Customer Retention in Retail: Delivered.
UK-based company capitalizes on pivotal moments in the sales-cycle using XMPie software to foster loyalty, improve the customer experience, increase awareness of the product range and increase sales.

Background

Retain.me is a UK-based customer retention technology business focusing on personalizing the customer journey, particularly at the point of consumption when the customer receives their order.

One of their clients, Amara Living Ltd, is a high-end international online store specializing in luxury gifts, designer homeware, lighting & contemporary furniture. Amara understood that since customer pro tability tends to increase over the life of a retained customer, they needed to take a more proactive role in fostering longer term relationships with their customers in order to improve their customer lifetime values.

Challenge

Competition in the retail industry is rapidly increasing. Although it is the returning customer who is crucial to the retailer’s long-term success, these customers are becoming harder to retain for a second purchase.

Retain.me wanted to solve this problem by harnessing that crucial moment when the customer actually receives the purchased product. Many retailers tend to neglect this pivotal moment in the sales-cycle when a retailer is given a unique opportunity to foster loyalty, improve the customer experience, increase awareness of the product range and most importantly increase sales.

Andrew Curran, Director of retain.me, knew that leveraging Amara’s online retail results into a physical print touchpoint in the customer lifecycle would be key to solving the problem.

Curran’s idea was to produce a full color, highly personalized and customized dynamic delivery document. This would be printed and dispatched with each customer’s order and aimed to:

  • Encourage repeat purchases
  • Promote customer loyalty
  • Reinforce and grow the brand
  • Provide extraordinary customer experience
  • Provide opportunity for non-core revenue
  • Provide the usual transactional information

"Convergent Personalization is the concept of merging web technologies with traditional media to deliver highly personalized, multi-functional printed documents to retail consumers, at the point of consumption."

Andrew Curran, Director of retain.me

Challenge

Competition in the retail industry is rapidly increasing. Although it is the returning customer who is crucial to the retailer’s long-term success, these customers are becoming harder to retain for a second purchase.

Retain.me wanted to solve this problem by harnessing that crucial moment when the customer actually receives the purchased product. Many retailers tend to neglect this pivotal moment in the sales-cycle when a retailer is given a unique opportunity to foster loyalty, improve the customer experience, increase awareness of the product range and most importantly increase sales.

Andrew Curran, Director of retain.me, knew that leveraging Amara’s online retail results into a physical print touchpoint in the customer lifecycle would be key to solving the problem.

Curran’s idea was to produce a full color, highly personalized and customized dynamic delivery document. This would be printed and dispatched with each customer’s order and aimed to:

  • Encourage repeat purchases
  • Promote customer loyalty
  • Reinforce and grow the brand
  • Provide extraordinary customer experience
  • Provide opportunity for non-core revenue
  • Provide the usual transactional information

"Convergent Personalization is the concept of merging web technologies with traditional media to deliver highly personalized, multi-functional printed documents to retail consumers, at the point of consumption."

Andrew Curran, Director of retain.me

Retain.me used XMPie PersonalEffect TransMedia Pro to create and dispatch the customized delivery note with bespoke-to-the-recipient marketing content.

Solution

Each note includes the following personalized content:

  • Standard transactional information (order, delivery, returns)
  • Tailored marketing messages based on customer status: First-Time Customer, Returning Customer or Brand Ambassador
  • Algorithmically generated category recommendations
  • Natively translated content based on language of website visited (EN, FR or DE)
  • Part pick /final pick messages
  • QR codes for encouraging the customer to give a product review

In addition to the above personalized content elements, Amara also repurposed web content to populate the document on a weekly basis.

Retain.me used XMPie’s Circle software to manage the campaign across all stages of development. This features an intuitive user interface for the interactive diagramming and visualization of all campaign phases, from conceptualization to campaign creation through to execution and results monitoring.

The template was filled with personalized content using XMPie’s uCreate Print plugin to Adobe InDesign and integrated with Amara’s eCommerce engine via a flat CSV le on a per-batch basis.

Results

The campaign was multi-faceted with three measurable metrics. Additionally, the softer metric of ‘customer experience 'improvement’ was vitally important to gauge.

  • Second Purchase Rate: 13.1% improvement – Amara measured first-time customers placing their second order on a like-for-like basis during the first twelve weeks.
  • Existing Customer Repeat Rate: 23.3% improvement – The second group was existing customers making further purchases.
  • Voucher Redemption: All new customers received a 15% off unique promotion code, both via the retain.me printed booklet received on delivery and also via an email sent separately by Amara themselves. The retain.me delivery booklet outperformed the email by:
    • Sales: 171%
    • Gross Profit: 148%
    • Demand: 99%
    • ATV: 36%

There has also been great feedback about the personalized delivery note from customers who shared on social media:

"Receiving a package from Amara makes me feel very special. Beautiful personalized card and packaging. Very, very nice experience."

"Absolutely amazing service! Very fast delivery, beautiful wrapping and nice thank you card."

"I ordered a pack of Littala wine glasses and was really impressed how quickly they arrived. Well packed with a nice personal touch inside the box. I’d recommend and use Amara again."

"It’s so beautiful how @AmaraLiving are preparing the receipts ... Great website, products and quality!

"Plus, my @AmaraLiving parcel had some great touches! Particularly liked the unique delivery note #CustomerService

Critical Success Factors

  1. Integrating the process directly into the distribution center is crucial - with printing equipment onsite ded- icated to the production of the personalized delivery note.
  2. Real-time processing is essential – using uProduce Hot Submit functionality, combined with intelligent routing post uProduce production, is key to printing documents in a just-in-time environment.
    Critical Success Factors

    Lessons Learned

    1. Personalization goes way beyond the name: Deep integration with the eCommerce engine allowed retain. me to individualize the content based on the customer purchase path, products ordered, customer status and other criteria.
    2. To enable simplicity at the template design stage, the logic is built into uPlan wherever possible, rather than over-complicating the InDesign templates. uPlan is a component of PersonalEffect that is used to define advanced business rules and logic. Combined with uCreate Print, the PersonalEffect system delivers a versatile suite of tools to personalize each customer’s experience.
    3. Amara stock over 40,000 products. Given the real-time nature of the delivery note production, retain.me found it necessary to create a local library of product imagery, with uPlan configured to select the correct images based on the eCommerce engine’s data feed.
    Lessons Learned

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