SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

April 07, 2010 11:00 ET

Customer Data and Digital Consumerism Driving Cross-Channel Loyalty

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - April 7, 2010) -  The top pressure retail organizations face around cross-channel customer loyalty is the inability to capture customer data, according to the Aberdeen Group report Cross-Channel Customer Loyalty: Rewards, Promotions, and the Battle for ROI. Between February and March 2010, Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), surveyed 100 retail organizations to determine the current state of cross-channel customer loyalty.

"The inability for a retailer to capture relevant data poses two problems. First, due to a lack of customer data, customer insights are unavailable to create personalized offers based on prior purchase behavior or demographics. Second, if retailers are unable to ascertain channel preferences for communication delivery, marketing efforts are duplicated across multiple channels, making them ineffective," says Chris Cunnane, primary author and senior research associate, Aberdeen.

In response to this pressure, retail organizations indicated that identifying frequency offers for retaining current customers. "Instead of simply cutting prices, retailers are offering rewards to their loyal customers based on how often they shop. By increasing the frequency of customer visits, the retail organization will gain more selling opportunities," states Sahir Anand, co-author and research director, Aberdeen.

A top capability to emerge from this study is the ability to deliver personalized promotions across all channels. "The ability to use customer data and analytics to develop personal promotions cuts down on the marketing clutter a typical consumer has to decipher when considering a purchase, and can be used to sell similar items at the point-of-sale," says Cunnane.

To improve cross-channel loyalty performance, Aberdeen data has shown that customer data and the use of emerging channels is of utmost importance. Aberdeen's analysis of leading organizations demonstrates that these companies have 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.
  • Utilizing social media campaigns. Social media cannot stand alone, and must be combined with the loyalty program 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.

All of the above requirements, amongst others, are part of the winning strategy for cross-channel customer loyalty.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: IBM, IC Group LP, and YOU Technology. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=6283&camp2.

Visit Research.Aberdeen.com for additional access to complimentary Retail Research.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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