RBTE 2016: Moving on from the Clubcard data revolution

Using location-based technology solutions can enable retailers to take advantage of the combination of digital content and mobile devices to drive customers into physical stores where they invariably spend more.

This was the message from Tim Mason, chairman of Eagle Eye and former chief executive of Tesco in the US, when speaking at RBTE on day one. He suggested this was an area retailers needed to focus on because utilising intelligent content in the digital space was the new battleground for retailers.

He believed it represented an opportunity similar to that which Tesco was able to take advantage of when it launched the Clubcard loyalty programme in 1995 that prompted the revolution in customer data and insight.

"It launched the big data revolution, in the guise of a little thank-you," he said, while recalling that like all ground-breaking developments there will always be lots of initial question marks about its ultimate success.

"We wanted to recognise and reward customer loyalty while capturing data. But would customers shop more? Would a 1% discount motivate them? Would we be able to collect the data from them? And would we learn anything about them?" asked Mason.

What he said they learnt was that "frequency was the key and not big baskets". Armed with the data Clubcard was able to generate, Mason said: "We encouraged customers to shop more frequently, to shop across more categories, to target customers near stores that were being opened by our competitors, and to launch a convenience format. Customers became significantly more loyal."

Another advantage Tesco gained was the ability to understand the impact of new product launches. Not only the sales of the new lines but also how this impacted on their broader consumption patterns with the supermarket.

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