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Retail CRM provides insights from leading retailers and industry experts that help improve the customer experience at every touch point and across all channels. Some topics covered in CRM articles include customer loyalty, email marketing and promotion optimization. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

PetFlow Online Redesign Focuses On Relationship-Building With 'Pet Parents'

PetFlow, a retailer of specialty pet food and supplies, has revamped its e-Commerce store as part of an overall push to build a loyal consumer base. The retailer's tough challenge involves creating an online destination that is not only equal to, but better than, the face-to-face relationships that customers can have when they shop at their local pet store or chain.

To that end, the newly designed PetFlow site includes:

  • A live chat option with personalized advice for pet owners;
  • A Quick Food Finder that enables dog and cat owners to search for their preferred brand of food on the spot; and
  • An introduction to the retailer's Good Deeds charitable initiative, which makes food donations to pets in need tied to customers' purchases.
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Why Cash-Back Rewards Aren't Just For Credit Card Companies Anymore

1VP Pin4Loyalty programs are gaining steam as retailers of all sizes look to attract new customers and build relationships over the long term. From the simple coffee shop stamp and earning points toward free travel, to cashing in a rebate check toward a new smartphone and earning cash back, loyalty programs are being credited for everything from strengthening brand awareness to driving sales.

According to Loyalty 360, 83% of consumers participate in at least one loyalty program and 13% participate in more than five. And loyalty is becoming even more important with younger generations. Bond’s 2014 Loyalty Report notes that 68% of Millennials wouldn’t show allegiance to a brand that didn’t offer a strong loyalty program.

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In-Person Interactions Rev Up Advance Auto Parts Rewards Program

For the third year in a row, Advance Auto Parts is pulling out all the stops to bring attention to its Speed Perks customer loyalty program, rolling out an RV across the U.S. as part of the Advance Auto Parts Mobile Tour. The retailer is using gamification techniques, integrated with live events and delivered to mobile devices, as part of a multi-platform effort to increase awareness and membership in the program.

In partnership with Interactions Marketing, the retailer introduced interactive mobile gaming to the tour to further influence shoppers to sign up for Speed Perks. Interactions developed the Speed Perks puzzle app game for the iPad, which ranks players based on speed and accuracy. Customers can register to play the game at the Advance Auto Parts tent, in which they can pick a vehicle type and drag-and-drop eight parts into their correct location within the vehicle. Upon opting into Speed Perks with their email address, winners can choose to enter a drawing for a $50 gift card.

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Rock/Creek Unites Digital And Store-Based Customer Tracking

Rock/Creek has a lot to gain from learning about its customers — particularly their plans for outdoor adventures. The retailer's most valuable shoppers are those who are about to "graduate"— set off on a backpacking trip across Europe, hike the length of the Pacific Coast Trail or scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Knowing exactly when these trekkers are prepping to leave allows Rock/Creek to supply them with everything they need to enjoy the trip (and hopefully survive to return and buy more products). The total "spend" from these customers easily can reach $5,000 to $6,000 per adventure, including items like specially designed shoes, GPS-enabled watches and emergency communicators.

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70% Of Brands Splurge On E-Commerce, Yet Only Half Optimize Its Profitability

Although 70% of B2B and B2C brands have spent more than $1 million to establish e-Commerce sites, only half agree that their e-Commerce system helps them be as profitable as possible, according to CloudCraze. This indicates that while these companies aren’t afraid to spend money to build an online presence, many sites still lack the proper features and functionalities to provide a strong ROI.

Slow speeds to market are a significant issue. Many brands take a long time to get their site up and running in the first place, with 44% of retailers saying it took longer than a year to implement their current site. While one could assume that companies with more resources would have an easier time building these online presences, larger enterprises actually experience these issues as well — and on a magnified scale. A whopping 73% of brands generating more than $25 billion actually took longer than a year to implement their system.

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How IoT And Big Data Unite To Make Customer Service Smarter

1insightlyWe’ve all seen the commercials highlighting how the Internet of Things (IOT) has already changed the way we live our daily lives. If you leave your garage door open, a smartphone lets you close it with just a few taps. If you’re lost heading to a friend’s house, he can send the address to your car’s GPS. It’s amazing how we can benefit from the growing ubiquity of IoT. As a retailer, though, how exactly can you take advantage of this technology to improve the way you serve customers?

The answer touches a number of key areas. However, the most significant aspect may be IoT’s ability to make your customer service teams more proactive. With IoT and the data generated and shared from the products your customers use, your business can develop a more complete understanding of your existing customers, to serve and understand them more effectively. This allows retailers to stop reacting to customer issues and instead learn to anticipate their needs before they arise.

