Retail advice: Olympics loyalty
Expert Chris Gates, of Hitachi Consulting, looks at using London 2012 to secure customer loyalty.
Chris Gates is director of retail at Hitachi Consulting UK. Here, he advises retailers on how to use the Olympics to generate long-term customer loyalty.
With the Olympics now upon us, the UK economy is set to benefit from increased spending as visitors come to the country for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
However, the challenge for many retailers will be how to build long-term loyalty with new and existing customers - and ensure they remain engaged with the brand long after the closing ceremony.
To generate long-term customer loyalty, we recommend retailers consider the following factors:
Get to know your customer
It's a well known fact it costs more to win new customers than keep existing ones. With the Olympics putting the spotlight on London and bringing thousands of visitors in to the capital, retailers can use this as an opportunity to acquire new customers and continue driving the conversation using a multi-channel approach. Smart retailers will aim to understand which of their customers during the Olympics are existing contacts, new prospects from home markets, or travelling from overseas, and which channels they are shopping through.
Adopt a multi-channel approach
During the Olympics, it is imperative retailers optimise back-office processes in order to target savvy customers with relevant information, across the right channel and at the right time. By adopting this approach, retailers can get to know their customers better and engage them in dynamic ways that foster lasting relationships. Those with strong integrated multi-channel operations will also be able to provide exceptional customer service through deploying mechanisms, such as order in-store and deliver to home, to help visiting customers with their tight baggage restrictions. In addition, those with leading customer service tools, such as assisted selling mobile applications, will be able to engage a whole new army of brand evangelists.
Monitor market intelligence
By having real-time access to market intelligence, retailers can monitor key factors such as supply chains, demand patterns, market differences and lead-time to navigate the complex purchasing landscape and keep up with changes to the pace and scale of retailing.
Engage customers after the Olympics
To continue building brand advocacy and encourage customers to make future purchases, retailers need to maintain a single view of the customer even after the Olympics. By monitoring the products customers are purchasing, the channels they are using and how they interact with the brand on an ongoing basis, retailers can leverage the power of the Olympics for long-term gain and adapt retail strategies so customers are targeted with timely, targeted and relevant campaigns that boost engagement and increase sales.
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