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Video: Why Experience Is The New Loyalty

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Cultivating brand loyalty is vital in the apparel world, and a challenge for newer, direct-to-consumer brands as well as international, legacy retailers. Online, brands need to differentiate from competitors the same way they would in a shopping mall or business district: by providing an elevated retail experience.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of payment and fintech company Klarna, says the key to building loyalty begins with effortless transactions.

By making checkout, the post-purchase experience and returns process as simple as possible, he said, retailers speak to consumers’ demand for convenience and their need for flexibility.

“It’s been clear in the last couple of years that by focusing and nailing those experiences, and making them something that people really appreciate, you build loyalty,” Siemiatkowski said. Anticipating customers’ needs and cultivating an experience they enjoy is paramount to being memorable. “It’s not the physical world anymore, it’s a digital one,” he added.

Siemiatkowski believes that a fulfilling purchasing experience is just as crucial to large-scale, traditional retailers as it is to smaller businesses. “The thing that separates the people who are seeing a lot of success, in my opinion: they’re super close to the customer, and they iterate fast,” Siemiatkowski said.

Even though there’s plenty of technology available to help brands optimize their speed to market, Siemiatkowski believes organizations focused on innovation perform better. “You don’t always know what’s going to work,” Siemiatkowski said. “It’s about how you set up a culture where you can test and iterate fast, learn and experiment.”

Watch the full video to find out what Siemiatkowski has learned from Klarna’s retail partners about cultivating brand loyalty through the customer experience.

To learn more about how retailers can iterate faster, read Sourcing Journal’s Consumers, Checkout & Creating Experiences That Resonate report.

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