Category: CRM Strategy

CRM Commandments

JD Sports: How’s the King of Trainers Treating Customers?

Welcome to episode 36 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to JD Sports Fashion plc.

“Supplying the latest and greatest branded street-style and sports fashion goods for over 30 years, with 1000s of exclusive products,” is how they put it – but is JD Sports running healthy customer relationships basics?

Let’s find out.

1. Be Transparent 9/10

On – JD sports provides key facts on the brand’s overall wellbeing – trading updates, employee headcounts, YoY revenue, profit earned before taxes, and more.

In addition, Business Live reported that “Sportswear giant JD Sports has snapped up US trainer retailer Shoe Palace for 325 million dollars (£243.8 million).”

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion, said: “We are confident that our combined fascias will provide us with the flexibility and expertise to fulfil our mutual ambition of becoming a prime customer destination for sneakers and lifestyle apparel in the United States.”

Finally, though, the fact that this unflattering story on The Sun did not include any comment from JD themselves costs them a point here.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

We were prompted with the following popup message when first logging on to the site:

At the top of the brand’s homepage, this bonus code promo appears:

The brand also has an entire Offer Page with deals up to 50% off:

And there are student discounts on offer too:

That’s certainly enough to get a perfect score in our book!

3. Be Relevant 10/10

Both banners at the bottom of the brand’s HP – Fitness Fits (taken from home) and Loungewear Looks – are relevant for these times as we still spend more time at home due to the lingering pandemic.

In addition, the brand has added a COVID-19 section to their FAQ page detailing the safety measures they are taking in their stores to combat the virus.

The brand also details various delivery, returns, and payment options that have been altered for customers to shop more conveniently, including click and collect options.

You can read more about it in their newly added lockdown FAQs:

4. Be Helpful 5/10

Asides from focusing on sustainability, the environment, and energy consumption as well as committing to battle modern slavery– we couldn’t find ways in which the brand has been helpful or given back to its community during this whirlwind of a year.

Especially now, customers want to know that your brand stands for something and that you’re “doing good.” This creates trust and loyalty – which ultimately means – more return customers.

See Pets at Home and Target for examples of brands that have aced it in this commandment.

5. Realtime Personalization 7/10

First, to get a localized shopping experience, we were asked to choose our country of residence when entering the site:

After adding white sneakers to our shopping cart, we were presented with “Customers also viewed” item suggestions.

However, when going back to the brand’s HP – nothing was personalized to display more products of our interest.

Though no realtime re-targeting efforts were made by the brand on our social media accounts – about an hour later – when browsing the net – we were presented with a Banner Ad promoting JD sports sneakers:

There’s more that could be done in terms of realtime personalization – but they are doing better here than most brands we checked. in other words – a little push here, and they may open a gap to big for competitors to close anytime soon.

6. Master UX 8/10

Overall, we had a good experience with the brand – without any major issues to identify.

The side menu bar when shopping allows customers to narrow down their search per category, brand, size, color, price, offer, and sale.

You can also shop according to collections – with all the items clearly listed under each brand – making the entire shopping experience simple, intuitive, and fun.

We were happy to see the brand’s website offer more than just shopping. JD Sports has an entire blog with tons of content to digest.

We deducted a couple of points here as we felt the brand’s HP was a bit too long (almost 10 scrolls) and cluttered, and although some users may find this convenient – we found it was overwhelming and lengthy. Basket and check-out were smooth and intuitive, but nothing to write home (or here) about.

7. Leverage Social Media 10/10

On Facebook JD Sports has 3.38M likes, on Instagram the brand has 1.6M followers, and on Twitter they have 172.5K followers.

On all three social media channels, it’s clear that JD sports know what it’s doing – as they cater to customers fittingly on each channel.

From interacting with customers on Facebook:

To weekly podcasts on Instagram:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by JD (@jdofficial)

And inspirational quotes on Twitter:

Well done!


Overall, JD Sports is getting a fantastic 59/70 here (84%), placing them 6th, in a tie with Paul Smith.

A little more work on JD Sports’ realtime personalization efforts can an emphasis on helping out – will improve the brands ability to create more fruitful relationships with customers.

Standing up for something that’s specifically relevant to these times (the “being helpful” part) – is no longer an option for brands. Marketing Dive says that 40% of consumers want to hear what brands are doing in response to the coronavirus pandemic – for starters. Not a number to take lightly.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home 91%
  2. Lowe’s 90%
  3. Petco 90%
  4. Target 87%
  5. Uniqlo 86%
  6. JD Sports 84%
  7. Paul Smith 84%
  8. Vrbo 83%
  9. N Brown Group 81%
  10. West Elm 81%
  11. The North Face 81%
  12. Holland and Barret 80%
  13. lululemon 80%
  14. Brooks Running 79%
  15. Best Buy 78%
  16. Nando’s 75%
  17. Etsy 76%
  18. The Body Shop 74%
  19. Gymshark 73%
  20. William Hill 73%
  21. Essence 72%
  22. Iceland Foods 71%
  23. Total Wine & More 70%
  24. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  25. Walgreens 70%
  26. Kohl’s 70%
  27. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  28. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  29. Fiverr 67%
  30. Next 63%
  31. Patagonia 61%
  32. Express 60%
  33. Burberry 60%
  34. Zara 59%
  35. COS 57%
  36. Dream11 53%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

The post JD Sports: How’s the King of Trainers Treating Customers? appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Strategy

D2C Plus Marketing Yields Success During The Pandemic

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and most businesses took a major hit. Yet some businesses managed to not just survive but even to thrive. The secret to their success was pivoting from standard retail models to D2C (direct to consumer) models.

According to Statista, D2C e-commerce sales were predicted to hit 17.75 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, a substantial increase over the 14.28 billion achieved in 2019. In fact, the figures were likely far higher.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
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New pandemic purchase patterns

The U.S. (and likely even the global) economy was completely reshaped by the pandemic. When normal supply chains to retail outlets were disrupted by a combination of lockdowns, overseas production, and shipping delays, as well as demand for certain products rising and falling with greater rapidity than a rollercoaster – if you couldn’t get your product to the consumer directly, your customer likely couldn’t get it at all.

Now that it’s been a full year since the first cases were reported, it becomes clear that the pandemic changed the way people shopped, possibly forever.  The change may have been prompted by necessity due to their workplaces and stores being closed for months under government orders and kept up by choice for those who still want to avoid entering stores as much as possible.

Coffee at home

Nespresso was one of the brands that embraced D2C to meet their customers where they were during most of 2020 – at home.  As reported in Modern Retail, its parent company, Nestlé’s was able to report growth for that part of its business as they delivered the experience customers wanted to their homes.

The publication interviewed Nespresso U.S.’s VP of Marketing, Justin DeGeorge. He explained that even though the brand already had a strong base of customers at home, they were able to strengthen their connection and even win over new customers by making sure they would provide the level of quality people normally get from coffee shops:

“Many home coffee solutions don’t necessarily deliver the same level of quality as the coffeeshop. The challenge is highlighting the convenience and taste, which are our big value drivers.”

Another challenge for the brand was getting the word out about what their machines deliver. Like many others in 2020, they did use Zoom for demonstrations, but they also used social media to feature baristas talking about the machine features and the coffee taste.

As DeGeorge explained, “The idea is to replicate that in-person experience that customers get at our boutique or a department store when buying a new machine.”

Other strategies they adopted to appeal to the customers who were staying home include easier recycling. They have an option to recycle capsules via UPS. In New York City, DeGeorge said they worked out an approach for curbside pickup for recycling.

