In this episode:

Wendy Liebmann talks with Peter V.S. Bond, VP of CPG Strategy and Development for Fetch Rewards, about whether it is possible to build shopper loyalty today, and how important it is to understand where shoppers are on their loyalty journey.

They discuss:

  • The critical components retailers and brands need to build loyalty
  • How to connect actions to loyalty; recognizing that not all shoppers are driven by discounts
  • Ways to accumulate 1P data even if you are not a DTC brand
  • How a frictionless and meaningful relationship is just one part of building loyalty
Don’t miss upcoming episodes, stay up-to-date by visiting the WSL Shopper Insights Library, or our Podcast page.

Wendy  00:09
Hello, I’m Wendy Liebmann, CEO and Chief shopper at company WSL Strategic Retail, and this is Future Shop. This is where I talk to innovators and disruptors about the future of retail, and what it’s going to look like. The topic today is about building shopper loyalty in a digital world. And the question that I have is, is it possible or not? And do shoppers actually really care? My guest today is going to answer all of those questions is Peter V.S. Bond. Peter is an expert in all things CRM and loyalty. I first met him when he was at CVS Health, the retailer on your street corner, where he was deeply involved in the development of CVS loyalty programs. Previous to that he worked in all the right places, IRI, Dunnhumby, and today he is VP of CPG strategy and development for Fetch Rewards the consumer loyalty and shopper rewards app. But his real claim to fame is as a Dodgers fan, and the co host of The CPG Guys, a wonderful podcast, which explores how retailers and brands engage consumers in this increasingly digitally driven world that we live in. So we have the expert in the hot seat today. Welcome, Peter.

Peter  01:28
Wendy, thank you so much for your invitation to join you on this terrific podcast.

Wendy  01:35
When I sit back today, and I think about all the places people can shop, and all the products they can buy. And all the programs where people get discounts, rewards, whatever you want to call them. What does loyalty really mean today?

Peter  01:51
Well, I think we have to take a step back and understand what are the fundamental tools that will allow us to actually measure and determine which customers we want to engage with, and at what level we want to do that. So from my standpoint, the first thing is, is attribution. Right. It’s about finding attribution of purchase data. Everyone’s in search of this right to fuel programmatic advertising to drive innovation, to help negotiate with omni channel retailers, and ultimately what we’re talking about, which is to establish one to one relationships with consumers. So 1P data is kind of the table stakes right now for CRM and loyalty. It’s what allows me to make educated and investment wise decision the issue is that every brand and every retailer to your point is asking consumers for the same set of PII or Personally Identifiable Information, their email address their name, what have you. They’re doing it over and over again. And consumers are finding it less and less rewarding. Why am I going to give that to you? If I’m not going to get anything? In the physical world terms, Wendy, I liken this to the key chain we had 10 or 15 years ago, that had how many frequent shopper barcodes on the key chain, they were all kind of fraying right? And how many can you think back and say they really delivered meaningful value or rewards to you, maybe one, maybe one, probably your grocery store FSP gave you off shelf discounts. Maybe it gave you a fuel reward. But other than that, it was a real concern. So to me, loyalty is about let’s kind of first understand what it is we’re going to need. And based upon that I can decide how I am going to apply techniques to build loyalty and then measure whether it’s actually moving the needle by getting you to take actions that are different. How do you do that?  By traditional market research technology, holding out control groups, and then treating the control group differently than the test group. And being able to measure what the results are. That to me is what is going to drive loyalty and yes, loyalty is really about how much I’m going to get a share of wallet from you. I think that’s a common kind of analysis for both retailers and brands. The challenge is just being able to measure it.

