News

Belk Keeps Eyes on Omnichannel Loyalty Prize

BY Dan Berthiaume

Family is all about loyalty, and as a family-owned business, 301-store, Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. makes an effort to maintain and reward loyalty from its customers. So when Belk reached its 125th anniversary this year, the retailer decided to launch a campaign that would reward loyal shoppers while also boosting its presence in channels such as mobile and social.

Prized customer engagement
Working with digital engagement technology provider ePrize, Inc., Belk crafted a strategy for a campaign called “Belk’s 125 Days of Prizes.” The campaign provided a prize a day for 125 days to new and existing Belk customers who signed up across a microsite, Facebook, and mobile channels.

“ePrize’s platform functionality and engagement expertise made perfect sense to host this campaign," explained Jon Pollack, executive VP, sales promotion, marketing & e-commerce, Belk. "We were pleased with the campaign engagement across digital, mobile and social channels.”

Registering strong results
One specific result that pleased Belk was the registration of nearly 220,000 consumers in the promotion.

“To hit almost 220,000 registrations was a big win for us, especially with almost 80% opting in to receive additional information on future promotions,” said Pollack. “Specific to mobile, the campaign significantly helped us in boosting our mobile interactions, as 13% of registrants opted in to receive exclusive offers via text message. Social engagement also increased, with Pinterest followers doubling from 7,000 pre-launch to 15,000 post-campaign, and more than 61,000 Facebook posts about the campaign."

Another clear sign of customer engagement was the level of activity among the 220,000 contestants. There were more than 2 million sweepstakes entries with an average of 9.6 entries per registrant. Consumers uploaded more 24,000 photos sharing their favorite Belk memories.

The game continues
Based on its success with its entry into the realm of omnichannel gamification (using a contest to drive social engagement and reward loyalty among consumers), Belk plans to continue working on similar projects with ePrize.

“Belk has continued to work with ePrize on digital campaigns, including our most recent ‘Share Your Wedding Style Sweepstakes’ campaign on Pinterest,” Pollack said. “We are very pleased with the social and mobile success seen through working with ePrize and will continue to make it a priority integrating multichannel engagement in our overall marketing efforts.”


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Supervalu beats street with Q2 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Supervalu Inc. beat Wall Street estimates with second quarter fiscal 2014 net earnings of $40 million, compared to a $111 million loss in the year-ago period.

The supermarket operator reported net sales of $3.95 billion, up 0.2% from $3.94 billion last year.

Same-store sales results varied by banner. Same-store sales in the Save-A-Lot network were negative 0.3, while same-store sales for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network were positive 4.6% and were negative 0.9% in the Retail Food segment.

Reduced operating costs resulting from Supervalu selling roughly 900 stores, or more than half its total, earlier this year were a major driver of the retailer’s improved performance.

“Similar to what we outlined in the first quarter, we remain focused on delivering steady improvements in our business each and every quarter,” said Sam Duncan, Supervalu’s president and CEO. “While our end goal won’t be achieved overnight, I am encouraged with our results this quarter and, more importantly, the way we are achieving these results by building a strong foundation that is focused on our customers.”

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Rewards program helps drive Q3 growth at Overstock.com

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – Overstock.com reported year-over-year gains in net income and revenue during the third quarter of fiscal 2013, which the company partially attributed to growing participation in its Club O paid loyalty program.

Net income increased 31% from $2.7 million to $3.5 million, while revenue grew 18% from $255.4 million to $301.4 million. The growth in net revenue was primarily due to a 16% increase in average order size, from $147 in third quarter 2012 to $170 in third quarter 2013, coupled with a 2% increase in orders.

The company also said Club O customers are spending more and a new warehouse is enhancing delivery operations.

"In Club O, we built what we believe is the best, most generous loyalty program on the Internet, with free shipping, 5-25% rewards on products, and books priced at Amazon prices but with 15% rewards, all for $19.95 per year,” said Patrick Byrne, chairman and CEO of Overstock.com. “Our Club O customers are rewarding us with their business. In addition, with the opening of our new warehouse in Pennsylvania, we are now providing even faster delivery to our customers on the east coast."

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