"Shop Direct Group perfectly illustrates how retailers can significantly improve their businesses and compete in today's environment, if they connect all marketing channels and make efficient use of their data," said Volker Giessler, Senior Industry Consultant.
"With 80 years of history in the retail industry, Shop Direct Group has its roots in traditional mail order retailing. But over recent years, Shop Direct has transformed from a catalogue-focused business into a truly world-class digital retailer. Today, the business, which incorporates brands such as Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and isme.com, generates more than 75 percent of its revenue online."
For decades, Shop Direct Group managed huge data volumes on customer catalogue transactions, which were used to gain rich customer insight. But in recent years, online trading has added new complexity. In particular, the over-aggregation of data from a variety of different sources made it difficult to gain a detailed, 360-degree view of individual customer shopping interactions.
After implementing a new Teradata Data Warehouse Appliance, the retailer now loads near-real time individual-level browsing data delivered through Celebrus Technologies into the data warehouse platform, thereby integrating different sales channels. Shop Direct now gains a full understanding of every website visitor's journey with access to highly granular data on every customer interaction, which enables improved customer service and more effective shopper engagement.
It also provides great benefits to marketing, merchandising, finance and operational analysts within the business. In addition, time-critical data loaded in near-real time helps facilitate more accurate decision-making throughout the enterprise.
The initial proof of concept demonstrated customer retention and acquisition benefits worth 0.5% of annual sales – a significant improvement. Furthermore, payback of the initial investment for the project, which was originally expected to occur in the eleventh month, was achieved ahead of plan, in month seven.
After eleven months, the effective cross-channel use of the browsing data had generated a benefit of several million dollars. Additionally, the solution helped to increase the incremental sales per customer email sent by 28 percent – while also reducing business costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars – through identifying highly online-focused customers and removing their catalogue support.
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