CRM / Loyalty

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.

Customer Knowledge: The Killer App That Will Never Go Away

By Ben Ream, Retail, Consumer Products & Supply Chain Consultant Remember when the biggest buzz in retail was, “Macy’s Doesn’t Tell Gimbels?” As if these two retail titans would be forever locked in an epic clash of assortments and promotions, with no other developments superseding them. Well the “hush, hush” between these rivals of the 50s and 60s has exploded, via the web, into an onslaught of information. Only this time it is the customer who is the all-too-willing recipient of what was once considered classified information: pricing, assortments, inventory levels, even promotions. Just look at all the web sites delineating “Black Friday” specials up to two weeks in advance.

New Research Finds ‘Fashion Forward’ Consumers Driving Apparel Spending

With retail sales showing slight improvements, new research found that one-half to two-thirds of shoppers surveyed intend to spend at least the same and possibly more than normal on some type of apparel in the next 90 days. The latest Retail Consumer Dynamics study by Acxiom Corporation, based on insights drawn from the BIGresearch Consumer Intentions and Actions (CIA) and Simultaneous Media Usage (SIMM) Surveys, found that it’s imperative for retailers to maintain momentum by targeting the right segment with the right mix of promotional tools.

New Research Shows Online Shoppers Expect Personalized Merchandising

Consumers want to get personal right from the start while shopping online, new research shows. More than 50% of consumers expect personalized merchandising starting with a personalized home page, according to recent research from the e-Tailing Group and MyBuys, a provider of personalized recommendations for multi-channel retailers. The survey also found that 77% of shoppers will make an additional purchase when presented with personalized recommendations, according to the report “Consumer Insights into Multi-Channel Interactions: Practical Tools for Profitable Selling.”

Analysts Applaud Toys “R” Us Savers Club Program As Price Alternative

Editor’s Note: Several comments in this article were excerpted from a recent RetailWire discussion, where the BrainTrust panel of retail experts shared strategic insights on the Toys “R” Us Christmas Savers Club Launch. As retailers prepare their battle plans for the critical holiday shopping season, one retailer has been given high marks for freshening up an age old retail concept in order to optimize its 4th quarter sales. The company recently announced Christmas Savers Club from Toys "R" Us is designed to help families prepare and save on holiday shopping. Combining the basic principles of layaway, with the convenience of gift cards and rewards for spending levels, the program allowing shoppers to begin setting aside money with the added benefit of earning a bonus for saving early, has been recognized as an innovative way for the retailer to avoid price wars. “The launch is a good move, and it’s probably backed up by significant involvement with suppliers and advertising and the timing of promotions and replenishments,” said Richard Hastings, Macro & Consumer Strategist, Global Hunter Securities. “This helps with price stability later this year, something they learned was a big problem during the crisis.”

e-Dialog Acquires MBS & M3 Mobile

e-Dialog, a GSI Commerce Marketing Services division recently acquired MBS, an established database marketing solutions provider, from World Marketing Inc. MBS offers a mix of knowledge-based marketing services and solutions designed to help marketers innovate, advance and automate their marketing efforts. The acquisition of MBS positions e-Dialog’s to strive and help marketers with an operational, multichannel view of the customer, to understand customer behavior and preferences in real time. The partnership aims to help e-Dialog reveal the best opportunities for consumer engagement and enable marketers to conduct highly relevant customer interactions that lead to increased customer loyalty across all channels. The news came on the heels of another acquisition, of M3 Mobile Marketing, a company that creates and executes mobile marketing programs. e-Dialog President & CEO said the partnership will help the company assist its clients to navigate mobile strategies and create meaningful customer experiences on mobile devices.

