TECHNOLOGY

Fragrance retailer uses AI to manage price and promotions internationally

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Douglas is creating a new pricing strategy that focuses on its customer segments, even those in other countries.

Fragrance retailer Douglas is expanding its breadth, both online and through brick-and-mortar locations. To manage its business across 19 European countries, Douglas is partnering with Revionics to create a more dynamic pricing across its international operations.

Leveraged by the company’s new pricing department, the AI-based Revionics Price Optimization and Promotion Optimization solution ensures Douglas can create the right pricing policy and promotions that will drive customer engagement. The company expects the technology to strengthen and expand its No. 1 market position, as well as help it compete in the increasingly competitive German marketplace.

“One of our key targets is to position Douglas as the consumer-centric beauty destination. Aiming at this goal, we are heavily investing in state-of-the-art technologies in order to strengthen our competitive power,” said Tina Müller, CEO of Douglas. “With Revionics’ analytics and optimization capabilities, we can craft pricing and promotional offers that are most relevant for shoppers, while also delivering consistent price strategies across all our markets as we continue both organic and acquisition-based business growth.”

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TECHNOLOGY

C-store chain reaps rewards from loyalty program

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Yesway’s loyalty program is driving nearly half of its members from the gas pump into its convenience store.

The 150-location convenience store chain launched a loyalty program, Yesway Rewards, in June 2017, through a partnership with Paytronix Systems. As members swipe their card or mobile app at checkout, they earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise, gas savings and exclusive deals. To date, 40% of members have downloaded the app.

Since launching the program, 45.2% of loyalty members have visited the convenience store after pumping gas. Meanwhile, 44% of members who made at least one visit in a 60-day period redeemed a reward, according to Yesway.

“Paytronix gives us a multi-pronged approach to communicating with our loyalty customers via email and mobile messaging, which is directly tied to store-level promotions,” said Darrin Samaha, VP and brand manager at Yesway.

“Some brands run their programs in a passive way; however, we take a different approach,” he added. “We work with Paytronix’s team to make informed campaign decisions to drive and enhance customer visits based on data. The ability to connect supplier brands to our program allows us to cut the data and understand what offers are really going to move the needle on each visit.”

Yesway, which was launched in December of 2015 by private equity firm Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC, plans to build a 500-location chain of Yesway convenience stores in selected regions of the United States over the next several years.

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Happy Returns is “getting schooled”

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A concept dedicated to in-person returns of online purchases is targeting students with its newest sites.

Just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, Happy Returns is opening its “Return Bars” on five college campuses. The partnerships allow the universities to offer students a physical location to return unwanted merchandise purchased from popular online retailers, including Everlane, Eloquii, and UntuckIt, among others.

College students are among Happy Returns’ top customers, making the campus partnerships a natural extension of the brand, the company said.

“College students are a great fit for Happy Returns, since they do most of their shopping online, don’t want to bother with printing shipping labels, and crave an easy and immediate refund,” said David Sobie, co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns. “College students are also passionate about preserving the environment, so they appreciate that Happy Returns’ box-free returns consume less cardboard and produce lower carbon emissions than other return methods.”

The college campuses are increasing the reach of Happy Returns. The company has a national network of more than 50 Return Bar locations in 14 metro areas. One of its newest locations is a flagship store that opened in January in New York City’s Rockefeller Center retail concourse.

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