Wendy  04:08
And you know, the other piece to me is that you know when I think about CRM and I think about what that actually means, Customer Relationship Management, if I think about it knows it feels like loyalty as a word is so sullied the you know, it’s sort of become a buzzword. But if I think about CRM, and I think about if you are managing the relationship with me as a shopper, in the sense of it’s a relationship, and I’m willing to share with you some of the things that about me, if you can help me do what I want to do, and sometimes I guess it’s become so discounted in terms of literally discount that I often wonder whether people really want a relationship with me at all while they’re just saying, okay, here’s a few dollars here, but it’s less about helping me make my life easier, more meaningful all of those things that we know people want today. So is there have we lost the meaning of CRM in this world?

Peter  05:07
I think the challenge is that brands and retailers tell us that they value our loyalty. And in order for them to demonstrate that you have to jump through a whole lot of hoops, you have to take a whole lot of actions, they’ve put a lot of friction in the process. And so the brands and retailers that are going to win, are the ones that are going to make the friction as minimal as possible, friction of having to capture activities or take particular actions, that you’re demonstrating that you’re continually shopping more and more with them. That’s the real challenge. You know, when I think about it, you know, only a very small set of purchase destinations for consumers. I think of that, as a retailer, be at an omni channel and marketplace, whatever. Very small set of them involve a sufficient mix of transaction volume, and basket size for a consumer to earn meaningful rewards for their loyalty. That’s where most of them break down. Like the example it’ll give you. It’s defunct now so I can talk about it is American Express’s Plenty program, right? They tried to create critical mass in delivering meaningful reward value to consumers by aggregating all these different participants. Some of them were retailers, some of them were brands. But the point was, those entities were funding the reward mechanism. And the problem is, is that the rewards ultimately disproportionately benefited the very smaller, niche participants and the big guys were funding all the rewards and they weren’t getting any value out of it.

Wendy  06:44
And with their value to the shopper, at least, you know, I’m biased, of course, because I’m always thinking through the shopper lens. So it didn’t feel like there was a value to the shopper, either.

Peter  06:53
Part of it is getting the shopper to recognize it over time, I think back to if I signed up for say a drug beauty loyalty program, right? And I did it five years ago. And I keep accruing rewards, they may appear on my card and and I may unknowingly redeem a reward. But I’m not connecting that to the action that I took three years ago joining the loyalty program, am I just subsidizing transactions that would have occurred anyhow, that’s the problem with too much of what was going on in Plenty. It wasn’t driving desired behavior, it was just subsidizing transactions that were already occurring. If you cannot connect the dots for the consumer almost in real time, platforms, and loyalty mechanisms that can in real time connect you to an action that you’re taking, and the reward you’re getting. Those are the ones that will be valued by the brands and retailers funding it. And also the consumers will recognize it and say, Okay, I understand why I’m getting these rewards in real time not for something that I think I did three years ago, that’s a really big difference.

Wendy  07:58
Yeah. And we’ve seen a number of these, you were talking about drug and not to dump on drug. But you know, we’ve seen somebody like a Walgreens company, who’ve redone down their rewards program, many times, you know, from points to dollars to instant dollars, you know, obviously CVS has had their Extra Care program for a very long time. And I look at some of those and you said, the grocery programs, and I think about the travel programs, I think about why do I use American Express because I’m hoping I’ll have enough points to buy a ticket. And sometimes that’s not working either anymore. So all of those things feel if I’m both shopper centric, what is it that shoppers feel is a good reward? And then what works for both either a retailer or a brand? How do I have to think about that today? What are the components that if I’m to satisfy all three, what are the two or three things I need to think about?