Target Revamps Pharmacy Rewards

Target unveiled changes in its rewards program for customers who shift their prescription drug needs to one of its more than 1,580 in-store pharmacies, Drug Store News reports. The new program is a testament to Target’s incentive efforts as the company aims to cut storewide discounts, in addition to the amount of prescriptions required to claim the discount. Currently, customers get a coupon good for 10% off a future day of shopping every time they fill 10 prescriptions at a Target pharmacy with a Target REDcard. Target said customers will receive a coupon good for 5% off a future day of shopping every time they fill five prescriptions at a Target pharmacy with a Target REDcard. The changes will take effect this fall. The new incentive, however, may be eclipsed by the simultaneous launch of the company’s expanded, storewide REDcard program, under which customers "will receive 5% off at check-out every day when they use a REDcard at any Target store or on," according to the company. That program also launches in the fall, following a test in Kansas City that began in October 2009.

Connecting With “The Recovery Consumer” A Key Theme At CRMC Conference

With mainstream media still focused on the frugality of consumers as a result of the great recession, many retailers are missing out on opportunities to tap into recovery. J. Walker Smith, Executive Vice Chairman of The Futures Company & President of Yankelovich Monitor, shared insights into these new realities during a keynote session at this week’s sold out CRMC 2010 Conference in Chicago. During the session titled, “The Recovery Consumer Marketplace in the Era of Consequences,” Smith pointed out that “consumer balance sheets are looking better.” After bottoming out in the beginning of 2009, he highlighted the fact that consumer net worth has actually increased in every quarter and consumers have also shed much of their debt. Other positive indicators pointing to an upward trend in consumer spending include consistent increases in sales of new cars and homes. Because the recent financial crisis has shed more jobs than any previous recession, Smith admitted ongoing unemployment is causing some “bumpy behavior” for retail sales and “a slower recovery than we might like.” He also pointed out that two broad types of consumers have emerged after the recession: one that is “financially strapped” because they’ve been impacted by job cuts and another…

Game-Based Marketing Author Shares Insights On Scoring Loyalty Points With Funware

In an era where the Internet reigns supreme and social interactions account for a large portion of consumers’ online activity, the ever-present question is how to integrate these trends into marketing. Videogame innovator and entrepreneur Game Zichermann explores the concept of “Funware,” a new model for incorporating and leveraging games and game mechanics to reach today’s customers, in his book “Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges and Contests.” Retail TouchPoints had the chance to catch up with Zichermann to learn more about what motivates consumers best, content that sticks and how the lessons from Facebook’s Farmville game can be leveraged in retail. Retail TouchPoints: Although the Internet has been established as a place to harvest buzz and social interactions, a marketing model that actually leads to reliable revenue is not in plain sight. What are your thoughts on this? How does game-based marketing integrate?

Overstock Enhances Club O is striving to offer its club members enhanced benefits, including: Earn 5% in Rewards - In lieu of a 5% discount on limited items, members will earn 5% in Club O Rewards Dollars on every eligible purchase (including Books, Media, Music, and Games). The 5% will go into their Club O Rewards account, and can be used on future purchases. Combine Offers to Maximize Savings - Members will be able to maximize savings by combining their Club O Rewards Dollars with other promotional coupon offers. Free Shipping - Members will keep all former Club O free shipping benefits and receive free shipping on orders over $25 made up exclusively of books, media, movies, and games. Exclusive Shopping Events - Members will receive member-only invitations to product previews, sales, and shopping events exclusive to Club O Members. Priority Customer Service - Members willl have access to the exclusive Club O Rewards Customer Care Team. When members contact Customer Care, the best of the best of our award-winning team will quickly and professionally answer and resolve any questions. When the new program is rolled out, all current Club O Members will automatically be transitioned into it. Current members will also…

Context Optional Announces Social Marketing Solution for Retailers

Social marketing software provider Context Optional recently announced the launch of a new set of tools designed specifically for retailers as part of the company’s Social Marketing Suite, an integrated software as a service (SaaS) solution for building, monitoring and managing brand presence on Facebook. Working with leading retail brands, Context Optional created a solution designed to offer integrated publishing and application creation tools to help clients engage with customers through multiple touch points. The tools are designed to enable retailers to showcase and promote products, distribute special discounts, target customers by location and publish applications to both brand Pages and the News Feed. The Social Marketing Suite retail offerings includes multiple applications that are designed to create dynamic coupons, polls, sweepstakes and product catalogs to publish on a Facebook Page an in the stream. The solutions are designed to give users the power to print coupons from the news feed and send them to their mobile phones.

