SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

July 08, 2008 10:00 ET

Lifetime Customer Value Identified as a Key Motivator for Customer Loyalty in Retail

Aberdeen Research Reveals That 93% of Retailers Execute Loyalty Programs as a Standard Offering for Their Web, Store, or Catalog Channel Customers

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), surveyed 231 retail enterprises between May and June 2008 to determine the current state of loyalty technology and process integration in retail. Aberdeen data reveals that the top business pressure impacting loyalty-related decisions of 58% of Best-in-Class companies in retail is the need to develop lifetime customer value, which is defined as the present value of future cash flows through long-term customer relationships.

"In times of stagnant growth, retailers need to develop lifetime customer value through improved customer retention, re-activation, and acquisition strategies. This will improve long-term stakeholder value and ensure an assured revenue stream for the retailer through customers who are expected to spend for several years," says Sahir Anand, senior analyst and chief author of the customer loyalty benchmark report.

Aberdeen data reveals that 93% of retailers execute loyalty programs as a standard offering for their web, store, or catalog channel customers. Such campaigns include, but are not limited to, point perks, rewards, coalition marketing, frequent buyer offers, or private label credit cards. The reports also indicated that lifetime customer value in retail is being overshadowed by the tactical nature of loyalty campaigns that target short-term demand. "Loyalty campaigns are executed without due consideration to ideal customer segments, tools, coordinated cross-channel marketing needs, and long-term customer relationships," says Anand.

The measurement of ROI on customer loyalty programs is a continuous action at retail headquarters. Moreover, determining such an ROI is a much simpler process compared to other retail solutions such as POS, merchandising or pricing. There are substantial and recurring cost factors associated with loyalty in retail. Survey results show that cost-benefit issues surrounding loyalty scenarios are top-of-mind for retail marketers. Repeat visit (61%), incremental sales (58%), and overall satisfaction (57%) have emerged as the three most significant factors used by retailers for justifying spend on loyalty elements, operational costs, and upgrade / deployment of loyalty software applications. All three ROI criteria can lead to sales uplift, retention improvement, and reduced attrition for retailers.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Loyalty Lab, Agilysys, Vesdia, Marketlive, and Tectura. This report was also supported by Wise Marketer and Retail TouchPoints. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4890.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely 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 http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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