Customer data is vital to cross-channel loyalty
The top cross-channel customer loyalty pressure that retail organisations face today is an inability to capture customer data, according to the Aberdeen Group report 'Cross-channel customer loyalty: Rewards, promotions, and the battle for ROI'.
The company surveyed 100 retail organisations to determine the current state of cross-channel customer loyalty, and found that the inability for a retailer to capture relevant customer data poses two main problems:
- Due to a lack of customer data, customer insights are unavailable to create personalised offers (e.g. based on prior purchase behaviour or demographics);
- If retailers are unable to ascertain channel preferences for communication delivery, marketing efforts are often duplicated across multiple channels, making them less effective and reducing the overall return on marketing investment.
In response to this pressure, the retail organisations surveyed generally indicated that, instead of simply cutting prices, they were offering rewards to their most loyal customers based on how often they shop (i.e. segmentation by frequency). The idea is that, by increasing the frequency of customer visits, the retailer gains more selling opportunities.
A key capability highlighted by the study is the ability to deliver personalised promotions across all channels. According to Chris Cunnane, senior research associate for Aberdeen Group, "The ability to use customer data and analytics to develop personal promotions cuts down on the marketing clutter that a typical consumer has to decipher when considering a purchase, and can be used to sell similar items at the point-of-sale."
And, to improve cross-channel loyalty performance, the survey showed that customer data and the use of emerging channels are of utmost importance. Aberdeen's analysis found that leading retailers have already placed an increased focus on:
- Implementing a CRM application With a CRM solution in place, these retailers can evaluate customer purchase history, and develop plans to improve recency, frequency, and monetary (RFM) performance across the entire enterprise.
- Social media campaigns Social media cannot stand alone, and must be combined with the loyalty programme to truly involve the customer in the brand experience. Retailers can start their venture into social marketing by setting up an online community as part of an opt-in micro-site, with product information, promotional offers, and web events exclusively for their loyalty members.
- Developing mobile and digital marketing campaigns By not implementing this technology, retailers are unable to take advantage of location-based promotions, smart posters, 2D barcode promotions, or social media applications within the mobile environment. Changing customer preferences for marketing messaging must be addressed; as these changes are met, retailers can expect to remain top-of-mind, and increase their wallet-share.
The report has been made available for download from Aberdeen's web site - click here (free registration required).