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Team your omnichannel efforts with a customer retention strategy

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Do you offer your customers a buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) option? If the answer is yes, then give yourself a pat on the back — you are already ahead. The latest research shows 48% of omnichannel retailers don’t offer BOPIS.

This interesting stat was taken from the ‘2018 Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers’ report, compiled by Total Retail, in conjunction with Radial. The list of publicly traded retailers were judged on the following omnichannel criteria:

  • Does it offer buy online, pick up in-store;
  • Does it offer the ability to search for in-store products on its website;
  • Does it offer a shared cart across channels (e.g., mobile to desktop);
  • Can loyalty points be earned and redeemed across channels;
  • Can products be returned across channels;
  • Does it offer five or more channels for customer service;
  • Is product pricing consistent across channels.

It is clear from the report that a lot of retailers are proactively taking the approach to offer more options to their customers and are willing to invest in technologies that enable a flexible and consistent shopping experience. But it was DSW, UGG and LIDS that snagged the top rankings; they are clearly leading the way in offering a seamless purchase journey, something that customers are growing to expect.

Retailers can benchmark their own omnichannel efforts against this report and strategize their current position — which areas are you doing well, can you take advantage of any potential opportunities, and how can you create a better omnichannel experience?

All of your omnichannel efforts to increase the focus on customer experience and loyalty can mean better results. But for an omnichannel strategy to achieve long term success, it needs to be teamed with predictive analytics and advanced segmentation tools.

A noticeable trend from the report was an increase in customer loyalty programs. Omnichannel loyalty programs, which enable customers to earn or redeem points across various channels, were offered by nearly three-quarters of the retailers studied, an increase of 32% compared to 2017. The future success of customer loyalty, however, lies beyond omnichannel efficiency. The next step is to gain deeper insights into customer behavior.

Let me explain. Loyalty programs are a great idea. When asked if I want an extra 15% off the price of my new jeans in exchange for signing up for a loyalty program, I say, ‘fo shizzle’ — I get a reward for my purchase. It can act as a good customer retention tool too, the more I spend the more I earn, so I have an incentive to keep coming back. But when am I likely to come back? And what are you going to do if I don’t feel like coming back? If your answer is to keep offering the 15% discount, you may soon discover a new way to reduce promotional marketing and increase customer retention.

All of your omnichannel efforts to increase the focus on customer experience and loyalty can mean better results. But for an omnichannel strategy to achieve long term success, it needs to be teamed with predictive analytics and advanced segmentation tools. Twenty of the ‘Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers’ are customers of ours, but let’s use Crocs as an example, one of the world leaders in casual shoe manufacturing.

Crocs has improved their omnichannel ranking this year, jumping from the 12th spot in 2017 to the 8th position by offering customers multiple channels for customer service and the ‘Crocs Club’ loyalty program.

Crocs has always taken a customer-centric approach to their marketing and like any other retailer, they focus on customer retention. However, instead of becoming reliant on promotions and discounts, they were proactive in advancing their omnichannel strategy with segmentation and personalization.

Using Custora, the Crocs team decided to take an analytical, test-based approach to promotion optimization. They tested several “win back” messages across different churning customer segments, some included promotions, while others didn’t.

Crocs discovered a vast amount of customers were responsive to a relationship-based win-back messaging that did not include any promotional discount, while setting the optimal discount offering for the other segments. The winning version of these tests were then automated through Custora’s integration with Croc’s email service provider. Within their first four months of testing, they generated a combined incremental revenue that represents a 10X ROI.

So, the real value behind customer loyalty programs is the discovery of the trends and forces that drive loyalty and purchases, and the ability to leverage this information to increase incremental revenue and prevent customer churn using tools like personalization and discount sensitivity across all of your marketing platforms.

Omnichannel in retail isn’t a new concept, but it can be highly beneficial. Removing the walls between different sales channels means creating a single profile for each shopper. You can use Custora as an additional layer on top of your omnichannel efforts and take the customer experience to the next level by streaming these unified customer profiles into all your personalization and campaign management tools to deliver consistent messages and surface behavioral insights that represent the best opportunities to grow your business.