Earlier this week, I met the marketing team in a retail business. They told me they ran hundreds of weekly promotions, but had no idea which ones were successful. I’d say this is fairly common, even in some of the largest businesses, especially if they started on the high street and have migrated online.
The online retailers tend to be better at the internal examinations than the rest, because the management of data is an intrinsic part of what they do.
There’s often so much customer data within a business that is stored, but never explored.
Here are some of the things we are doing to help out.
1. Tracking the VIP’s
Who are your best customers and what do they have in common? Where can we find more of these?
2. Filling the Gaps
Are there any quiet periods? What’s the cost of running the store within that period and can we discount at this time? When we discount, can we do so in such a way that we can track the success of the campaign?
3. Reintroducing the occasional shoppers
What percentage of shoppers don’t visit every week? Can we run a targeted promotion to encourage them to visit more often?
4. Seducing the flirts for a long-term relationship
Who is only visiting with vouchers? Who has only visited once? Can we tempt them back with a few different offers, tested within a smaller group and rolled out to all flirts if successful?
5. The Snowmen
For some retailers, well over 50% of revenue comes during December. Where do these customers go for the rest of the year?
These customers might drop by for lunch once every three months. They live or work within walking range of the store, but a visit just isn’t part of their weekly routine. However, would a tempting offer seduce them to visit a second time within the week?
7. Speaking to them in the right tone of voice.
Many retailers often have very distinct customer segments. Take someone like HMV. Fans of video games might not fit the same profile as classical music lovers. And the classical music lovers probably don’t share the same interests as customers buying the latest thrash metal releases. If you want to grow the business, you’ll find that making your communication relevant to your customers will help grow their annual spend and reduce the chance of them disappearing from the retail radar.
8. Talking to customers and staff
I know this sounds crazy, but retailers could learn so much more from their customers and the easiest way to find out how to grow the business is to chat to them. Strand have recently run surveys across a broad range of current customers, potential customers, ex-customers and staff and presented these insights back to retailers. The results are sometimes obvious, often insightful, and occasionally acted on. Actually, we had a junior member of retail staff a few months ago that came up with such a spectacular idea that we reported it directly to the Chief Executive and he has now implemented it across the business.
9.Measuring, measuring and measuring.
What is the average spend per customer in each store? Why is it less in some than others? What happens when the management team is swapped over? How do sales change with a good staff incentive programme? What happens when it rains? When it’s cold? Do fans on Facebook get rewarded for their loyalty? Should we do something with Facebook Places? If we change the FourSquare offer, does it make any difference? What is the top selling item in competitors’ stores? What else do our customers buy? Are we giving hundreds of discounts to customers who would be shopping anyway? What impact is this having on our business.
10. Mapping out the customer journey.
Are we emailing customers too often? If emailing them any less, does it make a difference? Our customers are getting older; how do we attract a new generation? We know when their birthday is, but do we help them celebrate? Some customers have shown signs of enjoying the finer things in life; perhaps they would be interested in trying a new exclusive range in store if we give them sufficient respect and recognition for their discerning tastes..
All retailers have these hidden revenue opportunities and they aren’t that tricky to track down. There is a statistic that I often use: “It is eight times cheaper to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one” It makes sense, doesn’t it?