Big-Box Marketing for Independently Owned Baby & Children’s Retailers

why-every-baby-store-needs-a-loyalty-program2Today’s customers are more informed and connected than ever. In an age where online shopping is so simple and convenient, customers expect offline retailers to provide a shopping experience and superior service, as opposed to simply selling items/products. Accordingly, many baby and children’s retailers understand this shift, and are striving to build a true, 1:1 relationship with their customers that is reciprocal, mutually beneficial, and long lasting.

From the shopper’s perspective, she tunes out emails, direct mail, and text messages that are generic at best. She expects to be communicated with via her preferred touch point with offers and rewards derived from her purchase history and future intent. This kind of 1:1, personalized experience delights the customer, and in turn, the retailer enjoys improved recency, frequency and overall shopper spend. The end result is that retailers can truly EARN their customers’ loyalty.

I was recently asked by Mark Simon, the Executive Director of Brixy to present at their Spring Educational Conference in San Antonio. I was privileged and honored to do so. It was a true pleasure to meet with many store owners, managers, and operators who strive to learn from each other in order to improve customer retention.

Brixy is a network of independently owned retailers who are helping families shape their future by offering all kinds of baby and children’s products and local expertise including cribs, car seats, strollers, gifts, and accessories. It is especially important for these business owners to know their customers and understand their circumstances in order to ‘grow as integral part of the family’ as children age.

Unlike many other segments, the customers visiting baby and children’s retailers are truly diverse and multi-generational: Grandparents are Baby Boomers, parents are Gen X and Millennials. While these shoppers are all looking for similar items, they tend to respond differently to retailer communications and marketing. The one common theme is that they all have expectations and seek exceptional retail experiences.

In order to meet these shoppers’ expectations, it is essential for the retailer to know their customers, understand their purchases down to the item level, build a profile, and predict buying behavior to deliver accurate recommendations. Retailers should be able to identify the child’s gender, toys and accessories already purchased, and the recency of repeat purchases like diapers. A loyalty program is an extremely effective way to gather shopping history alongside customer identities in order to measure and influence customer buying behavior.

Loyalty & rewards program KPIs
Creating an effective rewards program requires careful planning, and should be mapped to key performance indicators (KPIs) for the program. It is essential that these KPI’s will be set in a clear and measurable way. KPIs can be different across different customer segments, but they will help you measure and achieve specific business goals:

  • Increase shopper engagement
  • Increase average ticket
  • Decrease churn
  • Push specific products or categories of products

Such KPIs can than be paired with the right set of campaigns and marketing initiatives. For example, if your goal is to decrease churn, set an automated trigger campaign that delivers a special offer to regular shoppers who haven’t visited the store in a specified time frame. Whether you’re creating a one-time campaign to move a specific product, or an automated trigger to bring churned customers back, once the goals are backed by data, retailers can understand how to turn customers into loyal brand promoters.

Measuring marketing effectiveness
In order to truly understand the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives, retailers should be able to easily understand how campaign members interact with the store compared to non-members. When running campaigns, retailers should be able to compare the shopping behavior of campaign members versus non-members to estimate campaign lift, totally closing the loop on marketing efforts and proving marketing ROI.

Launching and maintaining a rewards program can be easy and fun for shoppers, sales associates, business owners, and all stakeholders involved. The success of the program requires that the entire organization agree on and work towards achieving the KPIs you’ve set forth.

Click here to learn more about AppCard, the preferred rewards & marketing platform for Brixy retailers.

About Brixy
Brixy is a network of independently owned and operated baby stores. For retailers, Brixy presents an opportunity to become part of a united front of independent stores that are all about babies. Brixy understands the struggles that business owners face, and strives to not only expand visibility to new moms and dads, but to help independent baby stores compete with big-name vendors. To learn more, visit brixy.com.

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