Big impact with less admin: Branded tracking changes for 2024

The retail sector has experienced a dynamic year, adapting to a challenging economic landscape. This environment has led to innovation and resilience, as retailers were forced to navigate decreased sales and heightened competition. These challenges have acted as catalysts, encouraging retailers to explore new strategies and strengthen their market presence.

It is often said that recessions, or difficult periods in general, can bring the best out of people. It is these periods of time that force people to think innovatively to ensure that they stay competitive.

Of course, innovation is required at every step of the journey, but in tougher periods this requirement becomes a necessity. And when applied well, it can see organisations go beyond surviving – to thriving.

But wanting to do something and actually doing it are two different things. Sometimes it can be difficult to see exactly what improvements can make a difference. However, the answer to this question is marginal gains. The theory that small yet significant improvements can lead to monumental results.

And exactly how are retailers set to make these marginal gains? Through branded tracking.

Dealing with the rise in fraudulent messages from bad actors

The UK retail landscape has been swept with a new type of challenge. Call centres of retailers are facing a surge in activity and unfortunately, they aren’t just the typical ‘Where Is My Order Requests’.

Instead, they're dealing with a new kind of scam, which sees fraudsters posing as parcel delivery services and sending out numerous scam emails and messages. Citizens Advice has shed light on this issue, noting that around 40 million people in the UK were targeted with these scams in just the first five months of the year. Parcel delivery scams are the most common among these.

To tackle this, it's crucial for retailers to proactively find ways to deter these scams to protect their customers. Although retailers may not be directly blamed for these occurrences, their efforts in creating a system that leaves no room for such fraudulent activities will be highly appreciated. By improving their communication and delivery processes, retailers can not only protect their consumers but also enhance their reputation for reliability and consumer safety.

This is where branded tracking can help. Branded tracking lets retailers implement self-serve tracking, letting customers easily access accurate information about their orders, reducing the risk of fraudulent communications. It empowers customers to independently verify the status of their deliveries, ensuring the only legitimate source of information comes from retailers.

Additionally, consistent, and recognisable branded communications from retailers can help customers distinguish between genuine messages and potential scams. By establishing a clear, trusted line of communication, retailers can foster a sense of security among their customers. These improvements, while seemingly small, can make a big difference in building customer loyalty and trust.

Building brand loyalty amid waning consumer confidence

Despite the ongoing economic challenges, UK consumer confidence has shown a gradual improvement. According to the Deloitte Consumer Tracker for Q3 2023, consumer confidence rose to -14.2%, the highest since Q4 2021. However, with nearly half of consumers noticing a decrease in disposable income and a quarter finding it harder to cover unexpected large expenses, many are still exercising caution in their spending habits.

And they aren’t the only ones. Retailers need to ensure that sales remain high despite these ongoing difficulties. And one way to do this is by effectively building brand loyalty. Economic uncertainty usually spells the death of brand loyalty, or at least the birth of purchaser promiscuity. Consumers that are cautious with their spending often have put loyalty aside to find the best deal. And unfortunately, there is not much that retailers can do about this.

But what retailers can do, is carefully manage the experiences they offer. They must ensure that every opportunity is used to generate the most amount of revenue it can. But more importantly, they must offer an experience that leaves consumers coming back for more.

Branded tracking helps both issues individually. On the point of making the most revenue possible, branded tracking can be used to for upsell opportunities. Branded tracking gives retailers full control over the content that comes with deliveries. This means that the post-purchase experience can be used to share promotions, campaigns and entice customers into paying more.

As for building brand loyalty, it’s all about the experience. A consistent, branded journey is critical to building loyalty. Making customers know your service and love your service, is the only way to make customers want to come back for the next purchase.

The bottom line

While these two issues are very different, branded tracking gives retailers the tools to solve them independently. We could use the old adage of ‘two birds, one stone’, but that would be underselling the impact of branded tracking, as it does not just solve these two issues alone.

At the same time, this article isn’t attempting to suggest that branded tracking is the answer to all problems. Amidst the ongoing economic pressures, there will never be one singular answer. No silver bullet to solve all problems. But the smart retailers will know that the key to making strides in this market is making small gains wherever possible. Branded tracking is just one way to do this, and most importantly, its an extremely attainable way.