Most retailers able to identify best customers
Nearly 60% of retailers now identify their most valuable customers using a data warehouse, and 61% match point of sale (POS) transactions to unique customer identifiers to help identify those customers, according to Blue Martini Software's annual retail CRM poll.
The survey, which questioned 6,000 retail executives about their customer relationship management (CRM) objectives for 2003, revealed a dramatic improvement in retailers' ability to understand their most valuable customers.
These results show an encouraging increase of 50% over last year's results, in which only 40% of retailers could identify their best customers. The ability to identify these customers improves a retailer's ability to target them across every channel of customer interaction - in stores, at checkouts and kiosks, on websites, at call centres, through e-mail, and by direct mail.
Electronic marketing This year's poll also found that, for the first time, retailers plan to invest more in e-mail (43%) than direct mail (40%). The results indicate growing investments in electronic marketing aimed at driving in-store traffic, and suggest increasing success rates in using targeted e-mails to drive revenue both online and offline.
The retailers anticipate investing in technology to help improve both customer understanding and loyalty. Just under 25% of survey respondents cited "understanding customers" as the most important factor in improving customer relationships.
Customer loyalty Customer loyalty is a key area of focus for the poll's respondents. Of those who indicated that customer loyalty is critical, 71% plan to invest moderate or large amounts in a loyalty programme during 2003.
"Those retailers that can identify their most valuable customers and act on that information with targeted, relevant offers will be the winners in the highly competitive retail environment," said Monte Zweben, CEO for Blue Martini Software.