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An employee enters a closed Converse shoe store Monday, March 15, 2020, in Phoenix
AP Photo/Matt York
Now is the time for companies to support customers for a change.

Covid-19 has forced companies to realize customer loyalty is a two-way street

Marc Bain
Member exclusive by Marc Bain

When we talk about loyalty in commerce, what we’re really talking about is whether customers are loyal to specific companies.  We gauge this customer loyalty with measures such as the share of their spending they dedicate to products from those companies.

The Covid-19 crisis has upended the normal flow of that relationship. In countries including the US and hard-hit parts of Europe and Asia, shoppers have slashed their spending on non-essential items such as clothing and sneakers, raising the question of how companies selling these goods maintain a connection with customers when they aren’t in a position to buy anything. Many are realizing that, if they want to sustain a relationship in the long-term, it’s companies that need to be loyal right now.

What that loyalty looks like varies from company to company, but the clearest examples go beyond generic condolences. It’s a time for companies to figure out how they can actually support their customers by doing more than just selling them stuff.

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