Expert Electrical are a national buying group which covers independent electrical retailers throughout Ireland. They have over 60 stores nationwide and agreements with all the major electrical brands. They are part of a large international group present in 23 countries worldwide with 7,700 stores.
For the final part in this series we spoke to Expert’s Retail Director, Tony Pender. He tells us about Expert’s loyalty strategy and how it has changed everything for them.
As with all retailers, Expert rely heavily on repeat business. While they are able to offer top brands at the best value, it is important for them to cultivate a relationship with each customer to ensure that Expert are the only electrical retailer that customers ever consider using.
Communications and advertisements en masse do not work anymore. In this time of greatly increased competition, customers who do not receive a more personalised experience will continually switch between brands.
In 2015 Expert took a different approach to customer loyalty. They focused on regularly dropping in with their customers, but only when they knew that they were adding genuine value for that person.
They concentrated on core groups of customers, using their database to target specific types of promotions to specific types of customers. Customers who have regular positive contact with any brand will remain loyal to it.
SMS is the most effective way to create these touchpoints as when people receive a text they will almost always read it. With this in mind Tony began working with InteractSMS, Phonovation’s SMS marketing platform. Together they worked closely to develop a plan to effectively target existing customers. Tony used Phonovation’s experience and Data Driven Knowledge to find the best way to communicate.
Marketing campaigns can now be automatically broken up by which store customers shop at most regularly and what kinds of products they usually buy. This is all controlled from the central Expert database so while communications are local, the strategy can be controlled and improved centrally.
Expert integrate their EPOS system with InteractSMS so that they are able to access and use all their CRM data through InteractSMS. This allows seamless automated communications with reporting for continuous optimisation.
Since 2015 Tony and Expert have not looked back. He knows that: “When we run an SMS campaign, there WILL be an increase in store traffic”.
They are now in the fantastic position to be able to guarantee that each communication will increase sales. And the more they get to know their customers through these touchpoints the more they learn from the reporting and can improve the messaging to generate greater loyalty.
Asked for advice for other businesses hoping to create touchpoints with their customers he said:
“Yes do it!” but warned “but don’t overuse it either”. Each retail business is different and the optimum frequency and tone of communications will become clear quickly once the EPOS system is integrated with an SMS platform.