International brands are gaining a stronger foothold in Australia with shoppers warming to big-name multinationals over of local brands.
The finding comes from marketing services firm Epsilon’s ‘2013 Consumer Loyalty Study’, which uncovered a growing passion for overseas brands, particularly among the higher income segment and younger age groups.
Australians are more open to overseas brands than ever before, following the recent expansion of a number of leading international brands into Australia, including Zara, Top Shop and Christian Dior, and are becoming less loyal to local retailers.
But while shoppers are increasingly favouring global names, loyalty across the board jumped significantly over the past year, particularly among clothing retailers, which saw loyalty levels up from 16% in 2011 to 27% in 2012.
Across clothing, grocery, financial services and travel, the four sectors investigated in the study, one-third report being ‘extremely’ or ‘very loyal’ to the companies they use most often. Shoppers were most likely to feel loyal towards grocery and financial services brands.
However, another 30% of loyal customers in Australia across clothing, grocery, travel and financial services sectors said they would abandon their most frequently-visited stores for other stores if inconvenienced by incorrect billing, difficult refund policies and other negative experiences. The figure is slightly lower (20%) when the negative shopping or service experience is online.
“The definition of consumer loyalty is constantly changing, especially in such a dynamic market,” vice president of client services, Asia Pacific, for Epsilon, Michael Kustreba, says. “This research study serves as a valuable barometer of consumer attitudes and behaviour, and brands must attune to consumer feedback in order to be successful in the Australian retail market.”
The study also found 58% of Australian customers consider value for money as the best way to gain ongoing endorsement.
The research was conducted online or face-to-face as appropriate during the third quarter of 2012 with 408 respondents, mapped to the age and gender demographics of the general population.