To incentivize reorders, they offer an, “Easy Order program, which offers incentives such as accessories and gifts for loyal customers and has been popular among subscribers,” DeGeoerge said.

Not forgetting that some working from home not by choice may miss the coffee on tap in the office, he added that they are planning to work with businesses on “delivering coffee to remote employees.” My suggestion: throw in a company mug, as well, then people will feel tangibly more connected to their company than they do just from seeing people on Zoom meetings. Better yet, have a virtual coffee happy hour and encourage all employees to use the mugs together on screen.

A lot of us feel that we can’t live – never mind work without coffee. So, it may seem like not such a big deal to get people to clamor for it at home. But what about something one may feel is not essential, particularly when we hardly see anyone in person?

The beauty at home challenge

Would women bother with makeup even when they’re not going into work? Apparently, they do, and that’s why Sally Beauty reported an amazing return for 2020.

In a combination of strategy and fortuitous timing, the beauty brand was already poised to focus on its digital line in 2019, so when the pandemic struck it simply had to accelerate rather than shift its strategy.

Carolyne Guss, Sally Beauty Group Vice President Of Marketing, was featured on the Glossy Beauty Podcast, where she talked about what led to the company’s impressive 250% gain over the previous year in the third quarter of 2020.

The foundation of that success was laid at the beginning of the year, as Guss explained when they set out to embrace “digital transformation” and set out to make more use of apps and technology:

“Starting in January, we had a pretty extensive brand relaunch that we were in the throes of. The tagline was all around ‘unleash your potential.’ And really, it was about modernizing the brand, showcasing to consumers that we will deliver the confidence they needed to DIY at home.”

They also were gearing up to deliver the tech that made it possible to shop at home with the launch of ColorView that uses AI to show shoppers how hair colors and makeup would look on them on a mobile app.

“So, we had a lot of things in the works that we had just started when the pandemic hit,” Guss observed. “What we had to do was be nimble.”

The brand’s directive was: “‘How do we meet customers the way they need to shop?”

While they were on track with options already, Guss said, “We also accelerated a bunch of things from a digital and omnichannel perspective.” That included options like “Ship-from-store and BOPIS [buy-online, pick-up in-store] recently, so in case you don’t want to go into the store, you have that option.”

Social media also became very important, not just to reach out to customers but even for what they call “digital education” for salon pros who earn credits for the courses. They made us of various channels, not just the usual Instagram and with entry into TikTok but even podcasts, which Guss observes, “Have really exploded.”

The key to connecting with the socially distanced customer

When you can’t draw customers into your store, you need to meet the customers where they are. In 2020, that meant not just getting the products directly to them via D2C but making full use of digital channels to keep them informed and engaged. Even businesses that already had the delivery pathways in place had to make sure their marketing delivered, as well.

The post D2C Plus Marketing Yields Success During The Pandemic appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Commandments

Paul Smith: Creatively Designing Customer Relationships?

Welcome to episode 35 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to Paul Smith.

The British fashion designer – mostly famous for its quality of clothes and unique combinations of pattern and color – was made a Royal Designer for the Industry in 1991.

But is Paul Smith making customers feel like royalty? Let’s start checking.

Be Transparent 10/10

AD spoke to the iconic British designer, Paul Smith, on some very real matters as he recently celebrated his 50th anniversary in the fashion industry.

“It’s more important than ever to have a point of view and a point of difference. It’s also important to know your customer well. I still love to go to my flagship shop on Albermarle Street in London on Saturdays and work on the shop floor. It’s the best way to meet my customers and get to know what they want.”

Paul Smith is and always has been open, honest, and authentic with customers and fans. His foundation offers the best advice to help young designers learn how to take their “ambition to the next level.”

And here’s what he has to say on decision making:

“Over the years, some of the decisions I’ve made have been not that wise, and probably some of the staff would think, ‘Oh gosh, I wish he’d not done that.’ I’m not autocratic, and I do try to get opinions, but at some point, you have to make a decision because you can’t keep beating around the bush. You have to say, ‘We’re stopping that for the time being. And let’s think about it.’”

As customers, we usually forgive mistakes if brands behave transparently. And Paul Smith surely is.

Incentives and Perks 10/10

The first banner on the brand’s HP is the following 50% discount offer.

Throughout our customer journey when analyzing the brand, the newsletter signup offer below appeared.

Also, Paul Smith is currently having a Men’s AW20 sale.

Finally, the brand offers customers the ability to shop with gift cards.

That’s enough promotions to get a perfect score here.

Be Relevant 10/10

When searching whether the brand states/acknowledges the COVID-19 pandemic and if/how customers may be affected when shopping – we found the following text written on their Shipping & Returns Policy:

“Due to recent Covid-19 Tier changes, we cannot ship Interior items available in our shops. Once you place an order, a member of Customer Services will be in touch to confirm shipping details as we find out more from Government updates.”

In fact, the brand has updated its FAQ page to add an entire COVID-19 update section.

The brand also acknowledges that customers are likely to make returns after the holiday shopping season and updated their returns page to say:

We also noticed that the brand has Click & Collect shopping options when browsing the site.

Furthermore, Paul smith has altered its product offering to help customers during this challenging year by creating a “Shop now. Pay later with Klarna.” option.

Here’s how it works:

“We’re excited to announce we have partnered with Klarna to bring you new ways to pay at checkout. It’s a safe and simple way to get the stuff you want when you want it.”

Finally, the brand has a virtual personal shopping experience, perfect for customers who are in-and-out of lockdowns due to the pandemic. It’s excellent in that customers can book a virtual appointment with a Paul Smith stylist – all from the comfort of their home! (More detail on this in the UX commandment below)

We don’t think any brand we examined so far checked ALL THE BOXES here as Paul Smith has.

Be Helpful 10/10

The brand is on a “path to sustainability”.

In addition, and what we found unique to this brand, is the following “modern slavery statement” which reads:

At Paul Smith, we are absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our corporate activities, and to ensuring that our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.”

The page goes on to detail how their business, supply chains, policies, and distribution methods ensure there is no modern slavery or human trafficking. Their employees and recruitment practices have no risk of slavery and human trafficking, too, and Paul Smith even provides a full statement confirming their due diligence on the matter.

Finally, in recent news – Paul Smith reflects on his new foundation and legacy after 50 years in fashion. The article details the interview with the fashion designer – which includes info on the Paul Smith foundation that invests in young artists. Paul Smith also funds a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Arts.

“The idea is that [the foundation] will provide advice for creative people, whether you’re a young graphic designer or a chef, even,” Smith said. “Over the years, we’ve had so many people come to this building thinking that they want to be a fashion designer, and I say, ‘It’s lovely to be a fashion designer, but it’s a very oversubscribed job.’ My approach has always been to demystify the job and make it more understandable and, in a way, more accessible.”

Realtime Personalization 2/10

In case you didn’t notice – the brand did not drop a single point in the first four sections of this analysis. This is unprecedented.

Unfortunately, this is where the streak ends – as, in a similar fashion to most of the brands we analyzed, they too are behind the curve when it comes to realtime personalization.

When entering the website, we were able to choose our country/region, as shown below, to get a more personalized shopping experience.

When adding a white dress shirt to our bag, no cross-sell principles or upsell techniques were used by the brand whatsoever – too bad!

Though the following similar item suggestions were suggested when scrolling down the same page, when going back to the brand’s HP, nothing was altered to suit our product of interest –men’s dress shirts and coats.

