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Winning Loyalty Strategies: Fluid Loyalty – To Stem the Tide of Fluid Loyalty, a Flawless Digital Experience Is Essential

Improving CX is such a broad and overarching goal that many CX leaders struggle with prioritization.


Laura Hewitt

4 Min Read

September 05, 2023

While the transformation from the brick-and-mortar to the digital and omnichannel customer experience has been continuing for the past decade, the 2020 COVID pandemic greatly accelerated the shift. According to the Census Bureau’s most recent 2020 Annual Retail Trade Survey, e-commerce sales increased by $244.2 billion, or 43%, in 2020.[1] In every sector from retail to consumer banking to experiences, suddenly consumers were interacting with brands primarily through digital channels. Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, this shift in consumer behavior appears to be permanent.


Along with this shift has arisen a concept we call “fluid loyalty”—the propensity of consumers, particularly young ones, to switch brands at the first sign of a bad customer experience. According to eMarketer, over 71 percent of customers have switched brands at least once in the past year.[2] In a digital-first world, those bad experiences are often the result of poor CX or UX: complicated sign-ons, complex offer redemptions, or poorly designed self-service channels. According to a recent PwC survey, more than half of U.S. consumers say a bad digital experience will make them less loyal to a brand. For Gen-Z consumers, that number jumps to 69 percent. [3]


For marketers hoping to pursue the path of intelligence-based offers, these statistics highlight the challenge of meeting consumer needs. Not only do you need to collect earned data and leverage it to deliver hyper-personalized offers at scale; you also need to deliver those offers and rewards to your customers through a seamless, frictionless, and engaging digital platform. To stem the tide of fluid loyalty, a flawless digital experience is now essential.


The obstacles

The biggest obstacles to controlling fluid customer loyalty is institutional. A recent Gartner report noted that over 70% of CX leaders struggle to design projects that increase customer loyalty and achieve results. In addition, Gartner found that, while 95 percent of business leaders believe CX teams must deliver superior or world-class customer experiences, the majority of CX leaders doubt their present strategy may lead to reaching their goals.[1] 


Improving CX is such a broad and overarching goal that many CX leaders struggle with prioritization. Where do you start?


The opportunity

Here’s the good news: When it comes to the subset of your CX initiatives responsible for delivering customer offers and rewards in a seamless and engaging digital hub, world-class solutions are available right now. To choose the right technology partner, look for these key “must-haves.” First, a partner with deep experience in customer engagement that understands the fundamental drivers of brand loyalty. Second, a partner with a modular, cloud-based platform that is easy to configure, launch, and operate. Third, a partner featuring proprietary machine-learning and AI capabilities that can deliver highly personalized experiences and a unique content mix. Finally, look for a partner with the commercial flexibility and wide content offerings to help you stem the tide of fluid loyalty.


To build a successful offer engine that delivers hyper-personalized rewards that improve loyalty and engagement, focus on these best practices:



Continually refresh your reward and offer matrix based on both analytical insight and the latest consumer trends.



Enable a variety of engagement tactics—gamification, sweepstakes draws, compelling content— to keep your customers wanting more.



Leverage analytical insight from both customer behavior and offer components to continually improve personalization.


  4. Customer Experience: Increase Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction | Gartner 
Aauthor Name

Laura Hewitt

Laura is a global marketer with 30+ years of experience across virtually every channel/component of driving demand, customer loyalty, and engagement. She is currently Vice President, Marketing for Capillary Technologies. Previously she held similar roles at Tenerity, Kobie, and Aimia. Prior to that she worked in advertising for consumer brands after graduating from Southern Methodist University.

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