In the retail business, loyalty is everything. Returning customers are the bread and butter of most businesses and you can’t afford to lose even one. Unfortunately for online shops, customer loyalty is iffy at best.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment report shows that online retailers come in last by a pretty wide margin.
They surveyed 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries across 16 categories and found that people were more likely to be loyal to brands / companies they use everyday such as banks, mobile phone service and cable providers.
I see it a different way. It’s not loyalty that keeps customers hanging on – it’s lack of options coupled with the hassle factor (not to be confused with the Hassle-hoff.) Changing your mobile phone provider often means paying a penalty for ending a contract early or losing upgrade benefits you’ve accrued over time.