Do not Pay for your own Customers – Keep them yours

It is now becoming a norm to pay for leads, customers and referrals from partners, affiliates or aggregators. A customer is referred to our store or online portal by an affiliate and we pay for that lead. It sounds good the first time, but now the same customer comes the second time either through the same source or a new one and we pay for him again and over and over again. Looks like this customer likes our brand, our service and our product, he specifically goes on to a third party ecosystem to come to us and we continue to pay for this loyal customer. Is it not funny that an aggregator or affiliate values our customer more than we do. They capture him, engage with him, offer him goodies (part of it coming from us) and lure him to come back to them and get directed to us. Gone are the days when we would advertise hard to get the customer to know us, its time to change, its time for us to know the customer and not vice versa. Customer has done his bit by visiting us, shopping with us, giving his details maybe also filled a positive feedback, we need to do our bit to own and value our customer. Data, as they say is oxygen or oil of new economy, well how much of it do we have and how much time are we spending to collect it / enhance and above all USE IT. Technology seems to be everywhere and every Indian seems to be a techie, but hardly do we see any...

Mobile enables Consumer behavior tracking

Mobile phone density in India is increasing at a tremendous pace. Out of a total population of 121 Cr, mobile phone access is with 79 Cr people. An interactive device in the hands of every consumer can help create the much needed one-one communication channel. Brands have always wanted to know their consumer. Traditional media allows the brands manager to send out one – many messages. It is dependent on the time and frequency that the media provides for a certain cost. Access to the consumer is restricted to specific locations. Consumer touch points have exploded in the last few years. Our prospect is spending more time on his mobile, social media or surfing the Internet than watching TV or reading newspapers. None of the traditional advertising media provide access to customer information. We have our ads being viewed by million eyes, but we do not know, if they were our relevant target audience. Millions of prospects visit our stores, but we do not have customer data for post visit interaction or to induce repeat purchase. Digital and mobile media are changing the landscape. Mobile provides one-one to interaction with your consumer anytime, anywhere. Capturing consumer mobile number at your point of sale, through your offline advertisement or on social media, give you access to the consumer instantly. New technology of mobile loyalty cards, short codes, QR codes on advertisements, Facebook widgets & hand-held devices today allow you to capture customer details across media. Creating a 360 degree customer acquisition strategy is the first step in knowing your consumer. You need to acquire them to retain & engage them. The...

Retailers deploy Mobile Loyalty to track customer behavior

Indian retail industry is going through a sea change. There are new brands coming in, existing brands increasing number of outlets and ever changing consumer is adding to the excitement. With all the visible growth, retention of existing customer is a key challenge for retail companies. Customer loyalty has been used by many international brands over the years. The communication channels have exploded. Physical addresses have got replaced by mobile phones, social media and Internet. Electronic and print media is becoming interactive. Customer touch points have increased, allowing the brand manager more scope to have a one-one communication with a prospect or existing consumer. Digital and mobile media provides the much needed one-one interaction. Brands managers can identify, track consumers and send out targeted messages to invoke customer action. They can identify, who is purchasing, who is coming back and who has not visited for some time. Further to this, SKU analysis gives them an exact view of a consumer’s shopping basket. Analyzing the basket over a period of time can help create a perfect price / SKU / frequency matrix for every consumer. Mobile phone in the hand of our consumer makes the task much simpler. Mobile provides the much needed unique identity to the consumer. Tracking each purchase and tagging bills to the mobile number helps track the basket. Triggers based on SKU, frequency and total purchase can help send just the right offer to your consumer. Offer redemption rates for leading brands in the country are in range of 4-6 %. In some categories, the rates are much lower. In such a scenario an offer becomes a cost,...