Peter  08:51
Well, I would argue that just creating a frictionless and meaningful reward mechanism is just part of the equation. If I don’t have underlying that mechanism, high quality products, great services, tools and capabilities, and an ability to deliver personalized messages. They all work in harmony to be successful. So I need that. If you think about what Sephora has done online to create really relevant experiences that enable consumers to make shopping decisions outside of having to be in a physical store or what goes on in the physical store. Think about what Target did in its partnership with Ulta. I walked into one of their stores in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. And sure enough, they have a dedicated person in the new Ulta beauty section of the store to offer counsel and that’s what you would expect in an Ulta store. And you expect that in a Target store that has an Ulta section in it. So those are still part and parcel of the experience. If you don’t have that, just having a way that every time you by X number of dollars you get Y dollars in reward, no matter how easy it is to manage is just not going to be compelling enough to keep consumers buying from you over and over again, there has to be not everybody is driven by one thing I learned from my big data days at Dunnhumby and CVS is that there are large segments of consumers that never clip coupons, physically or digitally, they are not susceptible to running things on promotion. But if you send them an email, that shows them how to apply makeup, so they look like they came out of the Capital City in the Hunger Games, right, they’ll actually buy that product. So you need to start thinking that’s where big data come back to the 1P data, you start to build propensity models at the individual level. And that tells you how to treat your consumers, it tells you what messaging to send them that builds loyalty, in addition to whatever mechanism you have. For some people, it’s not about getting that savings. It’s about it unlocks experiences, being able to go into a store and have a private evaluation by a consultant on how you’re applying your beauty products. Those are the kinds of things you need to do to build loyalty. And that’s where, again, that data is really going to help drive the decisions you make and how you’re going to treat each customer, from one to all, down to one to many, and one to few, even if you don’t have the ability to get to a true one to one relationship.

Wendy  11:31
Yeah, that’s really helpful because I and maybe it’s my naive view, as both shopper and obviously shopper researcher, and I see the sort of programs that feel not relevant. I mean, I see some really good programs you’ve talked about Sephora, absolutely, I mean, I see the Nike program, I see Footlocker, some of the fitness companies seem to do a very good job. And those things feel like they have a relevance because I guess they get to know me, right. And as the more they get to know me, they can customize the kinds of benefits and features that I get is part of being a loyal customer.

Peter  12:08
Yeah, and I would add to that, getting back to fast moving consumer goods, particularly grocery, as I move online, or whether I’m omni channel, I expect the experiences that I get in the digital world to port over to the physical world as seamlessly as possible. I walk into a grocery store, and I’ve been used to shopping online where I have searchable capabilities, so that I can do things like find products that allow me to live an authentic health lifestyle, non GMO, Fairtrade, gluten free, you name it, right? Well, if I can’t use those capabilities, when I walk into a physical store, with this little device I call a smartphone. If I don’t have that ability to do that, in the physical version of an omni channel retailer, you know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna probably do what 50% of other people do when they’re walking through a store, and they’re looking for knowledge, and the retailers who store I’m in doesn’t offer it to me, I’m gonna go talk to these people out in Seattle, I’m gonna open up their app, better watch out because I may just make that purchase with them, while I’m standing inside your store. That’s something you got to be careful about.

Wendy  13:19
That’s a really good point. Because I do think there’s this you know, we all talk omni, we all talk phgital, whatever the latest terminology is, right? But we’re not understanding that from a shopper journey standpoint, and for building that relationship with the shopper that we’re not really understanding that that has to be a cohesive relationship, not oh, this side of the wall and that side of the wall, right?

Peter  13:43
You know, the retailers are gonna win in the physical world are the ones that figure out how to deliver content as seamlessly and completely as possible. And what I mean by that is, there are some who get it right in some ways, walk into an Amazon Fresh store, what do I like about their store, with the exception of I think, produce everything in the store, random weight, meat, center store perimeter, they all have digital shelf tags, and they all include an average star rating and a review count. That’s about building trust in the products they carry. You walk into other retailers and they’re particularly good at tagging items for nutritional value, or compliance with health and wellness lifestyles. It’s about figuring out how to get that information as directly and quickly as possible to someone walking through the store so that they can find the item they want and make the purchase. Sometimes it’s it’s as simple as what Home Depot and Lowe’s do, which is tell you what aisle a products in… Why don’t grocery stores do that? Tr\Ty finding anchovy paste in a grocery store Wendy drives me crazy. Nothing’s consistent. So I’ll get off my soapbox. But my point is just those again, are building blocks to your loyalty because if you can’t make their lives easier, if you can’t help them discover the products they want or discover the products that they probably want to know about, everything else isn’t going to be very effective, you’re not going to build that loyalty because they’re just going to get frustrated shopping with you.

