Putting some science behind often subjective questions about customer engagement, the 17th annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index has identified the top customer loyalty leaders in eight retail verticals. The 2013 Index measures emotional engagement strength achieved versus a category-specific ideal of 100%, with Amazon, Whole Foods, Home Depot and Walmart topping the list with the highest percentages.
This year, consumers have indicated "that their expectations regarding 'brand' have again increased," said Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff in a statement. "Brands able to better meet consumer expectations are surrogates for added-value, engendering more loyalty than those based on the primacy of product and a coupon."
Following are the retail vertical leaders with their customer engagement percentages:
Online Retailer: Amazon (96%)
Natural Food Store: Whole Foods (93%)
Home Improvement: Home Depot (90%)
Discount: Walmart (89%)
Athletic Footwear: Skechers (86%)
Sporting/Recreational Goods: Dick's Sporting Goods (83%)
Apparel: J. Crew (82%)
Department Store: Kohl's (80%)
For the 2013 survey, 39,000 consumers aged 18 to 65 self-selected the categories in which they are consumers and the brands for which they are customers. 70% were interviewed by phone, 25% via face-to-face interviews (to include cellphone-only households) and 5% participated online.
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