Customer loyalty vs customer satisfaction in-store

Customer experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Some shoppers might be in a hurry and just want to grab a quick snack, while others have all the time in the world to stroll around the store. However, a retailer needs to be able to fulfill the needs of these very different customers. 

In this article, we are going to focus on customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. We are going to reveal the differences between these two terms and show you how to improve both of them.

What is customer satisfaction?

Let’s start out by defining one of the most used terms in retail: customer satisfaction. When is a customer satisfied and how does that impact business? Customer satisfaction refers to the attitude a shopper has towards a product, service, or brand.

Customer satisfaction depends on a number of factors, both internal and external. When it comes to in-store shopping, there are a lot of things that can impact the shopper’s journey and therefore impact customer satisfaction. From the assortment of products to the long line at the cashier and the lack of self-checkout, all of these can negatively affect the attitude of the shopper. 

How to measure customer satisfaction

While in-store it might seem easier to just examine shoppers to see if they are satisfied with their experience, it is best to try and measure the customer satisfaction with a more revealing scale: the customer satisfaction score (CSAT) survey. 

It is a simple method that shows if customers were satisfied with the services and products you offer in-store. This is usually done at the final touchpoint, the cashier register. You can simply ask customers to rate on a point scale (1-5 or 1-10, for example) how satisfied they were with the experience.

However, if you’d like to dig deeper and see what works and what doesn’t, you could measure customer satisfaction regarding different things, just like in the example below. 

What is customer loyalty?

Having satisfied customers doesn’t always mean that they are loyal to your brand or store. Why? Because customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are not one and the same. 

Customer loyalty refers to a customer’s predisposition to purchase from the same retailer or brand again. Customer loyalty comes from a combination of factors, including high customer satisfaction. Shoppers are loyal when they know their needs are met by the retailer or brand. They like the products, they have a great experience in store and everything is convenient. 

How to measure customer loyalty

It might be trickier to measure customer loyalty. Small stores know who their loyal customers are because they see them every day. However, big retailers could use an NPS survey to measure customer loyalty from time to time. 


  • Promoters (Score: 9-10): Your best customers are the ones that advocate for your store. These people tend to return in-store frequently and they recommend your products to their family and friends.
  • Passives (Score: 7-8): While they might have a great experience in-store and score well on the CSAT survey, they are not loyal customers. Once they find a better promotion they will switch stores or brands.
  • Detractors (Score: 0-6): These are the shoppers that have a negative attitude toward your brand and want to damage the image of the brand.

When a lot of people are your promoters, it means that you are doing something right and need to continue. However, if you have a lot of passives or detractors, it’s time to switch the strategy. 

Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty

Now that we’ve talked about what customer satisfaction and customer loyalty mean, it’s time to see how we can improve both of them. 

1. Exeed customer’s expectation

Make it easier for customers to shop in your store and try to offer much more than they expect. See what your customers need and then offer that. Whether it is a self-checkout or a BOPIS alternative, you need to know and understand your customers. 

2. Constantly upgrade your services

See what works and what doesn’t and try to upgrade your services and the products you sell. Collect feedback from customers and implement it to show that you care about them and their needs. 

3. Reward loyal customers 

Implement a loyalty program and reward customers who shop regularly in your store. Offer free products or special discounts to people who come to your store often. You could also try to implement a referral program for loyal customers who also promote your store to friends and family. 

Understanding your customers and offering the best services will help you increase overall customer satisfaction. Also, over time and with great products, you can win over the hearts of your shoppers and turn them into loyal customers. 

Read some more
Category Management plays a pivotal role in the intricate landscape of retail, yet its essence extends beyond mere simpl...
The customer journey is a complex path, fraught with uncertainties and challenges. 70.19% of online shopping carts end u...
Empower Your Employees with Data-Driven Decision Making: Delivering an exceptional retail experience is paramount. It's ...
Finding the right retail assortment feels like striking gold. From corner convenience stores to e-commerce titans like A...

Any questions or suggestions? Let's talk!