What Drives Customer Loyalty? Depends On The Merchant


While a majority of shoppers (80%) say they prefer to make purchases in physical stores, this doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be loyal to their local grocery store or pharmacy.

The most common way consumers purchase goods is to favor one or two merchants for in-store shopping. Research shows 82% of grocery customers and 76% of pharmacy customers buy products mostly in store.

But where does those shoppers’ loyalties lie? For grocery shoppers, it’s more about the merchant than the things they sell, with 53% saying they were more loyal to the store than specific products.

For pharmacy customers, it’s flipped, with 61% saying they were more loyal to the products they were after than the pharmacy itself. Just 35% of grocery customers shared that philosophy about their stores.

What Drives Customer Loyalty?

One of the largest factors driving customer loyalty among pharmacy shoppers is location, a 41% of consumers surveyed said proximity was important to them, compared to 16% who cited price as the main loyalty driver.

Consumers who are more loyal to products than their pharmacy are likely to be motivated by lower prices, digital payment options or fulfillment features.

These consumers typically seek out and purchase the specific products that they want wherever they are better priced instead of only buying what they find at their favorite stores.

PYMNTS research found that around 8% of online and in-store grocery shoppers pointed to convenience factors — such as payment or order fulfillment features — as the leading factor influencing their choice of merchants.

A larger share of online and in-store pharmacy shoppers also said that payment and fulfillment features were the driving factors behind their merchant choice than those who cited product or brand availability, at 9% compared to 8%.

Would you like to know more about the factors that influence customer loyalty? Download a copy of Decoding Consumer Affinity, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Toshiba.