Wendy  15:12
Yeah. And we see a lot of that in our How America Shops®, work, as you know, this sort of level. And one thing that strikes me in in some recent work we’ve done where we sort of looked at the, on the one hand, I’m going to call it, the fragmentation of the way people shop, we all know people are trying to save time in their lives, take the stress out of their lives, all of this. And one of the things that always amazes me is the number of places we see people shopping today, in-store, online, anywhere, we call spontaneous shopping. And while the physical store the incidence of shopping, may have gone down, or the number of trips have gone down, it’s still critical. And then online, obviously digital, and then this number that we have is like half the population say they buy things wherever they are, because it’s easier. And you see that how fragmented that is. If I can’t connect all of that, then I don’t know who you are as a shopper. So understanding that, as you say, understanding the whole shopper, and that journey becomes so important now to building that engagement.  Hold that thought before I continue my conversation with Peter, just a reminder, go to our website, to access our latest How America Shops® research on the evolving shopper journey. As well, you’ll find there are Retail Safaris® that showcase retailers that Peter mentioned, including Ulta at Target, Amazon Fresh and lots more. Meantime, let’s get back to my discussion with Peter.

Peter  16:47
You know, when I start thinking about loyalty, and actually talk how you’re going to treat your customers, there are a couple things you need to understand. First is you need understand where your customers are on their journey of loyalty with you. You know, one thing I learned from my time at Dunnhumby on Kroger was that even among Kroger’s most valuable shoppers say their top 5% based upon trip volume and basket size and total spend, right even among that top 5%, more than 40 cents of every dollar they spent on CPG was sold outside of Kroger. So there’s an enormous amount of opportunity just to harvest the customers you already have to just build more share of wall there’s a tremendous amount of growth. But for newer shoppers, you have to also think about how you’re going to move them up the journey. And how you’re going to do that, you know that the great thing about this data, this big data that if you haven’t particularly retailers that have it right, they’ve been able to develop very sophisticated and scalable solutions to be able to target communications and deliver desired actions based on a multitude of objectives. I can segment customers into their total store journey I can talk about if I want to drive trips, this is the kind of action I take. If I want to build baskets, I have a different action, right. And this is all being done by most retailers at scale. You know, the problem is brands right? When we get back to the loyalty issue brands, particularly ones that aren’t engaged in direct to consumer, they’re pretty challenged because as data becomes more and more important, they don’t have it. And even brands that do have direct consumer, it may not be a terribly active DTC platform, it’s just kind of their first show or whatever, but their CRM is limited to just sending out recipes and newsletters and that’s not going to build loyalty over time. And so the first thing a brand needs to do is do its best to understand what’s the lifetime value of a customer and that is going to inform the budget that you have to do customer acquisition and also customer maintenance.  Those are the two things brands really need to do but if your goal is to get 1P data on first blush, DTC can be direct to consumer can be very daunting, right? Because manufacturers for the most part, are geared to manufacture put things on pallets and case pack quantities and ship them to warehouses for distribution. They don’t have the functional ability to do pick-pack operations for direct to consumer. That’s where you can turn to third parties. Companies like Pharmapacks that do this. There are a whole host of them, I just named them because they’re what I’m particularly familiar with. Or you can create DTC like experiences where you’re doing your the merchant record, you’re doing the selling of the product, but your supply chain back end is actually just a network of existing omni channel and pure play retailers that take the order from you and do the fulfillment. That gives you all the 1P data you want. Why is that important? Because when you have 1P data, you’re not running blind, you’re not walking into a big omni channel retailer that holds all the cards, you’re coming with information about people who buy your product and that can inform how you negotiate with them, and The terms that you get are much better, right? So brands that I think about that do a great job of this, I don’t have a DTC. But I’ve built something that’s pretty close to it. Companies like Revlon, Reckitt, Kimberly Clark, if you go to like the Lysol site, or you go to the Cottonelle, site of the Kleenex site, or you go to the Revlon site, you can buy products there. And you may think you’re actually buying products from Revlon. But in the background, it’s a very sophisticated platform run by a company called Shoppable that actually funnels your purchase item that you want to one of a number of different big retailers, you’re familiar with Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and they do the fulfillment, but you get all the data. And that allows you to start building that one-to-one relationship and do the loyalty. So you don’t have to have a giant bucket full of money, and go to board approval to do these kinds of things. There are things that you can do that are close enough that are going to get you the data that you want. So you can build that loyalty relationship over time.

