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Navigating the Road to Repurchase: How Automotive Brands Keep Customers in the Driver's Seat

Recall the moment when you decided to purchase your first car.

You spent countless hours scouring the internet, visiting showrooms, test driving multiple models until you finally found the perfect one. You bought it, you loved it, and as time passed, you grew more and more attached to it. But, when it was time to buy a new car, did you go back to the same brand?

You're not alone if you didn't. In fact, loyalty in the automotive industry is experiencing a steady decline, with commitment to repurchase dropping from 90% after purchase to 70% when it's time to replace a vehicle, according to Bochmann Consulting.

But here's the good news: many auto brands like Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Audi are making headway in this area, boasting impressive loyalty rates from 43.4% to 48%. How are they managing this? One answer: customer loyalty programs.

Let's delve deeper into the challenges of automotive loyalty marketing and how loyalty programs can become our secret weapon. But first, let's set the stage with a few intriguing numbers:

  • Lexus ranks highest among luxury brands with a 48% loyalty rate.

  • Mercedes-Benz follows closely with 47.8%.

  • BMW places third at 45.1%, Porsche at 44.9%, and Audi at 43.4%.

These numbers underscore the power of loyalty. But how can brands enhance it? Here are five techniques:

Up-selling - Loyalty programs that incentivize customers to up-sell result in benefits for both the brand and the customer. Customers get rewarded for their willingness to spend more, while brands increase their revenues.

Meaningful Rewards - A customer's experience with a reward can make or break their loyalty. Meaningful rewards, such as travel vouchers or dinner dates, can add value to a customer's life and consequently increase retention.

Strong Online Presence - Given that customers spend 59% of their car-buying journey researching online, a robust digital presence can heavily influence their decisions. Rewarding customers for writing reviews or sharing your brand socially can boost loyalty and your brand's digital footprint.

Upgrading Customer Service - In an age where the customer experience is king, 54% of customers say they would buy a car from a dealer offering the best experience, even if their prices aren't the lowest. Remember, after the purchase, customer support is likely the main point of contact with the brand and can determine whether a customer will continue their relationship with it.

Reducing Chaos - Making the process of redeeming points a smooth, quick, and easy process is crucial. Around 56% of dealers would buy more vehicles from a carmaker if the process were quicker and easier. An improved, easier, and smarter retail experience could increase sales by roughly 25%.

Building brand loyalty in the automotive industry goes beyond creating high-quality vehicles. It involves authentic, sustainable, and memorable experiences that resonate with the customer, and a synergy that transcends the ordinary, leveraging technology and data as enablers.

Just like the memorable ride on the open road in your car, loyalty too, is a journey. Brands need to ensure this journey is one that is worth repeating, creating an extraordinary connection with the customer, one mile at a time.



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