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Retail CRM provides insights from leading retailers and industry experts that help improve the customer experience at every touch point and across all channels. Some topics covered in CRM articles include customer loyalty, email marketing and promotion optimization. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Merkle Acquires 500friends

Merkle 500friendsMerkle, a CRM solution provider, has acquired omnichannel loyalty company 500friends for an undisclosed sum. This is the first acquisition Merkle has made in the loyalty space, and will help ramp up the company’s omnichannel customer engagement and loyalty offerings for brands and retailers.

With the acquisition, Merkle will have access to LoyaltyPlus, the SaaS lifecycle marketing suite from 500friends, which offers a single view of all customer interactions in-store, online and via mobile.

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Ethan Allen Rolls Out New Store Concept In 300 Locations

Shopping for furniture can be an inundating, time-consuming process. It may take consumers several months, or more than a year, to make a decision.

Ethan Allen is hoping to ease this process and help consumers craft the home of their dreams by unveiling a new content-rich web site and a new retail concept designed to enrich the customer experience. The new initiatives come on the heels of the retailer releasing more than 600 new product designs influenced by rustic beach houses and more chic, urban homes.

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Capital Teas Launches Mobile App With LevelUp

CapitalTeasAppCapital Teas, a specialty tea provider, has selected LevelUp to power its mobile payment and loyalty app. The app is designed to provide one place for customers to access their method of payment and loyalty rewards. The app is scheduled to launch in November and will be available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play.

"Our customers demand high-quality loose teas, herbal infusions and excellent customer service,” said Peter Martino, Co-founder and CEO of Capital Teas.  “They also expect a simple, user-friendly mobile experience, and we intend to give them exactly that. We don't want our customers to have a disjointed payment and loyalty experience by having to open one app to pay, then another app to track their loyalty progress. We want them to simply open up their mobile wallet, see all their payment options in one place and pick the one that's going to provide them with the ability to pay, and get rewarded, with a single tap."

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Only 16% Of Organizations Say They Have Highly Effective Loyalty Programs

Customer loyaltyOnly 16% of businesses believe they have a highly effective loyalty program, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and commissioned by SAS.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they use a customer retention rate metric to measure loyalty program success, while 27% calculate customer lifetime value. Only 54% of organizations said they could calculate the revenue impact of their customer loyalty programs.

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“Everyday Earners” Prefer High-Frequency Loyalty Programs

RR Pointscom imageMore loyalty program members (83%) earn points and miles on everyday purchases than through any other rewards-collecting method, according to research data from Points. As many as 81% of loyalty members seek out bonus point offers, while 69% make big purchases on reward-earning credit cards.

Retailers that implement loyalty programs have the opportunity to provide customers with extra value and show their appreciation for their ongoing purchases. The loyalty industry currently is valued at $48 billion, according to COLLOQUY, and includes 2.65 billion U.S. loyalty membership accounts.

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A Vote For Apple Pay: How It Will Impact Retail Loyalty Marketing

Zach-Goldstein-Thanx-HeadshotApple made a big splash on September 9 announcing Apple Pay — finally enabling consumers to make purchases with their iPhones at participating retailers.

With such a dramatic entry and a new, imposing entrant into mobile payments, retail loyalty marketers need to grasp the ramifications of how purchasing and retention marketing will evolve.

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7-Eleven Expands Partnership With Belly To 2,600 Stores

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has extended its partnership with digital loyalty platform provider Belly. By the end of 2014, 2,600 7-Eleven stores will use Belly for customer loyalty and marketing efforts.

Since its implementation in March 2013, 7-Eleven built its Belly network consistently, starting with an initial installation in 85 stores in downtown Chicago and a subsequent pilot of 350 locations across Chicago, Austin and Los Angeles. Starting this month, 465 locations in New York and Vancouver, B.C., Canada, will implement the Belly program.

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Oxford Properties Uses NFC To Engage Food Court Customers

The customer experience in a food court is typically fast and easy. To increase linger time in its food court and generate awareness for its vendors, Oxford Properties executed an interactive contest using technology from Linkett across its Metro Centre, Royal Bank Plaza and Richmond-Adelaide Centre hubs in Toronto.

The “Savour The Rewards” campaign was crafted with guidance from The Mars Agency and technology from Linkett to entice customers and boost overall engagement.

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Shari’s Café & Pies Powers Rewards Program With Paytronix

sharisShari’s Café & Pies, a chain of 24-hour family restaurants, has launched the Café Club Rewards program via the Paytronix Rewards Platform. The rewards program is designed to help the merchant create relevant promotions based on guest interactions.

Paytronix, a provider of loyalty program solutions, enables Shari’s to engage guests through smartphone apps and mobile-friendly guest web pages.


