51% of consumers would leave a brand if digital experience isn’t as good as in-person

PwC survey finds younger consumers are more likely to switch brands.

Chat with MarTechBot

More than half of U.S. consumers (51%) say they’d be less loyal to a brand if the digital experience isn’t as enjoyable as in-person, according to PwC’s Customer Loyalty Survey 2022. For Gen Z, that number soared to 69%.

Why we care. The pandemic has put the pressure on businesses to build customer experiences online that match or exceed their in-store experience. Consumers shopping online are also only one click or tap away from a business’s competitors.

This close proximity to the competition on digital channels means that your customers could easily jump to a competitor. And marketers need to know what other reasons their customers might leave, because it’s so easy for them to switch.

Younger consumers are less loyal. Age is a factor in dropping customers. The younger your customers are, the more likely they’ll flee, according to the PwC findings.

Thirty-two percent of Gen Z stopped using a brand in the last year. This is compared to 27% for Millennials, 31% for Gen X and only 19% for Boomers.

Also, 39% of Gen Z said they are more likely to try a new brand. Millennials weren’t much more loyal at 35%, while 31% of Gen X said this, along with only 19% of Boomers.

Bad experiences and customer service. Across all industries, bad experiences with products and services (37%) and bad customer service (32%) were the top two reasons for dropping a brand.

Also, 15% said they liked another brand’s experience better, and that was the reason they left.

These three categories are directly related to experience – either your company’s or your competitors’.

Pricing is also a factor in messaging to customers, so it’s important to note that 17% of customers jumped ship because prices went up or discounts ended, and 11% went to another brand that offered lower prices.

Dig deeper: 3 challenges of building customer trust

Data and privacy. Only seven percent of customers said they switched because they didn’t trust the business with their personal data.

Far from being shy about data, 82% of respondents to the PwC study said they would share some of their personal data if it led to better CX.

Loyalty programs also weren’t high on the list for customer exits. Only seven percent said they went to another business because they offered a better loyalty program.

All told, these findings indicate that customer experience and service, themselves, are the means to build lasting loyalty.

Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

Get the must-read newsletter for marketers.