Wendy  21:05
What struck me when what you were just saying is I remember, particularly during the early days of the pandemic, where you would go onto a site like you said, Revlon, I’ll throw in L’Oreal, because obviously, I was looking for hair color, that was something of great import.

Peter  21:19
I don’t have much hair. So I don’t have to worry about that. But go ahead.

Wendy  21:22
I know but some of us we spend more on our hair than anything else. And some people thought it was naturally red-dy purple, something whatever, yes, maybe not. But anyway, that notion of you know, you’d go on, you’d look at it, you click and it would immediately take you to in first days Amazon and then little by little and took you to Target or it took you to Walmart or CVS. And that occurred to me at the time was that was sort of that first moment of direct to consumer and knowledge about what I wanted and how I wanted to because we hear all the time from brands, you know, everybody else owns all the information we need to understand our shopper better to be able to create more personalized programs, and how do we compete. So it sounds like a lot of what you’re saying too is, you know it is daunting. But there are ways to do it in more practical, affordable ways to begin to build some of your own brand focused relationship information to put you in a better negotiating position

Peter  22:26
Yeah the grass is always greener, whether you are a traditional CPG brand or your digitally native brand, right? If you are a traditional brand, you look at all these digitally native brands, you go, Wow, they’ve got all this 1P data, they’re doing direct to consumer selling. That’s really wonderful. I wish I had that. But let’s not forget those digitally native brands, brands like Harry’s, to scale to truly scale, they had to move into traditional brick and mortar. So Harry’s didn’t really get that big until they moved into Target. That’s what really allowed them so it can inform and allow you to be in a better position. But if you’re not playing with the really big retailers is your brand other a lot of brands are gonna be quite happy, staying in a completely digital world. But there wouldn’t be FBA aggregators out there if brands weren’t looking to scale. And so for the audience that may not be familiar with this term, FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon, a lot of them understand that if they want to scale to get outside of Amazon, to get into other platforms, other retailers, they need capital to fund their growth. And that’s where these companies have come along, think of as kind of like the private equity of the startup business. But you’re gonna see other big large conglomerates of brands that have that have emerged from a hodgepodge of digitally native brands that are taking on, that are offering serious challenge.

Wendy  23:52

And you hear companies start to talk about whitespace. What is the whitespace? And is Instacart whitespace? What sort of knowledge are they going to have? What sort of shopper data what sort of, you know, purchase data? Are they going to have that that’s going to make them another massive, both competitor and opportunity, if I’m a brand or a retailer, and how do we think about that. I think about retailers who use shipped retailers that you know, all of these kind of other dynamics that are emerging as we start to think about customer relationship management.

Peter  24:24
Yeah, the marketplaces are great examples. Instacart being probably the biggest one, but just yesterday, I heard DoorDash is now launching an ad platform who owns the customer? Is it the retailer? I don’t think so. Is it the brand? I don’t think so. I think it’s the marketplace. So you’ve got all these different entities all with their own objectives. And the ability to leverage that 1P data is again, can be frustrating. We know what happened when Amazon pulled Whole Foods out of Instacart. What did they do, they use all that data that they had to market various strategically to the shoppers they had that were buying from Whole Foods and said, hey, a lot of the products that you’re buying at Whole Foods, you can get similar products at this retailer and shifted them over. I’m sure you know who Kevin Coupe is he runs Morning News Beat. He’s an industry pundit for lack of a better term. But he screams from the top of the rooftop. Why are retailers getting in with Instacart? He says they are not your friend. Now I would argue that the demand aggregation that they’re delivering is just too intoxicating for retailers to ignore. Look at what Walmart’s doing. They’re doing delivery in New York City with them, they are partnering up in different markets, even Walmart, the question is, what is your ability to connect with shoppers? And then you may have to make some sacrifices in terms of your data, but you have to meet your customers, be they current or future customers where they want to shop? And if you’re not there, they’re going to someone else, and you’re out of the consideration set.

