Who doesn’t love a celebration? There is something extra special about your own special day. If you have been following some of the previous blog entries, the concept of gathering information about your customers is an important task that all retailers should actively perform as part of daily operations.
Analysis of the collected data can provide a wealth of information about who your customers are, how they spend their money, and when do they spend their hard earned coin. Sadly, and I have seen this as a common and increasing trend, the collected data is used almost exclusively to build an email list only. Maybe there is some email address validation done, but this the exception rather than the rule. This badly maintained email list is almost always badly managed.
The sort of data that you collect should include:
An email address
Date of birth (if the year is included that is great, but expect some blanks here)
Family unit (2A2C, 1A2T, etc)
Once you have this sort of base information, additional activities can be launched; stuff that will provide an additional layer of information. This includes offers for enrolment into a reward or loyalty program; now you have access to spending patterns.
The object here is to alter your customers shopping experience from something that may resemble a necessary task, to something that is more like a tailored shopping experience based on what your customer would normally do.
The more information you are able to gather about your customers, the more personal you can make the shopping experience…. And what better personal experience is there than to receive a Happy Birthday message.
Now here is the warning: If you collect data, then as the data custodian you have a legal responsibility to protect it and use it only for the intention that it was originally collected. Breaches in this responsibility will result in significant damage to your reputation and a future reluctance by anyone to hand you any information at all. Protect what you collect.
A note about loyalty programs: This article might be seen as a champion of loyalty programs; it is not. Loyalty programs deliver orly marginal returns, so much so that many of the large retailers are scaling them back. The problem with scaling back a loyalty program is that existing members feel that you are now taking something away from them. If you are considering introducing a loyalty program, then don’t.
“The only growth that loyalty cards have created is increasing the size of the marketing department.”
Dr Rohan Miller, Senior Marketing Lecturer, University of Sydney, Business School