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Three Ways To Use CRM Data To Drive Media Effectiveness

1merkleProgrammatic media spending grew more than 29% last year and social media grew more than 50%, according to eMarketer. This rapid growth is expected to continue for the next five years until the next revolutionary platform/channel is developed by marketers. What's most interesting about these two channels is that they are reminiscent of the early days of paid search. They rely on media bids in an automated buying platform; they are generating immense reach; they utilize a new form of ad unit and they provide new forms of targeting.  

The focus is that these new forms of targeting are augmented and enabled by first- and third-party data. In fact, if you think of the Internet marketing evolution in terms of different eras, you would argue that we are currently in the people-based marketing era. This is defined by the decoupling of data and media to enable targeting using first-party data, which has been the bread and butter of direct marketing for 30 years.

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Midwesterners Most Likely To Join And Remain Active In Fuel Rewards Loyalty Programs

If gas stations are looking to offer loyalty discounts, they should make sure to set up shop in the middle of the country. Midwestern consumers are the most likely to join a loyalty program to save on fuel (57%), and also are the most active loyalty program members (32%), according to a report from Excentus.

These figures aren't surprising given that Midwestern shoppers also lead the way in attitudes about saving on fuel costs. As many as 69% of Midwesterners say it’s important to earn rewards on fuel when gas prices rise, compared to:

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Walmart Unveils Cash Back Rewards Ahead Of Costco

In the battle to offer the most attractive cash back rewards on their payment cards, Costco's 4% back on gas purchases outstrips Walmart's 3% back on e-Commerce transactions. But Walmart, moving quickly, will have a few months with the field to itself before Costco launches its Visa credit card on June 20.1 walmart-super

The cards — Walmart Credit Card and the prepaid Walmart MoneyCard — will now utilize the 3-2-1 Save cash back program, providing all qualifying cardholders in the U.S. and Puerto Rico the opportunity to earn rewards for purchases they make every day including: 

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Pizza Ranch Generates 780% ROI Through Double-Points Rewards Program

With a mission statement pledging “to give every guest a legendary experience,” Midwestern restaurant chain Pizza Ranch challenges itself to provide the best food and services that keep consumers coming back. Leveraging the services of rewards program solution provider Paytronix, Pizza Ranch introduced a promotion on Black Friday in 2015 that:

  • Increased ROI 780%;

  • Lifted sales 67.6% from the previous Friday; and

  • Increased gift card sales.

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Innovative Retail Concepts Take Center Stage At Commerce Accelerator

Retail entrepreneurs and startups are invited to collaborate with Westfield Labs, Macy's, Verizon and other companies to test new business models that are disrupting the commerce universe. The Connected Commerce Accelerator, a collaboration between Westfield Labs and R/GA, will mentor 10 new businesses and showcase them at Westfield's Bespoke space in its San Francisco mall.

"There is so much happening within the theme of conversion of digital and physical," said Kevin McKenzie, Global Chief Digital Officer at Westfield Corp., in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. "Now more than ever physical retailers are embracing bringing digital into the physical world." By participating in this program, "we are looking forward to having greater access to innovation around themes like same-day delivery, loyalty, beacons, wayfinding navigation and more."

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#CCSeries Webinars Chart Roadmap To Retail's Future

In the fast-changing world of retail, the future is never very far away, and preparing for it is a full-time job. The Retail TouchPoints Connected Consumer Series, held March 14 to 17, featured nine webinars that provided attendees with a detailed, data-filled roadmap to a fast-arriving future.

Speakers from Accenture, RSR, EKN Research, Bronto, Aptos and other industry leaders shared actionable insights into such hot topics as:

• Personalization;

• Bringing Digital Convenience Into The Brick-And-Mortar Environment;

• Leveraging The Internet Of Things (IoT) in Real-World Retail; and

• Using New Tools To Engage With Connected, Time-Starved Consumers

Recaps of the sessions' highlights follow this complete list of the #CCSeries 2016 sessions, which are available on-demand:

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How To Build Consumer Trust In A ‘Digital Wild West’

1capgeminiIn our data-driven and technology focused world, consumers’ digital footprints are becoming increasingly larger, with a growing trail of personal data that’s more public than we could ever imagine. Any time data is shared online, it may be used or aggregated in ways that may not be immediately apparent to the consumer. Consumer data can also be derived from web surfing, phone calls, social media posts, search engine queries and online shopping — a true digital Wild West.

As retailers look at ways to offer customized shopping experiences for their shoppers, they also need to re-examine their consumer engagement strategy, especially as consumers become more aware of the value of their personal data and of issues related to data privacy and security.

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