Innovative Retail Technologies

NOV-DEC 2016

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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applications across all of its Viking properties and is now extending this to the Office Depot Europe properties as well. Specific Personalization Campaigns Prove Their Worth Early into its engagement with Monetate, Viking leveraged the vendor's toolset to per- sonalize promotions using external weather data. "Market demands in the U.K. can be divided by weather, particularly when it's cold and snowy in the north and warmer in the south," says Newman. "We can leverage weather data to target northern customers with promotions on sidewalk grit and deicer, for instance, when and where it's needed most." Shipping cutoff dates are another external data source that feeds personalized promotions. "Some of our DCs have variable cutoff times based on the customer's shop- ping address," explains Newman. "Location awareness allows us to alert anonymous customers with a countdown to shipping cutoff times based on where they are, which generates a significant sales lift, particularly on time-sensitive consumables." Data analysis tools from Monetate have also driven cross-category penetration at Viking. It's been able to turn customers who never before purchased ink and toner from Viking, for instance, into repeat customers in that category by identifying those customers, recognizing them when they visited the site, and promoting those products. The more customers purchase, says Newman, the more detailed their buyer personas become, and the more relevant the offers get. "When we recognize a correlation between an individual customer, the brand or model of cartridge ink or toner they buy, and the frequency with which they buy it, for instance, we can continue to get that product in front of them at the right place and time to create measurable sales lift." That gained intelligence drives even more cross-category penetration; when a new customer buys ink or toner, for instance, Viking can leverage Monetate's data analysis tools to quite hand- ily determine what printer that customer operates and expand on other complemen- tary sales opportunities. Functional Widgets Save Customer Time, Increase Conversion Rate Customer intelligence is now empowering Viking to improve the site experience through personalization as well. As customers visit the site, Monetate allows the site to greet them with not just their most-purchased items, but also their most-used site features and functions, such as account status, as well. "We thought that because Viking customers are business users doing their jobs, productivity would be a good driver of customer satisfac- tion," says Newman. "With Monetate's tools, we were able to reduce their time on-site without negatively impacting conversion rate or aver- age order value." In fact, personalized widgets and targeted offers doubled click-through rates compared to users who hit the nonper- sonalized home page, resulting in conversion rates that reached beyond 50 percent. A Truly Customer-Centric Effort In the early stages of the Monetate pilot and rollout, the project engineers associated with the initiative were broken up into four groups, each focused on products, acquisi- tion and customer journey, user experience, and customer. Newman says early learning prompted the company to move quickly away from that model. "We saw some conflicting objectives there," he says. "Our merchants wanted a product personalization team first and foremost, but we repositioned to a single team of four personalization engi- neers who were focused instead on customer intelligence, and we built product intelli- gence into the mix as a subservient element," he says. "We developed new campaigns using that model and tested and validated them in the U.K., our most mature market for Monetate. When we achieved optimal results, only then did we push it out to other mar- kets." That model enabled the retailer to move very quickly through its European rollout, as success had been validated and a repeatable methodology had been developed for new markets to follow. Now, two years into their engagement with Monetate, Office Depot and Viking continue to reap the rewards of intelligence- based personalization. "We've consistently asked our team to demonstrate a 15x return on our investment, and we've continued to meet or exceed that goal," says Newman. 25 Nov-Dec 2016 ELEVATE YOUR CASH HANDLING CAPABILITIES The NEW Ascent cash management solutions provide retailers with world-class reliability and future-ready technology. 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