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HomeNEWSHow to break up big data and make it work for you

How to break up big data and make it work for you

Big data is confusing but there are ways into it, says The Warehouse Group business manager – loyalty, Nathalie Moolenschot. She spoke at Vend’s breakfast workshop for retailers, which was held last week in Remuera.

Another speaker at the workshop, Aimia’s Simon Rowles, explained that gathering data from loyalty programmes is essential. Using this data, retailers can target their best customers much more efficiently and refine their offering.

“Basically, you can fire 53 percent of your customers and lose 10 percent of your turnover, you just have to know who they are,” Rowles says.

However, Moolenschot says retailers can find manipulating large data sets from loyalty programmes overwhelming. The key to breaking it down is to look for trends. She recommends starting with identifying trends by industry or product group, then looking for the shoppers who shopped with them every month, every week, and so on.

Once retailers had identified their best customers, the next step Moolenschot suggested was to seek out the ‘next-best’. Handling the best customers is about retention, she says, so finding the next-best represents a chance to move them up a notch.

“Look at what your best customer is doing that your second-best isn’t.”

Moolenschot took cues fashion retailers when she spoke about the importance of accessorising. She says retailers should seek out “pairs” – purchases which logically followed other purchases – and communicate that opportunity to customers after the first sale.

Pushing the frequency was another tip Moolenschot picked up from a retailer. Speaking of her affection for Starbucks, she says Starbucks pushes the frequency of purchases expertly by using its app to target customers it has identified as receptive to suggestion with push notifications.

The last of Moolenschot’s quick suggestions was “Introduce new categories”. She says the Body Shop has shown the way with its different ranges. Categories such as ‘Olive’, ‘Tea tree’ and ‘Hemp’ each contain several different products, encouraging customers to make further purchases and collect the set.

Moolenschot introduced the crowd to common loyalty-based challenges from The Warehouse Group’s Warehouse Stationery brand:

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  • How to segment different customer groups from items that everyone uses, such as staplers?
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  • What can the company do once a once-off item like a printer has been sold?
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  • How to identify Warehouse Stationery’s split between consumer and business purchases?

Her closing advice to retailers was that they should “test, test, test, and fail fast”. The emphasis should be on progress rather than perfection, and keeping it simple is key.

“Customers will remember you if you remember them,” Moolenschot quoted.

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