interaction they have with a brand. Every time a customer interacts with an email, a brand’s website, or an SMS message, it’s an opportunity for brands to personalize that touchpoint using loyalty program data.

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