A safe-bet improvement in customer experience with overnight results

Juha Mattsson

Ever felt frustrated when you’re in your local supermarket after realising you’ve forgotten about the great special offer they sent you? It’s that dreaded moment of realisation, knowing the vouchers are pinned to your fridge, never to be used.

Well, those days could soon be over. Walkbase is helping K-Plussa, one of the largest supermarket loyalty schemes in Scandinavia, by combining the power of smartphones and in-store analytics to change the way retailers - and customers, for that matter - look at offers and coupons.

Giving shoppers offers when they need them most

We’ve collaborated with the forward-thinking retail conglomerate Kesko, and its K-Plussa loyalty card programme, to increase the precision and relevancy of their pre-existing, individually tailored offers with a very simple yet powerful method. As part of a special eight-week pilot, a selected group of loyalty card members received their personalised offers when they entered a store, rather than receiving them to their email, hand or home letterbox at random moments.

This is totally a smarter approach to customer loyalty. By changing the context in which a customer receives a special offer, and going direct to a smartphone when they enter the store, retailers are able to increase basket size significantly. On top of that, happy customers are coming back more often.

“Getting customers involved from the very beginning gives us valuable information about what kind of services we should invest in, and what kind of promotions interest them,” said Hannu Aaltonen, the store manager at K-citymarket Kupittaa, the location of the trial. 
“The participants have been satisfied with the new function and a lot of promotions have been used. You can use the promotion by showing the text message at the service point and this way we also have a chance to get to know our customers better.”

Mobile marketing will be at the heart of successful loyalty programs

In a space that’s more competitive than ever before, loyalty is a key battleground for supermarkets wanting to maintain an edge over their rivals.
From the initial results that we’re able to share from the K-Plussa pilot, basket size increased by 14%, customers dwell time increased by 3%, and they came back to the shop 10% more often. Not only does this come through as a big win for retailers by enhancing customer loyalty, it offers a huge boost the overall shopping experience.
Traditionally, special offers are sent through email, or as printed coupons in newspapers or handed to you at the tills after you’ve already completed your purchases. All the above rely on the customer having to remember them.

Why the method described here works so much better then? It’s all about relevancy. An offer received exactly at the moment of entering the store, i.e. the buying process, should quite logically be expected to be clearly more effective than the same offer received in a context where you’re not up to buying anything.

It’s back to marketing basics, really. 

Proximity marketing powered by indoor positioning 

Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth based in-store analytics and positioning technology we’re able to create anonymous datasets on people’s movements around the store. We can also locate individual opt-in shoppers and engage with them based on their in-store location real-time. Finally, we’re able to connect the digital shopping journey that was started earlier online, to the visit to the actual store and vice versa.
This paints an incredibly powerful picture of customer behaviour in-store, which retailers can then use to optimise this further. Feed that data in to K-Plussa’s wider overhaul of its mobile application and it has the potential to create an incredibly compelling offer for both retailer and consumer - in terms of creating more enjoyable customer experiences, and thereby more loyal customers.
“The K-citymarket Kupittaa’s pilot is giving us important insights on developing digital services. In the future we will be offering more and more services through digital channels. This way we can serve and reward the customers in a more versatile way,” said Ismo Riitala, CEO of K-Plussa.
K-citymarket Kupittaa has tested the Walkbase technology for over a year and it has been a pleasure following how K-Plussa and Kesko, as the pioneers of the field, are taking the digitalisation of shopping to the next level. We’re proud to be involved, and excited to see how this develops!
Want to find out more? Download the full K-PLussa case study here.

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Walkbase provides a retail analytics solution for improving the impact of marketing on physical stores and personalising in-store shopping experience.