Wendy  24:25
Yeah. And that’s certainly a mantra that we have had forever, you know, follow the shopper to see the future. Right. And I do think a lot of but you know, again, with my very biased view of it’s the shopper stupid, not you, but in general terms, and at what point does the shopper say, oh, gee, this is not relevant to me, or I’m overwhelmed or take this off my list or unsubscribe or what is that? both positive point that says, oh, thank you just saved my life. You made it easier, more compelling, more interesting, immersive, or oh, gee, leave me alone, please. So is that the state that we are now in where there’s so much converging on the shopper?

Peter  26:40
I think there is an the ones that are going to win in this world are the ones who are going to make their presence and their relevance to consumers as frictionless as possible, but as meaningful as possible. So I’ll try and not get too much on my Fetch Rewards soapbox.

Wendy  27:00
No, I was gonna ask you about because to me, Fetch is interesting. I mean, I knew Fetch before you showed up? You know, when I think about, what are the things that I can get, if I scan all these products? What am I gonna get?

Peter  27:12
Yeah, and that’s really it. So if I think about traditional mechanisms, like digital coupons and rebates, the challenge was on this is what prompted our CEO to found the company, he got tired of having to jump through hoops, enter in all his information, scroll through a list of offers, download and opt in to the offers that he wanted, Fetch was very different. What we found our principle on was, let’s take the friction out, let’s just ask our consumers to shop wherever they want, and just digitize their receipts, either through connecting with their Amazon account their Gmail, or just snapping pictures of receipts. So I have a habit, when I walk in, I go through a checkout line, when they hand me that receipt, I don’t move out of the way of the next person, sorry, person behind me,

Wendy  27:57
I know, I know you

Peter  27:59
Until I’ve taken the picture of the register receipt with my Fetch Rewards. And the great thing with my Fetch app, and what it does in real time, is it tells me and connects me, it says, hey, based on what’s in your basket, I’m giving you these rewards. So that’s the connection that a brand needs, from the consumer to the reward through the brand, that connection happens. So the opt in isn’t necessary, but it digitizes and captures all of that activity. It just does scan receipts. And even if you scan any receipt, we’re going to give you a nominal reward for that. That’s how we got into the restaurant business. People were just scanning restaurant receipts from McDonald’s and everyone else. And when we saw just the sheer volume, we realized, there’s a complete channel that we hadn’t thought about. And we should go after, if you can do that. And you can build a way that makes it very easy for people to understand. They see their points, they see how they’re being accumulated. And then they can use them for things that they do every day.

Wendy  28:56
I’m willing to share certain things with you. If you help me solve these issues. I don’t want to remember that I’m nearly out of milk, I’m making it up. That’s the Dash buttons. I don’t want to remember about those things. And I don’t necessarily want a subscription. But please tell me listen, you haven’t bought x for a while, you’re sure you don’t need it now? So that accumulation of data that doesn’t feel totally spooky, but helps me recognizes me in all the ways I choose to shop and rewards me in the way I want to be rewarded. I guess my question to you on that is, is that where we are headed? And is there anybody getting it right from a brand or a manufacturer level now are there anybody who we should think about or look at?

