Alison Brown, marketing manager at K3 CRM, looks at the ways garden centre retailers can integrate multiple data sets to better understand their customers and build loyalty
Garden centres are ﬁnding themselves in a highly competitive market. While often this comes with an upturn in order books, many are looking at ways they can turn one-off purchases into repeat business.
Many businesses in this space are familiar with the idea of using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to collect transactional data and purchase histories. But how many businesses are supplementing this with information on their customers from a customer relationship management (CRM) solution?
Moving away from traditional price wars, garden centre retailers must not only invest in ways they connect with new customers, but also the ways they build long-lasting customer relationships. A recent report from Adobe found that 40% of an e-commerce store’s revenue is created by 8% of its customers, making it vital that garden centre retailers focus on new customer acquisition and retention in equal measure.
Data is key to ensuring retailers are able to effectively target their sales and communication techniques. Many retailers are aware of the need to collect data across multiple channels, recording customer addresses at the point of sale, which is then uploaded into a central system for future marketing. However, while garden centre retailers are already gathering such information, they must now familiarise themselves with the way this data can be used to build customer loyalty.
In order to be truly effective, both online and ofﬂine customer loyalty strategies must seamlessly integrate, offering garden centres an overarching multichannel approach to delivering an exceptional customer journey.
Information gathered throughout the customer journey can provide retailers with insight into effective audience segmentation. By proﬁling target demographics, garden centre retailers can discover who is buying their products and on what platform they are purchasing them.
This information can be used by retailers to target their communication channels, becoming more responsive and proactive to changing customer demands. For example, customer information may detail that repeat customers are predominantly made up of males, over 60 years of age, who also shop online. This may see retailers develop a series of online promotions, based on purchase history, speciﬁcally targeted towards males.
The same information can also be used to attract new customers, using existing customer information to underpin marketing efforts to connect with new customers.
It is this service-led approach which will provide retailers with a differentiating factor with regards to creating a loyal customer base. A multichannel service-led approach may see retailers offer an extended returns policy, free postage and packaging, or a complementary gift wrap service.
Information gathered at each different stage of the customer journey will provide garden centre retailers with the insight to deliver a personalised approach to marketing. This will ensure that as the market continues to become saturated, they are able to retain their competitive advantage.