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Ethics and Social Responsibility Are Increasingly Influencing Customer Loyalty

With word of mouth and product reviews being readily available to consumers, business ethics and values are becoming increasingly more important for customers when making purchase decisions. A new study published by TollfreeForwarding.com suggests that, along with online reviews, the principles and practices of a business have a significant influence both in pre-purchase considerations and in maintaining loyalty.

70% of surveyed consumers say that improved ethics increase their likelihood of purchase, whereas 34% say they would spend more in certain sectors and brands if their values coincide.

The 5 most relevant values were shown to be:

  • support for worker’s rights (76%)
  • environmental responsibility (74%)
  • no animal testing (68%)
  • support for local community initiatives (66%)
  • and closing the gender wage gap (64%).

These results show almost a double increase in each value compared to 2019, highlighting the upholding of corporate and social integrity and the importance of identifying target audiences.

The constant that was carried over from the previous survey is the surpassing factor that played a role in increasing loyalty and retention – good customer service (84%), with elements such as discount codes, loyalty programs, and free gifts at 79%, 75%, and 74% respectively. Customers want brands to develop relationships with them. Key points in these relationships are personalization, establishing trust, privacy.

So who wants personalized communication?

74% of consumers want personalized marketing communications, with 50% wanting brands to feel like best friends to them. Men are twice as likely as women to prefer personalization, which is similar to the preference of younger generations, such as Generation Z and millennials, compared to older generations. Men are also twice than likely to be comfortable with sharing their personal data than women. Trust is directly related to loyalty, with customers overall being more comfortable sharing their information with sectors and brands that they are loyal to, with supermarkets leading at 61% comfortable, technology at 58%, restaurants and clothing both at 57%, and hotels at 56%.

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