Peter  29:41
So yes, it’s where we’re heading. Who’s getting it right? Well, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t look at Kroger and say they’ve been getting it right for 10 or 15 years even more, right. There’s a reason that they were able to drive more than 10 years worth of quarterly consecutive ID store sales growth. They have very robust data. And they’ve done a great job. Let’s look at Walmart, right, arguably the largest grocery retailer in the country, they have forever been unwilling to implement a loyalty mechanism for their in store activities. And as a result, they weren’t able to do that longitudinal data transaction. Then along came the pandemic, and we saw particularly grocery sales spike to 10-15% of sales. And what we know about if you want to conduct an online transaction for groceries, be it pickup or delivery, you have to identify yourself, suddenly they have a massive data set of household identifiable information. What does that fuel?  It’s fueled retail media solution Walmart Connect, it’s also fueled their new data insight solution, which is being to the best of my knowledge, Dunnhumby is in the background, helping them build all the customer data science behind that. And they’re making that data available to brands to understand who their customers are, albeit for their ecommerce volume, mostly, but increasingly, like I use the scan and go app when I walk into a Walmart physical store. It allows me to drop it in my bag, scan a QR code and walk out guess what Walmart knows who I am when I do that transaction. So look for them to take what Kroger’s doing and go even deeper. Marketplaces like Instacart. They’ve got an enormous amount of aggregated data across multiple retail platforms that becomes very powerful and, and while still in its infant stages of capabilities. Instacart is building out a very powerful advertising platform that will be much more than just keyword searches on their site. It’s going to be much powerful.  On the brand side. You mentioned L’Oreal I don’t know about you Wendy, a lot of people like Christmas some people like Halloween, you know what my favorite holiday of the year is its CAGNY. It’s the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference that happens every February and typically down in Florida when it’s not a pandemic. Why is it my holiday? Because I’m like a kid in a candy store. You get 30-35 publicly traded companies parading themselves in front of all the analysts from the investment banks, showcasing their strategy for the year. If you looked at L’Oreal’s presentation from last February, every single page screamed digital engagement, e-commerce, loyalty, they’ve figured it out, they are betting and betting heavily. And I think that what you ended up seeing coming out of that was the analysts they gave them buy recommendations based on that. So to me, brands that are doing it right are the ones that understand that there are a lot of capabilities. But again, it also comes down to how you invest against each of those.  Companies like Kimberly Clark, they’re squarely focused on building meaningful customer relationships. They leverage direct consumer data and 1P data to fuel their CRM activities.

Wendy  32:52

They were always one of the very first I mean, I always admired them for the work they did in shopper data and all the shopper insights and the shopper marketing. And you do see this all coming together.  It sounds like your answer is that you can build shopper loyalty in a digital world actually, or you must. That’s the only way you’re going to build it right that you need to have this depth of knowledge, this depth of data that you can analyze in ways that really make it relevant for the shopper, not just for the company.

Peter  33:26
In the words of my podcast partner, Sri, it’s non-negotiable.

Wendy  33:30
Well, that’s a perfect way to end this. Thank you, Peter, as always so much to learn, my brain is exploding. But I’m glad to know that you do believe that loyalty is a thing that like we can really attain so much to be done in all of that.  You stay well. 

So here’s the thing, Peter was clear, you can build shopper loyalty today, in spite of all the places people can shop and all the brands they can buy, it is possible. In fact, it is non-negotiable. But it requires a deep understanding, deep data, analytics and smart insights to do it to understand the shopper. But more than that, to create a relationship with shoppers, because that’s what CRM is all about. Remember, Customer Relationship Marketing. It all goes way beyond discounts because for some that’s not the driver. As Peter said, it’s about delivering personalized experiences or services or products that they want. It’s not all about cents off, dollars off. But inherently it all begins and ends with an understanding of the lifetime value of your consumer your shopper that informs the budget that you have to have for customer acquisition and maintenance. And that’s where the journey to building loyalty begins. As we always say follow the shopper to see the future but in this case, I’m going to say I’ll refine it a little… how about we say follow the shopper to ensure you have a future. So that’s the thing. See you in the future.

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