This article features an interview with Jake Fermanian, Vice President of Super King Markets, a 7 location independent grocer in the LA area.
What to do with all of this data!?
Well isn’t this a great problem to have: I now have a system in place to collect 100% of my transaction data in real time. What should I do with it? Who should have access to it? How do I leverage it to increase my bottom line? Where do I begin?
Data is only as good as what you’re able to do with it. You can collect all of the T-logs you want. You can run as many reports in excel as you want. But let me ask you something; what are you going to do with it?
How the data is presented is key. It must be logical, organized, sortable, and actionable.
- able to be done or acted on; having practical value.
“insightful and actionable information on the effect advertising is having on your brand”
Every piece of data that AppCard presents on the merchant dashboard is paired with an action to take. Some examples:
- This group of shoppers hasn’t visited your store in 14 days; send them a we miss you campaign now.
- We noticed that 75% of the time when someone buys milk they also buy bananas; send an offer to buy bananas to anyone who bought milk and no bananas.
- These 1300 shoppers buy the national brand of pasta; send them a campaign for $1 off of your private label pasta.
- On average your cashiers are running 75% of their transactions through the AppCard platform but Cindy is only doing 35%; please re-train Cindy on how to greet your guests.
I spent some time discussing data and reporting with Jake Fermanian, Vice President of Super King Markets, a 7 location independent grocer in the LA area. Super King has been using AppCard to power their Royal Rewards program for almost two years now. The intent of the conversation was to better understand how their organization leverages the AppCard platform and reporting suite to positively impact different roles and responsibilities.
M: What does your VP of Operations consider his role to be with the Royal Rewards program?
J: The operations team drives loyalty through the front end. Operations consistently encourages staff to sign up as many customers on the rewards program as possible. This performance can be tracked through the dashboard which shows number of signups by store, lane, and cashier. Currently, the team is running a contest to see which store can increase the number of sign-ups the most this month. It’s pretty cool to see how everyone is rallying around this from our Executive team, down to our part-timers.
M: How about store managers? Do they use it beyond driving sign-ups?
J: Store managers can track sign ups week over week and track percentage of customers on loyalty versus non-loyalty. Specifically, store managers can see which cashier is interacting more with customers by talking about the rewards program and as a result, manage and drive service levels. Additionally, we can see store, lane, and cashier efficiencies, like average items per transaction, and average revenue per transaction.
M: I know cashier fraud and leakage can be of concern. How do you use our reports to combat that?
J: Loss prevention can use the dashboard as a tool to track customers who are outliers in the system in terms of points. Drill down is also available to track shoppers who are redeeming more frequently than others. Cashiers can be flagged if they are offering more discounts or returns, or rewarding shoppers inappropriately. Negative balances are also flagged in the dashboard. The reports drill down by returns, credits, points rewarded, and points redeemed, so we can slice and dice this a few different ways to discern unusual behavior.
On average our Royal Rewards members are spending 50% more per transaction than our non Royal Rewards members.
– Jake Fermanian, Vice President of Super King Markets
M: Ok, so let’s get to the good stuff. AppCard was built to drive personalized marketing; how does your marketing team leverage and measure the effectiveness of the platform?
J: The marketing team considers percentage of loyalty vs. non-loyalty sales in order to understand customer behavior as a key KPI (Key Performance Indicator). 70% of our revenue and 55% of our transactions are going through the Royal Rewards Program. Are loyalty customers spending more versus non-loyalty? On average our Royal Rewards members are spending 50% more per transaction than our non Royal Rewards members.
Redemptions are monitored on a weekly basis to track customer response on personalized offers. We typically see an 8-12% redemption rate on our personalized campaigns which is sharply above the industry average. Based on customer behavior and patterns, rewards are determined for redemption. Vendors are also presented information and opportunities to target customers with new items and offers, this is fairly new for us, having a tool that is capable of closing the loop on offers gives a great advantage with our vendor partners. We can measure the before, during, and after behavior of a shopper whether it’s relative to a new product we’re converting them to, increasing their spend or frequency, or just watching their overall shopping behavior as a Royal Rewards member.
The dashboard demonstrates item pairings and as a result allows for merchandising opportunities. I can see the impact one item has on the others in the basket. Average transaction is considered during the customer’s life cycle. Is the customer spending more since joining the rewards program? Are they making more trips? Are they frequently redeeming? The dashboard gives insight to all of these questions. “Points outstanding versus redeemed” allows the team to forecast for future promotions and target customers who have points available for redemption.
The dashboard is very interactive, graphical and user friendly. Users need minimal training to start using the dashboard and the data is very actionable. The AppCard team is very supportive and is always listening for dashboard improvements.
M: That’s excellent, if you could summarize what this all means to the Super King marketing team what would you say?
J: We now have one central database from which we can manage our shoppers and segment them based on their buying behavior. Then we can target them with highly personalized campaigns to keep things very relevant. We can target shoppers who haven’t been in the store in 14 days with a “We Miss You” campaign to remain top of mind and ensure we don’t lose them to the competition. We’ve introduced an Organic Chicken product to shoppers who have purchased chicken products or organic and natural products in the past. We also can target those who currently spend $40, for example, and entice them to spend $50 on their next visit. The beauty is we can then measure effectiveness and tweak where needed to get smarter and smarter over time. We can’t do this all ourselves, so having the team at AppCard to support us is definitely a value add.
What’s interesting from our perspective, is how different retailers of varying sizes leverage the AppCard platform. For Jake and team, each department has their own point of view on what’s most useful within the platform. They have the ability to provision access to the information based on role and responsibility which is always helpful. We’ve got plenty of smaller retailers who leverage the data in similar but different ways, often times relying heavily on our team (their success manager, data scientist, and graphic designer) to do most of the heavy lifting for them. We have no issue with that … AppCard is a service after all!
Data is incredible. It’s an absolute requirement in today’s day and age to harness its power and use it to your advantage. Without it, you’re simply flying blind. There’s just no reason to fly blind anymore, there are plenty of solutions out there who can help. Your shoppers have an expectation to receive a personalized experience, and it’s your responsibility to deliver it.
It’s time to turn that great problem into a great opportunity. We know exactly what to do with all of that data and so should you!