Finally, when logging off the brand’s website and hopping on to our Facebook and Instagram accounts, no realtime retargeting efforts were made by Paul Smith.

Master UX 10/10

Alright – and we’re back to the perfect tens!

The first impression we got from the brand is that it has a simple, clean, and refined user interface and design. Navigating and browsing through the different categories is easy and fun.

The colors and the look-and-feel are excellent for the brand and reflect the retailer’s unique fashionable offering.

Also, when adding items to our cart, we were presented with an overview of the product including what it’s made of, how to care for it, sizing, shipping, and more – all very convenient for the modern online shopper.

The Paul Smith online shopping experience with a personal stylist, mentioned above – is clearly the cherry on top of a perfect user experience. What can be better than an in-house stylist helping a customer find what they’re looking for – just like a brick and motor shop? Virtual appointments are available Monday to Friday and to book one, customers need to fill in a form and choose an appointment time up to 2 weeks in advance.

Leverage Social Media 7/10

The brand has over 850K likes on Facebook, 150K followers on Twitter, and 425K on Instagram.

They post the same type of content on all three social networks mentioned above –mainly promoting their latest collections and offers.

Here and there, they add a touch of seasonal flavor:

And a bit from Paul Smith, himself:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paul Smith (@paulsmithdesign)

Seems as if the brand is strictly sticking to fashion on social media – which might be intentional, but perhaps missing on the power of these platforms to push the bigger-picture agendas the brand promotes.


Overall, and even with the low score on the personalization section, Paul Smith is getting a 59/70 here (84%), placing them in 6th place. Brilliant work!

Clearly, the brand’s communications are very much aligned with what is expected of brands nowadays. But still, like most of the brands on our list below – Paul Smith is definitely lacking personalization as far as their CRM practices go, and customers deserve better here. With a solid 8/10 on personalization, they would be ranked first!

You can read more on personalization here and here.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home 91%
  2. Lowe’s 90%
  3. Petco 90%
  4. Target 87%
  5. Uniqlo 86%
  6. Paul Smith 84%
  7. Vrbo 83%
  8. N Brown Group 81%
  9. West Elm 81%
  10. The North Face 81%
  11. Holland and Barret 80%
  12. lululemon 80%
  13. Brooks Running 79%
  14. Best Buy 78%
  15. Nando’s 75%
  16. Etsy 76%
  17. The Body Shop 74%
  18. Gymshark 73%
  19. William Hill 73%
  20. Essence 72%
  21. Iceland Foods 71%
  22. Total Wine & More 70%
  23. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  24. Walgreens 70%
  25. Kohl’s 70%
  26. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  27. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  28. Fiverr 67%
  29. Next 63%
  30. Patagonia 61%
  31. Express 60%
  32. Burberry 60%
  33. Zara 59%
  34. COS 57%
  35. Dream11 53%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!



The post Paul Smith: Creatively Designing Customer Relationships? appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Strategy

6 Important Lessons We Learned About Customer Retention in…

So… how was everyone’s 2020?

(Whoa, whoa…sorry I asked. Put the chair down, please don’t hurt me!)

In all seriousness, the past year has been pretty tumultuous — and has led to many sweeping changes around the world.

To be sure, these sweeping changes have had a major impact on the world of retail, overall.

And, even putting aside the pandemic and political upheaval, evolving technology and customer expectations have pushed retail businesses to make some drastic changes, as well.

As we put a bow on leave 2020 in the past where it belongs, let’s not forget the lessons we’ve learned that will help us better serve and retain our customers well into the future.

1. A Cohesive Customer Experience is Crucial

The importance of delivering a cohesive omnichannel experience to your retail customers is nothing new.

But it certainly hasn’t faded over the last year. Really, it’s become more important than ever to ensure your customers can pick up where they left off with your brand — regardless of when, where, and how they engage with you.

Now, “going omnichannel” doesn’t necessarily mean your brand needs to be active on every marketing channel in existence. Rather, the goal of omnichannel marketing is to be active on the channels your customers need you to be — and to ensure these channels seamlessly connect with one another.

(Yes, you’ll want to continue adding new channels to your distribution strategy over time. But, you need to be intentional when doing so; migrating to a new channel just because it’s there will likely cause more harm than good.)

Failure to provide a cohesive experience to your customers can be devastating to your retention rates.

As a 2019 report from MuleSoft shows, 72% of digital consumers say a disconnected CX would cause them to switch brands almost immediately. This is up from 69% the previous year — and there’s every reason to believe this percentage will continue to increase in the years to come.

Omnichannel cohesion inherently allows you to personalize your customers’ experiences with your brand in a number of ways. In fact, much of what we’ll be discussing ties directly into your brand’s omnichannel initiatives.

That said, strengthening your omnichannel efforts is perhaps the top priority for 2021 and beyond. Get this ball rolling, and it will open many more opportunities to deliver value to your customers moving forward.

Keep Your First-Time Customers Coming Back

2. Convenience Reigns Supreme

Let’s face it:

It’s pretty much human nature to look for the easiest way to accomplish our goals.

It is…literally why we spend our money on goods and services: We want or need something that is difficult (or impossible) to get on our own, so we pay others to help us out.

Of course, we’re not just saying that modern brands need to offer products and services that provide convenience and ease to their customers. This much is obvious.

As we touched on in the last section, the modern consumer wants their entire branded experience to be as convenient as possible.

Simply put, they don’t want to put any more effort than they have to in order to get what they want from your brand. Again, it’s about being where your customers expect you to be, with exactly what they’re looking to get from your brand — and being able to deliver it to them with ease.

Providing such convenience is huge for customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention.

  • 90% of retail consumers will go with brands that provide the most convenient options and overall experience
  • Brands that have focused on convenience in recent years have experienced an average 67% business growth
  • 1 in 2 retail consumers report spending more on brands due to the level of convenience provided

(The COVID era has, of course, piled on the need for convenience — but it’s definitely not the only factor. We’ll come back to this a bit later on.)

The writing is on the wall:

If you’re not constantly looking for ways to more conveniently deliver value to your customers, you stand a pretty good chance of losing them. At the very least, they won’t be spending nearly as much time and money with your brand if it’s not easy for them to do so.

3. We’re All in the Hospitality Business Now

Across the board, this year has been a wake-up call for brands and consumers alike with regard to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Now, this isn’t to say that the safety of our customers isn’t always a top priority.

Unfortunately, many consumers report not feeling 100% safe and secure when buying certain products or engaging with certain brands. Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic has only made the modern consumer more wary of their own health and safety.

That said, it’s crucial — and, in many cases, legally mandated — that retailers revisit their plans for keeping their customers safe  throughout their shopping experiences. If your customers feel that their safety is in danger, they have no reason to continue doing business with your brand.

In addition to making improvements to your overall safety plans, you also need to effectively communicate these changes to your customers. If they don’t know what you’re doing to ensure their safety, they’ll likely err on the side of caution — meaning they’re going to stay as far away from your store as possible.

So, no matter what products or services you offer, your brand needs to be in the business of hospitality above all else. Once you’re certain your customers will be able to safely engage with your brand — and you’re certain they know this — you’ll be free to deliver your branded experience to them exactly as you’d planned.

4. Proactive and Automated Customer Support is Expected

Piggybacking off the last section, it’s also vital to ensure your customers can get the maximum possible value out of every engagement with your brand.

It’s not enough to just give your customers the product or service they paid for. As a retailer, you also need to support your customers throughout their journey with your brand.

Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the norm. According to Intercom, only 42% of companies feel that their customer support efforts aren’t exactly up to snuff.

They point to three key challenges in this area:

  • Meeting customer expectations re: service and support
  • Improving and streamlining customer service and support workflows
  • Managing service and support volume

The key to overcoming these challenges:

Delivering proactive — and, when possible, automated — support to your audience.

Proactive support typically comes in the form of informational content and educational experiences, such as:

  • Knowledge bases and FAQ pages
  • Informational blog posts and emails
  • Comprehensive user onboarding

You can also use chatbots, live chat, and direct messaging to preempt service requests from your customers — delivering the exact information they need to proceed before they even know they need it.

Whether providing it through automation or manually, delivering laser-focused support requires having a soup-to-nuts understanding of your overall customer journey. By anticipating every step your customers take with your brand, you’ll know exactly what they’ll need at any given moment — and can focus your efforts on making sure they get it.

The fact that less than half of retailers believe they’re on the right track — despite 73% acknowledging a problem in this area — makes clear:

We’re bound to see a renewed and improved focus on customer support in 2021 and beyond. If your team isn’t actively looking for ways to better serve and support your customers, it’ll be increasingly difficult to keep them from defecting to brands that are.

5. Pay Attention to Zero-Party Data

At the start of 2020, Google announced that Chrome will stop supporting third-party cookies by 2022.

This poses a huge problem for retailers who rely on such data to gain a better understanding of their customers. Though Chrome is just one of many browsers — and there are certainly other ways of collecting this third-party data — it’s still a problem that needs solving.

Which is why retailers will need to focus heavily on zero-party data in the years to come.

Basically, zero-party data refers to any information your audience gives you without being prompted.

A few examples:

  • Customer service queries via email
  • Direct messages via social media
  • On-site behaviors and actions

Though zero-party data is that which is unsolicited, you’ll still need to put structures in place to enable your customers to provide it. If, for example, you don’t have a presence on social media, that’s one less opportunity for your customers to proactively reach out and tell you what they’re thinking.

(Umm…that doesn’t apply to your brand, does it?)

You also need to be able to recognize, identify, collect, and use the info your customers volunteer to make tangible improvements — both to your processes and your customer experience.

The modern customer wants to provide more info to the brands they work with, as it will ultimately benefit them in the long run. It’s on you, then, to ensure they can tell you what you need to know in order to put your best foot forward.

6. Temporary Changes, or Permanent Solutions?

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that nothing in the retail world is certain moving into 2021.

On the one hand, many of the changes that have come about due to COVID are likely to stick around even after the pandemic has settled. As a recent report from McKinsey shows, most consumers plan to continue doing more online shopping — and will also continue to use self-checkout well into the future.

On the other hand, there’s data to support the idea for some COVID-era consumer expectations to fade in due time. As Hub Entertainment Research reports, most of those who preferred in-store shopping to online before the pandemic hit will likely head back to brick-and-mortar stores when it’s safe to do so.

As unprecedented as the last year has been — in the retail world and the world at large — so, too, is the post-COVID era to come. With this in mind, the best course of action for retailers is to stay agile, keeping a close eye on the moment-to-moment changes in their industries.

To be sure, this should be the case regardless of any “big picture” goings on in the world. The retail world of tomorrow is not the retail world of today — and only those who keep up with the changing times will be able to thrive in a world that’s yet to exist.

Of course, we here at PostFunnel are dedicated to keeping you in the know, and helping you press forward in a way that will benefit your customers and your company. As we head into 2021, stay with us for the latest news and trends in the retail world — and keep your team prepared for whatever surprise is next in store.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

The post 6 Important Lessons We Learned About Customer Retention in 2020 appeared first on Post Funnel.


N Brown Group: CRM Brand(s) Analysis

Welcome to episode 34 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to N Brown Group plc.

Most people may not know this company by name, but it’s safe to assume most UK customers have come across the group’s brands – JD WILLIAMS, HOME ESSENTIALS, simply be, Ambrose Wilson, and others.

And before we start going through the CRM tactics here and giving grades, we just wanted to note that this analysis is different from the first 33. Instead of choosing one of the group’s brands, we mixed things a little and randomly chose a different brand for each category. You’ll see.

So, how will the group’s brands score on each of the commandments below? Let’s find out.

1. Be Transparent 10/10

N Brown Group deserves a perfect score here for a number of reasons as with this retailer – everything is out in the open for customers. For starters, N Group’s HP slide banner displays their first-half results as well as their 2020 annual report.

In addition, and as previously reported on PF – N Brown Group announced that it had secured shareholders’ support in its bid to raise £100m to strengthen its balance sheet and accelerate profitable growth.

“Having restructured the business and transitioned to more than 90% of revenues from digital, we now see a clear opportunity to capitalise on various industry drivers, not least the increasing trend towards online retail, and further improve our customer proposition,” said Steve Johnson, CEO at N Brown Group.

“While we are mindful of the ongoing uncertainty of the UK retail environment, we are confident we can continue to build on the unique strength of the group’s brands and remain focused on creating a sustainable business delivering profitable growth over the long term.”

We’ve analyzed dozens of brands so far. Such openness is rare.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Here, we checked out a few of the group’s brands to see whether they provide customers with incentives and perks for shopping (and re-shopping) with them. And the many brands do indeed offer promotions.

Ambrose Wilson:


It’s clear that the group’s brands know how to play the D2C game – especially when it comes to discounts and offers. They get a perfect 10 here also thanks to the wide range of offers. Again, one might think it’s trivial, but after looking into so many online stores in recent months – we actually know it’s not too common. And what we saw here is exceptional in terms of “having something for everyone” – the newcomer, the bargain hunter, the social-distancing customer, and more – on the discounts aspect.

3. Be Relevant 10/10

Regardless of this challenging past year, the group’s brands are out on a mission to support Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).

One of N Group’s main brands, Jacamo, is best known for selling plus-sized clothing, focusing on larger sized clothing for men, a segment usually much less attended to than others.

While the group’s intimate wear brand, Figleaves, caters to customers with larger bust sizes – with marketing language that represents women of various backgrounds, religions, and races.

So, although D&I is a subject that should be top of mind for every brand – the brands under N Group’s name have already incorporated this into their underlying values for years.

“We believe in FASHION WITHOUT BOUNDARIES and fabulous clothes for every age in a range of sizes,” N Group communicates to customers on their website.

Furthermore, for the sake of this commandment – we checked whether Jacamo had altered their product offering or service to help customers shop in a more convenient, fast, and safe way as the coronavirus continues to affect us all. Or, at least, help with the online holiday shopping spree.

And here, once again, the brand is checking the boxes with an extended returns offer:

As recently reported on PF – the post-holiday shopping season could be even more hectic than the shipageddon – with tons of customers planning on making a return after XMAS. So, obviously, it is excellent to see Jacamo acknowledging it.

Also, very relevant to these WFH, comfy clothing times – the brand has created an entire Loungewear section for customers to shop quickly and easily.

4. Be Helpful 8/10

Sustainability is among the group’s central values. N Group writes on its website:

“We strive to make as little environmental impact on THE PLANET

as possible, and we are always considering how better to enrich both our customer and employee experience.”

They also have an entire strategy webpage on sustainable growth that reads:


Over the last two financial years, the group has undertaken a significant restructuring programme, which has created the right platform for sustainable growth. We are now in an “accelerate” phase driven by five growth pillars which have been developed to reflect the focus of the business and the external environment.”

