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Value for Their Money Keeps Shoppers Coming Back

US internet users are looking for a good deal—on a good product

Mundane concerns like getting a quality product or service at a good price are still the biggest drivers of brand loyalty for US internet users.

According to February 2019 research from personalized retargeting firm Criteo, two-thirds of US internet users said getting the best value for their money kept them loyal to brands, making it the most popular response by a solid margin. About half of respondents said their brand loyalty was driven by the lowest prices, with slightly fewer drawn back by the best product selection.

US internet users polled in August 2018 by Morning Consult were overwhelmingly likely to name well-priced products with matching quality as an important driver of their brand loyalty, at 88%. But even more of those respondents said reliability and durability were important (92%).

In a similar survey by Five9 conducted the previous month, nine in 10 internet users said pricing influenced their loyalty, with a similar number attracted by superior quality. In this poll, which was focused generally on customer service, 90% of internet users also pointed to customer service as a key loyalty driver.

That’s not much of an outlier, though—78% of respondents to the Morning Consult survey also said having good interactions with customer service teams was a factor in their brand loyalty.

Both surveys also found similar reasons for customers to stop being loyal to a brand. In a word: decline.

Just over half of respondents polled by Criteo said some combination of declining quality, increasing prices and overall declining value had turned them off of brands in the past, making it the No. 1 response, ahead of simply finding a better alternative.

When Morning Consult asked respondents what their primary reason for abandoning a brand in the past had been, 34% said it was because quality had gone down. The second-place complaint was prices going up, the other half of the value-for-money equation.

Another point of agreement was the relative unimportance of more novel loyalty drivers like sustainability or other forms of ethical alignment with consumers. These were minority concerns in both surveys, and Morning Consult found that result held regardless of income.

Gen Z respondents to the Morning Consult survey were more likely than others to abandon a brand over moral concerns. However, brands should keep an eye on whether that trend takes greater hold as the cohort ages—or whether they become more price- and quality-conscious as “adulting” proceeds.