Many retailers talk the talk when it comes to effectively using their data to drive marketing solutions. Few have demonstrated evidence of actually doing so and achieving incremental sales. UK supermarket Sainsbury’s stand out for doing exactly that.
The granularity of loyalty programme data has long been heralded as the future of personalised marketing and it seems like Sainsbury’s might just have found the key to unlocking that future. Their unique data sources spanned far and wide: Store navigation data, shopper purchase behaviour, micro location data, customer journey times, demographic segments, live store inventory and loyalty tiers.
They combined these previously siloed data points to send personalised messages which enhanced the shopper experience, increased basket size and won back customers. Some examples of the messages used:
- Contextually relevant messaging to help customers plan their shop
- Reminders of relevant offers/deals available
- Acknowledgment shoppers had visited a competitor store via an individual offer to return
- Nearby shopper alerts with time-of-day offers linked to store inventory
- Post purchase recipe ideas
Cost effective results
The initiative had high customer appeal, with 51% of trialists agreeing that it made them more likely to shop at Sainsbury’s. Visits were up 8.2% and sales 6.6% over the trial period. Perhaps most noteworthy of all: sales growth was delivered with zero investment in paid media. All messages were delivered via owned media channels like email, mobile messages, app alerts and in-store WiFi beacons.
The case studies of paid media channels delivering this kind of growth for retailers are conspicuous by their absence. It is owned channels where customers form trust, build brand relationships, interact and conduct their commerce. In today’s retail climate, building a marcomms model which reduces the cost per sale via extracting greater value from existing owned media channels has to be applauded.