Still, we couldn’t find a recent way the fashion retailer has been giving back to society and those in need during this past challenging year. Other brands (check the rankings below) have supported charities and causes by providing monetary donations to show empathy towards emotional and sensitive issues.

5. Realtime Personalization 3/10

For this commandment – we chose to analyses the brand, Ambrose Wilson.

When adding children’s sneakers to our shopping cart, we presented with item suggestions – but they were totally off… weird!

Then when adding a toy accessory kit, the same thing happened:

Therefore, though the brand has cross-sell and up-sell marketing techniques in place on their site – they were totally off – really leaving the personalization factor out!

When exiting all sites that we took into account during this analysis – no realtime retargeting efforts were made by the brand whatsoever on our social media accounts. (FB and IG)

6. Master UX 9/10

For the sake of this commandment, we rated the user experience of Home Essential’s website.

Everything from presenting us with the most relevant products to these times (new home gym workout equipment and cozy home blankets) and the entire look and feel of the brand’s site was both neat and memorable.

When shopping, customers can also narrow search results for a more direct experience – whereby you can choose the color, area of the home, price range, review rating, brand, and more.

When adding and removing items from our cart – and heading over to check out – the process was easy and even fun! Our experience with this brand was great – overall. It gets a 9/10 (and not a perfect score) because the very Amazonesque experience lacked a bit of originality.

7. Leverage Social Media 7/10

Here, we rated the brand Simply Be.

Their Instagram account has over 200k followers. On this platform, they post in high frequency – more than a couple of times a day – content that promotes their attire – and provides promo codes, inspiration, and videos to help strengthen customer relationships.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Simply Be (@simplybeuk)

Their Twitter account has over 94k followers.

On this platform, the brand last Tweeted in October 2020 – not great. Also, their pinned Tweet is a message apologizing to customers for longer customer service response times. From April. If the issue still persists, then, yeah, it’s a long time to wait for response…

Their Facebook account has over 440K likes. On this platform, they also post in high frequency – the same kind of content they post on Instagram.

They lose points also because they were no evident attempt to match the kind of content to the platform.


Overall, Nando’s is getting a 57/70 here (81%), placing them in 7th place in a tie with West Elm and The North Face.

Though this is quite a high score and ranking on our list, N Group still has to ask themselves, “What does personalization mean?”, in order to really give their customers the personal touch and experience they deserve.

There are many tools out there that can help with your personalization efforts – we can expect this new influx of capital into the company’s coffers to drive them in that direction, among others.

For example, Optimove data showed that customers who landed on a personalized homepage version stayed on the site 22% longer than users who didn’t.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home 91%
  2. Lowe’s 90%
  3. Petco 90%
  4. Target 87%
  5. Uniqlo 86%
  6. Vrbo 83%
  7. N Brown Group 81%
  8. West Elm 81%
  9. The North Face 81%
  10. Holland and Barret 80%
  11. lululemon 80%
  12. Brooks Running 79%
  13. Best Buy 78%
  14. Nando’s 75%
  15. Etsy 76%
  16. The Body Shop 74%
  17. Gymshark 73%
  18. William Hill 73%
  19. Essence 72%
  20. Iceland Foods 71%
  21. Total Wine & More 70%
  22. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  23. Walgreens 70%
  24. Kohl’s 70%
  25. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  26. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  27. Fiverr 67%
  28. Next 63%
  29. Patagonia 61%
  30. Express 60%
  31. Burberry 60%
  32. Zara 59%
  33. COS 57%
  34. Dream11 53%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

The post N Brown Group: CRM Brand(s) Analysis appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Strategy

Analyzing Sephora And Its Unique Segmentation Efforts

Sephora is heaven for makeup-obsessed consumers. While Sephora does not release its financial results, Sephora generated retail sales of up to 5.9 billion U.S. dollars in the United States. One way the beauty retailer has built success is by leveraging customer segmentation to identify profitable customers and drive business growth.

Let’s take a look at Sephora’s unique segmentation strategy.

Customer Lifecycle

Sephora segments customers based on where they are in the customer life cycle. This helps the brand to address its audience’s specific needs as they go from a prospect to a loyal customer. Here’s how Sephora segments its audience.

New Customers: Once consumers sign up for Sephora emails, they receive a set of welcome emails. The first email informs them of the benefits of shopping with Sephora. The second email includes a quiz that helps Sephora gather valuable segmentation data about its new customers. The third email gives personalized product picks based on the customer’s data.

Active Customers: Once prospects become customers, Sephora keeps them engaged and encourages repeat purchases by sending a series of special offers and deals on skincare and makeup products.

 For instance, Sephora also sends new deals and weekly promos to loyal customers. Rather than sending coupons to everyone on their list, Sephora segments the list based on customers’ spending habits, and tailors offers to fit them. For instance, high-value VIB and Rouge customers get a free trial set with a $35 purchase.

Churned Customers: Sephora re-engages churned customers with win-back campaigns. The emails contain product discount codes that encourage customers to make a purchase. However, customers have to spend a minimum amount to get the discount, which is an excellent way to improve AOV.


The guide to advanced customer segmentation


Sephora uses geographic segmentation to offer personalized experiences to its customers, increase sales, and build customer loyalty. Let’s take a look at Sephora’s International websites. Sephora has websites covering countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia.

Each country’s website is designed to appeal to the buying behavior of customers in different geographical locations.  For instance, as at the time of writing this article, the Sephora Brazil website homepage features Black Friday Deals. In contrast, the Sephora Italy website has an offer on Halloween makeup.

To strike a chord with local audiences, Sephora works on country-specific collaborations. For instance, the brand collaborated with French beauty influencer TheDollBeauty for a makeup collection.

Local Events: Sephora uses its subscriber’s location data to send targeted emails to let them know about upcoming in-store events in their area. These events encourage shoppers to discover new products in-store, meet their favorite brand owners, and attend makeup classes.

Customer Lifetime Value

Sephora segments its customers into tiers based on their value. This helps them retain valuable customers, increase revenue from less valuable customers, and improve overall customer experience. See how Sephora segments and manages relationships with its customers through its Beauty Insider program.

Rouge: Sephora customers who spend $1000 are known as Rouge customers. These high-value customers get exclusive regards and perks to increase their spending. They get 20% off on seasonal saving events, free standard shipping with no minimum orders, and exclusive perks.  Sephora also upsells these high spenders by sending them recommendations containing high margin products from their favorite categories.

VIB: Customers who spend an accumulated value of $350 are VIB customers. They get 15% off on seasonal saving events, free standard shipping when they spend $35 on orders, and $15 savings.

Insiders: Customer in this segment are often new shoppers. To encourage these customers to increase their spending, Sephora gives them 10% off on seasonal saving events, free standard shipping when they spend $50 minimum, and $15% dollar savings.  Sephora also offers free samples to these shoppers to encourage them to buy full-sized products after they try.

Behavioral Segmentation

Sephora uses behavioral segmentation to create a pool of tailored audiences and increases conversions at various stages in the customer journey.  Leveraging customer data on how consumers interact with products, Sephora can create unique customer segments and use this data to tailor future messaging.

Shoppers who browsed a product that has dropped in price: Sephora sends price drop alerts to inform shoppers when their favorite product has been discounted. This provides extra encouragement for price-conscious shoppers and increases brand loyalty.

Customers Who Browsed an out-of-stock product: Sephora segments customers who browse an out-of-stock item and sends them notifications once the product is back in stock. The back in stock emails encourages customers to purchase restocked items by warning them that the product might sell out again.

