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Marks & Spencer tops UK 'Customer Loyalty Index'
Dec '15
British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer has topped a poll to find out to which clothing brand or retailer UK shoppers are most loyal, according to a survey conducted by apparel fit preference specialist Fits.me.

M&S received 12 per cent of all mentions in the free vote, ahead of Next (9.6 per cent) and third-placed Primark (5.9 per cent).

The survey asked over 2,000 UK adults to identify up to three clothing brands or retailers to which they consider themselves most loyal.

Fits.me has published a full list revealing the Top 35 retailers named by consumers in its new 30-page report on the survey, 'Knowing them, knowing you - shopper perspectives on engagement, loyalty and personalisation in apparel retail'.

The report also contains a 'Favourites Index' revealing the UK's most popular retailers. This poll is, likewise, topped by M&S, Next and Primark – but there are dissimilarities throughout the Top 35, with well-known brands notable for either their presence or absence from one or both Top 35s.

The survey comes at a time when clothing retailers and brands believe they are facing a crisis of shopper loyalty; a mid-2014 survey cited 50 per cent of fashion retailers as saying that 'maintaining customer loyalty' is their biggest challenge. Yet the diverse range of brands and retailers revealed by the Fits.me poll to have won shopper loyalty should not be confused with a general lack of inclination to be loyal.

The Fits.me survey, conducted for the company by polling specialist Redshift Research, found that 71 per cent of shoppers consider themselves loyal to either one, two or three clothing retailers or brands; only 16 per cent said they were loyal to no clothing retailer or brand.

“While it's clearly very difficult for apparel brands to secure the expressed loyalty of even just one in forty people, loyalty itself is very clearly not dead. With all retailers trying to achieve this on a daily basis, this response suggests retailers still need have improvements to make,” said Stuart Simms, Fits.me's chief executive officer.

“The challenge for every retailer is identifying how they can get to know their customers better and how they can systematically put that knowledge to work across their organisation to enhance customer loyalty and engagement beyond transactions alone. As it stands, even the largest retailers and supermarkets can't assume we'll simply come back next time,” he observed.

When asked which factors would most likely improve their loyalty to a retailer, 29 per cent of shoppers answered “it stocks clothes that fit my needs and preferences” – the single largest response.

The second most popular driver for loyalty was “it has consistently better quality products for the price than others”, with just over one in five shoppers agreeing.

The survey also clarified that over one in five consumers sometimes, often or always find it difficult to find what they are looking for when they are shopping for clothes, while 46 per cent always or often find it annoying to search through lots of clothes to find those they want. 78 per cent of respondents agreed that being shown only items that retailers knew would fit them would help them to choose which products to buy. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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