5 Proven Tips for Winning Shoppers in New Categories

By Brian Ross, President, Precima A bigger basket. All retailers want it, and almost all of them have become adept at persuading shoppers to buy a particular item — whether it’s a new brand of pet food or a line-extension in cereal. But, turning those one-off item purchases into long-term incremental behavior is an all-together different challenge. It takes a deft understanding of shopper needs, brand loyalty and price and promotional responsiveness to win the bigger basket again and again. Most retailers now know that this insight is attainable through analysis of shopper purchasing data, but putting it into practice is quite another matter. Retailers that analyze consumer shopping behavior can identify their most profitable shoppers, learn what motivates them and then get them to buy products they had not even considered. The key to long-term profitable behavior is to complement the understanding of what is most important to shoppers with relevant marketing and merchandising tactics that resonate and increase sales and profits.

Steve Madden Puts Mobile Marketing to Work at Storefront

Mobile madness has struck the retail industry full force in the last year. The potential to lend yet another channel to the customer offers a supplement to the customer experience, both in-store and online. As part of the April 21st Retail 3.0 Virtual Conference & Expo, Andrew Koven, President of E-Commerce & Customer Experience at Steve Madden, shared a case study example of how the shoe & apparel retailer is putting mobile to work. “We believe mobile provides for that unique informational device wherever, whenever and however,” Koven said during his session titled “Engaging the Mobile Consumer: Strategies to Optimize Customer Acquisition, Conversion and Retention.” “We’re supporting the purchase and the confidence building for the consumer to make that investment in our product.”

New Report Spotlights How Retailers Handle Social Brand Bashing

While the social sphere is highly regarded as prime real estate to strengthen customer interactions and engagement, a new report warns retailers of bad buzz, which can test their abilities to market in the dynamic, fragmented and real-time environment of social networks. The new eMarketer report "How Retailers Handle Negative Buzz on Social Media Sites,” found that although many retailers have developed a large marketing presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, disgruntled consumers are increasingly using them as forums to complain about these companies and their mishaps. As such, retailers cannot afford to take negative buzz lightly when it can adversely affect their reputation and sales, according to the report. “Once a retailer is criticized on Facebook or a similar social venue, it has three basic options for dealing with the situation: respond to the criticism, stay silent (perhaps to allow loyal customers to come to its defense) or remove the negative comments when possible,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report.

COLLOQUY Names Best Loyalty Marketing Initiatves

In its most recent issue, COLLOQUY magazine celebrates its 20th anniversary with a list saluting the leading loyalty innovations of the past two decades. Highlights from 1990 to 2010 tracing major milestones in the evolution of loyalty marketing include: 1990: The proliferation of the branded rewards credit card begins as AT&T introduces its AT&T Universal Card 1991: The first example of large-scale, Word of Mouth rewards marketing occurs with MCI’s Friends & Family Program, which encourages customers to recruit new members in return for awards

Satisfaction with Top 100 E-Retailers Rebounds to All-Time High

Satisfaction with Top 100 e-retailers rebounded from a dive this time last year, to an all-time high score of 78 points out of 100, a five-point increase, according to ForeSee Results’ annual Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index. The study found that consumers are more satisfied with their online experiences than ever before — nearly every individual retailer registered a score that matched or exceeded previous satisfaction levels. The research is based on surveys of more than 23,000 visitors to the top 100 e-retail websites by sales volume, as reported in the 2010 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “The state of the economy really forced e-retail to step up their game,” said study author Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, in a press release. “Since so much of the financial downturn was out of their control, companies turned to those things they could improve, and now they are reaping the benefits. Customer satisfaction is not a byproduct of a healthy economy. Instead, a healthy economy is a consequence of satisfied customers.”
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