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Oracle Retail Blog helps retailers stay current on customer successes, hot retail trends and industry best practices.

Under the hood of the customer loyalty engine

Heather Narva
Senior Marketing Manager, Oracle Retail

In a recent consumer research study, we learned that only 49% of global consumers feel loyalty program points and status matter. So, what about the other 51% of consumers? How do you truly understand what drives the customer? 

From the outside, building and maintaining customer loyalty may look like thoughtful shopkeeping, but on the back end, there's a whole lot more that goes into engaging customers at scale. In our guidebook, Customer Engagement: A New Take on Loyalty, we a look at the core features and functions that support a modern retail loyalty solution, including: 

  • Extensible Customer Profiles: It's no secret that customer engagement starts with base-level customer attributes such as name and email address. Without this information, it isn't easy to engage a customer. But why stop with the basics? Instead, when retailers gather the information that will help them better serve their customers, they can easily personalize the data model in several different ways, then combine them to reach a target audience. 

Think of "soccer moms"; there is not one specific trait that defines this group. Instead, several characteristics add up to make them who they are, each of which is important. In this particular instance, a retailer using Oracle Retail Customer Engagement could set rules to identify customers who are female, have children, and have previously purchased soccer equipment. Then they can use those rules to reach that specific audience by sending them deals that apply to their particular needs. Small snippets of data can quickly add up to create a comprehensive customer profile that will help the retailer in the long term. 

  • Segment Management: Building on these extensible customer profiles, retailers can better segment their target audiences. Once a segment is created, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement continually updates the segment's purchasing habits and metrics every time it runs. Think of this concept as the rings on a tree; with each purchase a customer within a segment makes, another 'ring' is added to the tree of information on that segment. A record is kept of these purchases, allowing the retailer to measure changes over time. This helps businesses understand whether target segments are declining or growing and how to engage them in a meaningful way that will affect the bottom line. Additionally, this practice brings value to retailers by identifying new segments as trends in customer habits emerge.

  • Enterprise-Wide Integration: Two heads are better than one, but only when they are working together. Instead of keeping data and insights siloed in separate POS and CRM systems, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement was designed to integrate seamlessly with Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service. This integration offers retailers the opportunity to gather data about their customers that can come in handy long after an individual sale is made. It is fundamentally important to understand that with Xstore, the POS is not just a cash register. Instead, it is deeply intertwined with Customer Engagement to help retailers understand their customers' purchasing habits and drive loyalty. With these solutions, retailers can examine customers' previous routines and optimize loyalty offers specifically for them, giving sales associates an extra tool at their disposal to ensure that customers receive the best possible service. 

  • Embedded Intelligence: Using advanced intelligence informed by retail science, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement enables retailers to implement strategic initiatives that drive predicted customer actions. This allows retailers to look at their customers from both the top-down and bottom-up, resulting in more opportunities to dissect trends and present them in an actionable manner. Oracle's technology analyzes consumers' past behavior to predict their future activities and then uses that analysis to support retailers in their initiatives to engage consumers better. 

  • Data Integration with Interactive Marketing Tools: By nature, retailers want to sell, and marketing is a vital part of how they drive customers to make purchases. By understanding customer wants and needs, retailers can market to their target audiences more effectively. More data makes marketing engines smarter and leads to more effective marketing programs that leverage a higher degree of personalization. Of course, just as xeroxing the same page repeatedly will result in a deteriorating image over time, recreating or reassembling segments, customer profiles, or raw data points only impedes the process. To solve this, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement seamlessly integrates with marketing platforms to put their data to work faster and more effectively.

Case Study: Perry Ellis' Future-Proof Approach 

Global fashion powerhouse Perry Ellis International upgraded from a six-year-old Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) to Oracle Retail Customer Engagement (ORCE) Cloud Services to create meaningful connections with its customers and deliver immediate gratification. 

  • The Status Quo: The retailer was hindered by a heavily customized, legacy CRM system and did not want to continue to develop its functionality in-house, on a case-by-case basis. 

  • The Reason: The primary impetus for change at Perry Ellis International was the need for a nimble system to keep them on pace with industry change. The team also found that a "built for retail" CRM solution was critical to this requirement. 

  • The Results: Perry Ellis now has seamless integration across ORCE, eCommerce, POS, and customer service. ORCE enables a single, real-time, 360-view of their customers across all touchpoints. The clarity of data and the flexibility in adding different attributes help marketing focus on actual marketing, not on managing a system. The tool captures, analyzes, and organizes customer data. Perry Ellis can deliver a personalized shopping experience to its customers that is relevant and timely.  Read more: Perry Ellis International Drives Brand Loyalty

oracle retail customer engagement

 

Ready to go under the loyalty engine hood? Access the full free guide
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While everyone around the world continues to navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, Oracle Retail is committed to supporting your business and to providing continuity of service through this challenging time. Visit the Oracle Retail COVID-19 Resource Center. Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated platform for leading retail solutions, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together.

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