International Marketing News: Customer Retention Success Post-Pandemic

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In this week's International Marketing News Round-Up, Andrea Diaz explores customer retention post-pandemic, luxury bargain hunting and more. Find out more.

International Marketing News: Customer Retention Success Post-Pandemic

Join us for this week's international marketing news, with highlights including retailers implementing subscription model post-pandemic, why luxury consumers are brand conscious and price-sensitive, the Delta variant concerning businesses and why the sports industry is facing a new business model.

Customer Retention Post-Pandemic

Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox, and BarkBox, for example, have all had success with subscription models in the past—long before the pandemic. Since Covid-19, though, the subscription model's expansion has increased as people seek out new ways to shop online.

  • Our emotions drive our subscription decisions.
  • Monthly shipments of physical things delivered to your door are now available from retailers.
  • According to a Royal Mail report released in June, the UK subscription box business will be valued £1.8 billion by 2025.
  • Last year, 55% of subscription box subscribers said they signed up for a regular service to pamper themselves or cheer themselves up during lockdown.
  • According to data from Subscribed Institute, subscription firms in the United States grew revenue seven times faster than the S&P 500 in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The brands that are now having the most success aren't necessarily focused on meeting any kind of immediate need resulting from the pandemic, but rather on building long-term value.

Since 2020, demand for digital subscription services has surged, fuelling already significant growth from before the epidemic. According to Emarsys data issued in March, one in every five UK customers said they subscribed to a new digital subscription service like Netflix, Spotify, or Babbel during the most recent lockdown. Consumers aged 16 to 24 exhibited the most interest in digital subscription applications of any age group.

China's Luxury Bargain Hunters

The desire to buy a luxury brand product has generated a whole new luxury customer niche — the luxury bargain hunter — in China's rising luxury market. Because brand executives are more likely to have a more idealised picture of their target consumer, this shift has largely gone unreported. A person who reads through search results on the internet to locate the greatest offer is unlikely to have such a vision.

  • More than 63% of Chinese respondents acknowledged “showrooming,” or using their phones to check costs while shopping.
  • It is a popular fallacy that bargain-hunting consumers only shop at the lower end of the income scale; nevertheless, bargain-hunting emotion is shared by consumers of all income levels.
  • Discount coupons, for example, improve sales revenue by rewarding trial purchases, a strategy that also promotes long-term loyalty.

However, the reality is that a broader class of consumers' democratic ambitions are attracting shoppers who are both brand conscious and price sensitive. This isn't a brand-new phenomenon. Prior to COVID-19, the primary motive for Chinese travellers coming to Paris, Milan, and other international shopping locations was to save money on luxury products while travelling to new places.
Sephora, for example, is a big fan of employing discount coupons to boost sales by motivating product trials – a strategy that also helps establish long-term loyalty. As a result, luxury shopping offers have become the accepted norm or the "new normal."

Delta Variant Impacts

Concerns about the coronavirus have weakened investor confidence, causing global stock markets to fall. According to the Times, the UK's FTSE 100 plummeted 2.3% to a three-month low of 6,844.39 on Monday's "freedom day" due to economic disruption caused by self-isolating workers.

Other markets were also down, with the MSCI World index, which monitors stocks from 23 countries, down for the fifth day in a row, marking its worst performance since February 2020.

Mohammed Kazmi, a portfolio manager at Union Bancaire Privée, told the Financial Times:
“The hope was that vaccines would provide us with the endgame. Now investors are looking at the UK and there’s a bit of fear with regards to reopening so aggressively when cases are still so high.”
On Monday, when the UK lifted numerous pandemic restrictions, France, the Netherlands, and Spain imposed new ones. According to the Financial Times, China's recent economic slowdown is a cause for concern, particularly for developing nations that fuel China's need for commodities and other exports.

Sport's Movement To a Direct-To-Consumer Model

The pandemic has driven sports organisations throughout the world to transition to a digital-first strategy in the last 18 months, looking for innovative methods to bring spectators closer to the action through technology. The business incentive for clubs and sponsors to break free from the broadcasters' grip is growing. There is a growing tendency towards digital-first subscription and pay-per-view models, as evidenced by MatchRoom Boxing's strategic shift away from Sky Sports in favour of OTT platform DAZN.

Beyond standard broadcast rights arrangements, these allow rights owners to maximise value. Using augmented reality (AR), customisation, interactive engagement, and gamification, such models provide a larger chance to develop direct interactions with global audiences, giving considerably richer and more immersive live sports experiences.

Commercial partners like Rolex and Mastercard, whose involvement was previously measured by the amount of on-TV brand appearance, now have access to a slew of new digital domains via which to expand their reach and communicate with fans. Of course, this generates new revenue sources for the rights holders. According to the PWC Sports Industry Survey, 82.9% of respondents see the production and monetisation of digital assets as one of the best ways to increase revenue in sports.


This brings us to the end of our international marketing news round-up. If you'd like to discuss any of the news covered - please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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