Saturday, March 01, 2008

New technologies to enhance loyal customer shopping experience

On Feb 2008 French Marketing Direct Magazine wrote an article titled: "Grocery retailing: Towards high tech loyalty".
First the article overviews the different techniques used by retailers to get their customers loyalty (coupons, cash back, gifts...). What is interesting in this part is that customers are primarily asking for money back as a reward. That makes sense as their first priority is to find the best deals.

But later in the article, the different experts solicited to establish this report are focusing on the future of loyalty programs.
I particularly appreciate the point of view of Christophe Lucas, manager at K Agency 360: "Loyalty programs cover both the beginning and the end of the relationship, but the customer relationship on site has not been considered enough". The client is contacted prior to come in the store, with promotions and coupons, and then after the visit to tell him to come back. But what about while shopping?

There is no distinction between a loyal and an average shopper. However, one of the best way to differentiate yourself on such a competitive market, where you have very few product differentiation either, is to provide to your client a top of the line customer experience. That is the reason why I think it will become crucial for retailers to focus on this issue, because it will probably turn into a key success factor shortly.

And this is where new technologies can help the retailers develop a specific customer experience for its loyal clientèle. Therefore technologies like the electronic cart, which allow the customers to receive specific offers during its shopping, can provide a real benefit to customers.
I think it is interesting indeed to think about how to enhance and differentiate the shopping experience of a loyal customer and an average one.

What do you think about it? How do you think it is possible to interact better with loyal customers?

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