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Moving to mobile was a big step for Shari’s. The company’s previous loyalty programs relied heavily on printed coupons and Free Standing Inserts (FSIs) to drive store visits, but they provided minimal benefits, according to a press statement.

“We were producing a large number of unprofitable checks with our old method of discounting through coupons and FSIs,” said Kevin Bechtel, SVP of Purchasing and Menu Development for Shari’s Café & Pies. “With our new loyalty program, we can leverage the data to show appreciation to our best guests, while using the program’s levers to incent visits during new day parts, drive guests to experience new menu items and more.”

In the first month of the program launch, Shari’s registered more than 50,000 members. As part of the implementation, Shari’s is tapping the Paytronix Data Insights team to help better understand individual customers and to proactively respond to opportunities identified from the new loyalty program’s data sources.

“The restaurants that do the best with a loyalty program rollout are those who set clear goals at the chain, franchisee and store level,” said Lee Barnes, Head of Data Insights at Paytronix. “And where the entire organization from the CEO down to the store manager and wait staff are excited about the program and are held accountable for results.” 

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Jamba Juice Reaches One Million Loyalty Members

jambaJamba Juice, a specialty beverage and food retailer selling health- and wellness-related products, reached significant milestones in two of its technology-based programs.

The Jamba Insider Rewards (JIR) consumer loyalty program passed the one million member mark. The program allows members to enter a phone number into a terminal at the register in order to receive rewards, personalized offers and free Jamba products.

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Capillary Technologies Raises $14 Million In Series B Funding

caplogo
Capillary Technologies
, a cloud-based marketing platform solution provider, has secured $14 million in Series B funding to further improve the company’s marketing platform and develop its partnership ecosystem. Current partners include Blue Label Engage in South Africa and the American Express US Global Merchants Services group.

This round of funding round was led by Sequoia Capital and Northwest Venture Partners (NVP).  Capillary also received $17 million in Series A Funding in 2012.

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Data, Omnichannel And Engagement: 3 Terms That Work Together To Drive Loyalty

VP HelloWorld head shotEquipped with smartphones, mobile apps, email and numerous social accounts, the connected consumer is more accessible than ever. Though these platforms help bridge the gap between business and buyer, many brands are still learning how to leverage an omnichannel approach as part of a cohesive, consistent marketing strategy. With consumer insights available through social networks and the opportunity to communicate throughout the purchasing cycle, brands now have access to a plethora of rich data.

recent IBM study revealed that only 10% of real-time data is effectively used. Brands must utilize the wave of insights available to them to evaluate and improve upon existing efforts. By leveraging data and applying an omnichannel strategy, brands can sculpt campaigns that not only engage with their audiences, but foster stronger relationships.

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Relationships, Not Rewards, Are Key To Successful Loyalty Programs

FEAT Customer Loyalty imageConsumers' overall engagement in traditional loyalty programs has declined consistently over the past four years and retailers are looking to refocus their loyalty initiatives to compete more effectively.

While total loyalty program subscriptions peaked at 2.65 billion in 2012, the overall percentage of active memberships slipped from 46% in 2010 to 44% in 2012, according to COLLOQUY research. The average U.S. household participates in 21.9 loyalty programs, but less than half, or only 9.5 of those memberships, are active, COLLOQUY reported.

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60% Of Shoppers Say Retailers Offer Above-Average Customer Service

RR KANA imageRetailers are constantly looking for innovative ways to provide top-notch customer service to their shoppers. Survey results from KANA Software, a subsidiary of Verint Systems, concludes that shoppers, overall, are happy with their experiences with retailers.

More than half (60%) of shoppers rated retailer customer service efforts at least a seven on a scale of one to 10 (with one being the worst and 10 being excellent), according to the study, titled: Consumers Sound Off On Customer Service In The Retail Sector. KANA Software gathered feedback from more than 100 shoppers during April 2014 to gauge consumers’ perceptions of past customer service experiences with retailers.

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Retail Solution From Salesforce Facilitates Channel-to-Channel Customer Engagement

salesforce1Salesforce.com has released Salesforce1 for Retail, a platform designed for retailers to foster a one-on-one relationship with shoppers across any channel, increase customer satisfaction and drive brand loyalty. The CRM software provider’s global alliance partners Capgemini and PwC have joined the Salesforce1 for Retail ecosystem to develop retail solutions built on the platform.

The retail industry is certainly undergoing a paradigm shift due to the growth of new channels and the infusion of new technologies, and experts at McKinsey & Co. are expecting it to change more in the next three years than it has in the last 50 years. Already, 75% of customers interact with at least two devices during their shopping experience. As many as 69% of customers expect sales associates to be mobile enabled throughout their work day. If these in-store associates are mobile enabled, customers are 50% more likely to shop with them or ask them for assistance.

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