The back in stock emails are paired with “just for you” recommendations and deals on a customer’s favorite brands to push customers make a purchase.

Browsed and Didn’t Make a Purchase:  Sephora has a segment for consumers who browse products but didn’t make a purchase.

The emails are designed to ensure customers remember what item they viewed. The email subject line “Sephora Shopper, still thinking about L’ABSOLU Gloss” focuses on what the customer was browsing, and the email content pushes them to take the next step by adding the item in a basket.

In case consumers don’t want the items they viewed, Sephora helps them find relevant products by asking them to take a short quiz.  The quiz narrows down products by type and consumer concern.

No doubt, segmentation is key to delivering 1:1 experiences to consumers and Sephora does it well. To win with segmentation, leverage your customer data. Have a CDP in your technology stack to build a unified customer profile and map out your customer journey in real-time.

Finally, leverage dynamic segmentation tools to enable your CRM team to predict consumer behavior and identify which customers are worth spending your marketing resources on.

The post Analyzing Sephora And Its Unique Segmentation Efforts appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Strategy

When to Move from Acquisition to Retention

There’s no debating the importance of customer acquisition, especially for new businesses. After all, without customers, there is no business — which is why marketers often heavily focus their efforts and ad budgets on getting people to walk through those doors, either physically or virtually.

At some point, though, companies need to change gears and ensure that customers keep coming back. Here’s how you can shift into a customer retention mindset once your business takes off.

Phase 1: Implement good customer service from day one

Naturally, your top priority when starting a new business isn’t going to be customer retention; it will be user acquisition. While marketing campaigns at this point should utilize smart acquisition strategies, there are still ways to plan for the future by implementing one of the most important factors for retention: stellar customer service.

It’s never too early to focus on customer service. In fact, putting customer-friendly policies and training regimens in place early on will lead to fewer headaches later. Build a reputation on how you treat your customers in good times and bad, and your efforts will pay off down the line.

Keep Your First-Time Customers Coming Back

Phase 2: Give active customers more reasons to return

According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring customers is usually about five to 25 times more expensive than retaining customers. At some point, it’s simply not cost-effective to focus the majority of your marketing efforts on customer acquisition anymore. This point is different for every business; it could be a few months or a year. There’s no standard timeline, so what’s important is having a general awareness of your customer base and rewarding active customers for their loyalty.

Some of the best loyalty rewards programs keep it simple, giving customers free or discounted products in exchange for purchases. However, once churn starts to set in, don’t be afraid to change up your reward offerings. Think outside the box and go beyond the standard points

systems used by major brands like Starbucks and Sephora. Get creative — just make sure you’re hitting customers with these benefits before they lose interest.

Phase 3: Reinvest revenue in technology

Most small businesses don’t have the budget to implement a plethora of high-tech applications from launch, and that’s okay. However, in a post-coronavirus environment, brands need to go digital to stay relevant. This detail is vital for a couple of reasons: First, ordering from apps or websites means your customers can treat themselves while maintaining distance. Secondly, modern shoppers have come to expect a certain level of convenience, and you need to invest in technology to meet these demands.

Once it’s financially feasible to do so, invest in your company’s digital infrastructure to add innovative features that keep customers engaged in the long run. This could mean hosting online events, letting shoppers virtually try on clothes, or just developing an easy-to-use app that only requires a few clicks from open to checkout. Find digital solutions that make sense for your brand and make them a priority when budgeting.

There’s no easy way to know when it’s time to switch from acquisition to retention, but with these steps in mind, you’ll be ready when the time comes. By using tactics like customer service, loyalty rewards, and innovative technology, you’ll be able to proactively reduce churn and build a long-term fanbase.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow


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CRM Strategy

5 Segmentation Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Segmentation is key to delivering 1:1 experiences to consumers. However, poor segmentation practices can cause your segmentation efforts to fail. In this article, we identify five segmentation pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

1.Relying on Static Segmentation

Consumer shopping behavior is constantly evolving. For instance, we’ve seen consumers shift to purchasing in larger quantities, trying new brands, and increasing online orders due to COVID-19.  Therefore, if you’re relying on static segmentation, you’ll always be playing catch up. Static segmentation gives you a dated understanding of your customers and prevents you from marketing to them effectively. To meet consumers’ evolving needs, adopt a dynamic segmentation.

Dynamic segmentation uses real-time consumer data to continuously update consumer segments that shrink or expand as individuals move in and out of the segments. For example, with dynamic segmentation, a beauty brand might discover that its traditional beauty enthusiast segment is starting to split into “Korean beauty” or “indie beauty” cohorts based on a deeper understanding of behaviors, context, and needs.

When using dynamic segmentation, look for shifts in size, behavior, and engagement.  Analyze customers based on their movement among segments and track how customers move from one segment to another over time. If you notice a change in consumer behavior, see if your current messaging still resonates with each segment, or you need to rework your approach.

Leverage dynamic segmentation tools with propensity modeling and machine learning capabilities to enable you to predict consumer behavior and identify which traits are most productive in converting, driving repeat purchase, and consumer engagement.  Revisit your segmentation strategy periodically.

2. Going Too Granular

With consumers demanding 1:1 experiences, granular segmentation based on attributes such as lifestyle, propensity to purchase, and psychographic data can help you deliver personalized experiences. However, breaking your audience into smaller and smaller segments can sometimes lead to groupings that will be of little to no use to you. For example, segmenting an audience based on whether they’re shy or easy going when you’re selling apparel won’t help you better understand your audience’s needs.

While segmentation offers nearly endless possibilities for how you can look at your audience, don’t segment yourself to death. When segmenting your audience, each segment you discover is substantial enough to generate revenue and be profitable.

So, it’s crucial you understand your audience’s purchasing power and propensity to pay premium prices. The segment should be suitably different from other segments. Ask yourself if this segment will respond differently to marketing content. The segment should be reachable and targetable.

Use a segmentation tool that allows you to discover the most statistically significant differences among segments automatically.

3. Using Poor Quality Data

Segmenting your audience using inaccurate and outdated data is a quick way to get erroneous segmentation results and fail in your marketing. In fact, 95% of organizations see negative impacts from poor data quality, resulting in wasted resources and additional costs. Remember P&G’s marketing blunder with Gillette? Gillette accidentally sent razors to women and older men when intended for 18-year-old men.

Avoid segmentation related marketing mistakes by first reviewing your customer data to determine common errors within your database and implement a data quality strategy based on your insight. Leverage data enrichment tools to fill up data gaps, verify customer details and correct inaccurate information in your database. Use an enrichment tool that can give you access to granular information, such as the number of people in a household and their socio-economic situation.

Invest in tools that validate the accuracy of your data in real-time, clean information like list imports, and have an intuitive engine that prompts for data clarification. To consistently keep your data accurate, make data cleansing a regular process, and choose a data enrichment solution that can rapidly enrich, process, and analyze information. Also, develop practices around data remediation and data monitoring to maintain quality over time.

The guide to advanced customer segmentation

4. Forgetting the Customer Journey

Not incorporating your customer journey into your segmentation strategy is another pitfall you should avoid. Customer journey stage based segmentation enables you to know where in the buying process your customer is, identify touch points where they drop off and how to engage them with personalized offers and contextual messages. About, 33% of consumers are receptive to targeted ads that are contextually relevant to the site they are browsing.

To win with this strategy, map your customer journey across all physical and digital touchpoints. Ensure customer journeys are connected to all the different data sources and apply machine learning to spot common and uncommon patterns.

