A complete CRM system for retailers

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on March 8, 2002

At a time when most retailers want to adopt CRM but few have so far, Blue Martini Software is launching a complete but modular system.

While some three in four retailers see multi-channel CRM as vital to the future of their businesses, only about one third currently have multi-channel CRM initiatives in place. Blue Martini Software has commissioned a survey of directors of marketing, e-commerce and e-business at over 150 large department stores, specialty retail outlets and large grocery stores in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Over half of those surveyed either have, or plan to have, a multi-channel CRM initiative in place by 2005.

The majority of retailers surveyed believe that implementing multi-channel CRM will increase customer retention and drive up sales by enabling them to offer their customers a more personalized shopping experience. There is also an increasing awareness in the retail sector of the importance of interacting with customers at multiple touch points: on the web, over the phone, or in physical stores.

The complete results of the survey will be published in a white paper, available from Blue Martini Software, at the end of March.

With this in mind, the company has released Blue Martini Retail, the first comprehensive CRM solution for retailers, which will enable retailers to sell more profitably by delivering personalized marketing and service across every channel including physical stores, websites, e-mail and call centres. The system creates a holistic profile of each shopper, delivers key insights about individual shopping patterns and preferences, and helps retailers to act on those insights to increase customer retention and lifetime value.

The core of the solution is the Customer Engine, which serves as a common platform for nine modular retail applications. It collects data from all channels; segments and scores customers with integrated analytics and then, in real time, presents offers and also information  that is appropriate for each shopper. The modular approach enables retailers to start immediately and achieve a quick return on investment, then add synergistic applications over time.

The nine applications that work in conjunction with the Customer Engine include:

  • Real-time Offer Delivery presents marketing offers and services (integrated with POS devices, self-service devices like kiosks, and signature capture devices) that are personalized for every shopper in the store.
  • Clienteling allows sales staff to manage client lists, send event reminders or birthday greetings, record preferences and sizes, and view suggested cross-sells and up-sells.
  • Loyalty Programmes tracks customer transaction history and enables the delivery of incentives or personalized service that increases wallet share, loyalty and customer retention while facilitating permission-based direct marketing to registered members.
  • Gift Registry is a multi-channel wish list that is synchronized between the store, website and call centre in real-time. Integration with wireless devices allows shoppers to scan in desired items.
  • Market Research enables retailers to survey shoppers in the store or online to obtain feedback or discover trends on new products, promotions and advertising. For example, retailers can survey at the POS to calculate the website's impact on in-store purchases.
  • Inventory Locator allows both online visitors and retail sales people to check the availability of products at other locations.
  • Campaign Management supports highly targeted e-mail and direct mail campaigns, and it allows retailers to track campaign results.
  • Customer Service enables customer service representatives to take orders, edit profiles, provide status, process returns, and service requests using a web-based interface.  It can suggest cross-sells and up-sells based on a customer's profile.
  • E-Commerce provides a website environment for both taking orders and driving traffic to physical stores.

Blue Martini Retail integrates with leading merchandising, stock management, fulfilment and supply chain management systems. These include CommercialWare, Descartes, EXE Technologies, JDA, Manhattan Associates, The NSB Group, Retek and Yantra, as well as store systems from 360 Commerce, Chelsea, Cornell-Mayo, Fujitsu, IBM, NCR, Symbol, Triversity and Wincor Nixdorf.

Blue Martini Retail will cost from US$85,000 per CPU and it will be shipping this month.

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