Consider leveraging a CDP with customer journey orchestration capabilities to provide simple journey configuration and deliver personalization at scale. Look for a solution that supports affinity-driven journeys, predictive modeling, and journey analytics.

5. Clinging to Basic Segmentation Strategies

In a world where consumers demand hyper-personalized experiences, mainly looking at attributes such as demographics, geographic and socio-economic data to segment consumer groups won’t help you deliver targeted messaging and communications.

Improve your segmentation strategy by leveraging predictive segmentation. This segmentation method leverages machine learning to group customers by their likelihood or propensity to exhibit a future behavior such as the probability that they will visit your store in the next 30 days, or churn from your subscription service. Thereby enabling you to understand each customer and how to market to them proactively. When using predictive segmentation, choose a predictive segmentation tool that leverages behavioral insights, builds goal-driven segments, and analyzes data to make recommendations that help you find and grow your target audience.

Your segmentation should also include some form of life events such as a new home, a birthday, or a job switch. This will help you understand customer intent and create strong messaging most likely apt to appeal to each customer’s situation.

About 50% of marketers consider life events as a new sales opportunity, while 70% state that life events provide a reason to engage with customers. Collect customer life events data through multiple channels- in real-time and enhance this with third party data to better inform retention campaigns. Make sure you have customer consent when collecting live event data.

 Segment Right

Segmentation implementation is filled with pitfalls that can break your business. In addition to the solution presented above, improve your segmentation strategy by basing your segmentation on qualitative and quantitative research. This will help you to learn how consumers think, shop, and use your products. Additionally, set clear segmentation goals and identify opportunities for action after segmentation.


The post 5 Segmentation Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them appeared first on Post Funnel.


How Do Nando’s CRM Practices Taste?

Welcome to episode 33 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to Nando’s – home of the legendary flame-grilled Afro-Portuguese inspired, South African born PERi-PERi chicken. Today, we will be focusing our analysis on Nando’s UK – where the chain is massively popular.

And so, drum(stick)rolls, please!

1. Be Transparent 8/10

Nando’s was mentioned in the news at the beginning of the month along with McDonald’s for selling chicken that was fed on soya and this was linked to deforestation in Brazil.

Both firms admitted there was “more to do to ensure the feed used in their supply chains is sustainable.” Nando’s is getting a few points here by not avoiding the reports and openly talking about improving practices.

“We will be supporting research into more sustainable types of feed for chickens, which may include insects/algae, as part of our overarching commitment to environmental sustainability,” a Nando’s spokesperson told Footprint in August.

Additionally, a main part of the brand’s social media strategy revolves around real people – adding to the brand’s humanizing-factor (which is what transparency is all about).

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Nando’s offers customers incentives for ordering online, writing the following message on a dedicated webpage:

“Throughout December, use your Nando’s Card and spend £7 to bag yourself a free Orange Reward to use in January.”

There’s a “stay in the loop” newsletter signup offer as well as gift card perks. Nando’s also has a card that offers customers rewards and points that can be redeemed for a free lunch.

In fact, the brand has an entire rewards program – actually quite impressive for a QSR!

3. Be Relevant 10/10

All three banners on the brand’s HP slide gallery are very relevant to these times as banner 1 portrays seasonal/holiday marketing, while banners 2 + 3 address the coronavirus and the measures the brand is taking to keep customers safe when shopping.

Click & Collect options, and safe delivery alternatives have been added to the brand’s product offering to combat the virus.
You can truly tell the brand is acknowledging these challenging times through constant communication with customers on their site. For instance:

Nando’s has adjusted their FAQ page to answer any questions customers may have about ordering online. In fact, they have created an entire COVID-19 page that’s continuously updated to detail all the latest delivery options, guidelines on how they keep customers and employees safe, and more information.

It is all great for customers who are in and out of lockdown and for the constant uncertainty we all face. We particularly liked this personal note from Nando’s:

4. Be Helpful 7/10

Nando’s communications strongly support being sustainable as a restaurant and are seemingly taking its role in having minimal impact on the planet seriously. They do so by talking about climate change, investing in specialized equipment to reduce energy consumption, and building green working spaces.

Nando’s wrote on Twitter that it is helping support the campaign, Feeding Britain’s Children: “For those in need of help or for those wanting to help, please visit”

They are still losing some points for that thing from section #1 above.

We deducted a chunk of points here as many other brands we’ve analyzed to date have been making more prominent donations to be helpful and give back to the community at times of need. Some of which include monetary donations or significantly aiding those affected by the pandemic.

5. Realtime Personalization 4/10

The brand makes active use of product recommendations – pushing up-selling and cross-selling offers. When adding a PERi-PERi chicken dish to our cart, we were presented with so many additional (tempting) dishes to add to our order. Everything from starters and side dishes to sharing platters, extras, and even an entire kid’s menu. Not too personalized, though.
Also, after adding some dishes to our shopping cart, we didn’t have the option to return to the brand’s HP. When exiting the delivery page and re-entering Nando’s website – we were disappointed to see that all the dishes we added to our cart disappeared. Not exactly “personalization”, maybe more UX woes. But it does stand in the way of personalizing the experience further.
When logging off the website entirely and hopping onto our social media accounts, the brand made no real-time re-targeting efforts.

6. Master UX 6/10

Overall, our experience with the brand was fair. The look-and-feel of the website has a memorable personality. Nando’s uses a unique and fun font as well as real imagery of food to get your mouth watering.

Nando’s has an entire Explore category that offers customers the option to browse through music, art, blogs, and more – an entirely different experience for their community.

When ordering food, the menu was informative and easy to navigate through. The brand provides all the possible ingredients for customers, which is very useful and convenient for vegetarians, vegans, and customers with allergies, special diets, and religious beliefs. The brand also provides nutritional information for each of its dishes.

We liked that the brand added recipes to “bring the heat home” since cautious customers are likely to stay home a lot more.

However, the entire process of adding and removing of dishes from our cart wasn’t so straightforward – as well as adding our address of delivery. This is perhaps the most crucial part to master in the user experience.

7. Leverage Social Media 7/10

Nando’s UK Twitter account has over 1.3M Followers. The brand posts every couple of days on this platform – content that not only promotes their food but sort of provides humor and escapism for these stressful times. For example:

Nando’s UK Facebook account has over 4.5 Likes. However, Nando’s last posted on Facebook in 2018. Too bad they don’t use this very powerful platform today to strengthen customer relationships!

Nando’s UK Instagram account has over 370K Followers. The brand posts various types of content to engage its Instagram community on a daily basis – and the content fits the platform nicely, including videos of people trying out their hot souces.

Some of the posts include videos on Nando’s food hacks, posts with funny captions promoting their recipes, and Nando’s even uses influencers to inspire self-love and growth.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nando’s UK & Ireland (@nandosuk)


Overall, Nando’s is getting a 52/70 here (74%), placing them in joint 14th place on our list, sharing the spot with The Body Shop. Top half of our ranking, but we actually expected them to do a little better. Maybe it’s because we like their branding, IG page, and, well, yes, the Peri Peri so much…

Some improvements in their personalization methods can really push the brand up our list. Ones that tell customers “I know you” and “this is how I can help.”

Also, being helpful is no longer an option for brands today as customers are expecting your brand to give back to society. Nando’s must acknowledge this, with more than nice words.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home 91%
  2. Lowe’s 90%
  3. Petco 90%
  4. Target 87%
  5. Uniqlo 86%
  6. Vrbo 83%
  7. West Elm 81%
  8. The North Face 81%
  9. Holland and Barret 80%
  10. lululemon 80%
  11. Brooks Running 79%
  12. Best Buy 78%
  13. Etsy 76%
  14. The Body Shop 74%
  15. Nando’s 74%
  16. Gymshark 73%
  17. William Hill 73%
  18. Essence 72%
  19. Iceland Foods 71%
  20. Total Wine & More 70%
  21. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  22. Walgreens 70%
  23. Kohl’s 70%
  24. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  25. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  26. Fiverr 67%
  27. Next 63%
  28. Patagonia 61%
  29. Express 60%
  30. Burberry 60%
  31. Zara 59%
  32. COS 57%
  33. Dream11 53%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

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Express: Expressing CRM Best Practices?

Welcome to episode 32 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to the American fashion retailer Express.

So, is the Columbus, Ohio-based workwear retailer treating customers with CRM’s most updated best practices?

Let’s see.

1. Be Transparent 10/10

It makes perfect sense that the retailer who sells corporate wear for the office would be experiencing a decrease in sales as most folks have been working from home for the past year.

According to Market Watch, the company reported “a 30% decline in comparable sales last quarter and would cut 10% of its corporate staff to help conserve cash.”

Express CEO Timothy Baxter said that “the company is not considering bankruptcy and continues to take decisive and appropriate action to manage liquidity throughout this prolonged pandemic.”

Retail Dive added that Express’ corporate cash cut would result in an estimated $13 million in cost savings in 2021.

“Further reducing our workforce was a difficult decision but was appropriate to calibrate the organization to capabilities of this new operating model,” said Baxter referring to the company’s inventory planning to help optimize efficiencies.

This is all really bad news for the brand, and we wish them a quick recovery. But for the sake of this segment here, the fact they’re open about the struggle and how the brand has been communicating its difficulties are humane and transparent.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Yes, the brand is handing out discounts as shown in their HP banner below:

The discounted offers (40-60% off) as well as the $10 reward deal are both very enticing promotions to get shoppers buy with the brand, even more than once.

Express Insider, their membership program also calls for customers to join throughout the customer journey in a popup banner:

Express also gives customers 10% off any purchase for signing up to their emails.

And they also offer customers further deals and discounts for opening and using the Express credit card. Oh, and they have an entire Sale section on their website with tons of discounted items, offering up to 70% off clearance merchandise.

We can’t – and won’t – ask for more than this here.

3. Be Relevant 7/10

The brand offers customers BOPIS options with the ability to pick up items purchased online in stores nearest to them – a must offer nowadays.

The brand also offers curbside pickups and other express (yuh) pick-up options – not only making it easy and convenient for the shopper but also good for combating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping customers safe.

Obviously, a big chunk of the world is shopping for the holiday season RN and it is a stressful time – therefore, Express acknowledges that with these two banners at the bottom of their HP.

However, we deducted a few points from this commandment. We couldn’t find any mention of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the brand’s product offering, as many other brands we’ve analyzed have communicated this to customers.

4. Be Helpful 3/10

Other than being helpful to customers by means of providing them with all the info they need to shop at these stressful times – as well as numerous methods to shop accordingly – we couldn’t find anything Express has recently been doing to perhaps “give back” to society, the community and/or the world.

Other brands we have analyzed to date have been helpful throughout this challenging year. Whether it be donating merchandise to frontline workers or those directly affected by COVID-19 or working with non-profit organizations, or simply raising awareness – we didn’t see any of that.

Nor anything regarding any other global trend – such as green initiatives or social issues. Thing is, these things are expected from brands nowadays.

5. Realtime Personalization 1/10

After adding an item to our cart, we went back to the brand’s HP – only to realize that our experience wasn’t personalized to our product choice. I.e., we added sweats to our cart and weren’t presented with any relevant item suggestions.

When continuing to shop – no upsell or cross-sell techniques were used either to a) try to make us buy additional items (to perhaps match the sweatpants with) or b) cross us over to another (more expensive?) category of purchase.

Finally, no retargeting efforts were made in realtime by the brand when we exited their website and went on to our social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter.)

6. Master UX 7/10

When entering the brand’s FAQ page, a chatbot appeared at the bottom right-hand corner of the page – and we thought it was a helpful one.

On the other hand, when shopping around – we received the following countdown banner that reads “Hurry! Going fast,” about the item we literally just added to our cart. This sense of urgency was redundant as we didn’t even browse more than one category of clothing – nor were we anywhere close to finished shopping.

In fact, numerous times throughout the user experience, we were interrupted with various promotional popups. Annoying!

Still, however, we had a fair experience with the brand – whereby the basic stuff was simple to perform – and finding the categories of clothing we came to purchase was also easy (also thanks to the chatbot).

Also, the brand offers an abundance of information for shoppers – to really make it clear as to when and how items will be delivered to customers.

7. Leverage Social Media 4/10

Although, the retailer has an abundance of followers on all three social media channels that we checked – we feel they could have been doing a bit more to cater to them on each channel with appropriate content/videos/campaigns/offers/promos/and more.

Express’ Twitter account boasts over 235K Followers. They post in high frequency – almost every day – mostly promoting their latest collections. Here the brand does take a more “timely/relevant” approach by promoting comfy clothing:


Their Facebook account boasts over 4.7 Million likes. They post the exact same content as they do on Twitter. We never give extra points for this as it’s completely missing on the opportunity these different platforms offer brands to build meaningful relationships with customers.

Recently, we’ve been writing a whole lot about D&I, and we were pleased to see the brand acknowledging it:

Their Instagram account has over 1 Million followers. Again, on this channel, too, the brand mostly promotes their latest outfits, obviously a lot of sweaters and winter caps as well as cozy fleece jackets. Kudos to Express on their Insta page, which makes a work wear apparel line, looks super comfy for these work from home times. For example:



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by EXPRESS (@express)


But overall, no real attempt to use social media for anything, well, social.


Overall, Express is getting a 42/70 here (60%), placing them at the bottom of our table. Sometimes there are just one or two things we can point to that a brand needs to improve in order to boost their CRM tactics dramatically.

But, unfortunately, no one thing, in this case, can make a significant difference.

From personalization (a glaring hole) through social media and to be helpful as a brand, and that’s before we’re talking about some much-needed minor improvements on UX and relevancy – an overhaul is required here if they want to meet the modern customer’s expectations.

Now more than ever, consumers are expecting your brand to not only be there for them but to be helpful, relevant, and inclusive to all. The faster Express realizes this, the better.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home 91%
  2. Lowe’s 90%
  3. Petco 90%
  4. Target 87%
  5. Uniqlo 86%
  6. Vrbo 83%
  7. West Elm 81%
  8. The North Face 81%
  9. Holland and Barret 80%
  10. lululemon 80%
  11. Brooks Running 79%
  12. Best Buy 78%
  13. Etsy 76%
  14. The Body Shop 74%
  15. Gymshark 73%
  16. William Hill 73%
  17. Essence 72%
  18. Iceland Foods 71%
  19. Total Wine & More 70%
  20. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  21. Walgreens 70%
  22. Kohl’s 70%
  23. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  24. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  25. Fiverr 67%
  26. Next 63%
  27. Patagonia 61%
  28. Express 60%
  29. Burberry 60%
  30. Zara 59%
  31. COS 57%
  32. Dream11 53%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

The post Express: Expressing CRM Best Practices? appeared first on Post Funnel.

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