Customer relationships redefined with world-first engagement solution

Woodlands Local Rewards Club

New Woodlands Local Rewards Club shopper engagement solution set to redefine the way we understand our customers and communicate with them.

by Antony Begley

As I write this article, we are literally in the final stages of preparing the launch of our new shopper engagement solution, known internally as Darius. The solution already exists in very large format retailing in the States, mainly in shopping malls, but this tailored version of the solution is a world-first in convenience retailing.

Presented to our customers as the Woodlands Local Rewards Club, the solution allows us to capture our members’ details – including basket spend and contents – every time they shop with us, and also allows us to send them tailored messages, offers and news. We can do this right down to an individual customer level, or to larger ‘segments’ – and all via email, text or social media, depending upon the preferences of each member.

How it works

After its launch on Monday 2nd November we made the scheme public to our shoppers via exterior and interior posters, our website, our Facebook page, our leaflets and via the staff at the tillpoint.

To register, all we need is a customer’s email address; after that we send them a tailored email inviting them to a landing page where we incentivise them (with free stock) to provide their names and phone number. Once they’re registered they simply collect their free stock next time they’re in the store and collect their key fob.

What then?

Once registered we aim to ensure that all interaction our members have with the scheme is entirely positive – more often than not it will involve free or discounted stock, gifts and special Rewards.

The benefit to us is that we can collect our customers’ data and use it to improve our service to them. That is what sits at the heart of the scheme: the desire to understand our customers at a deeper level than ever before.

The solution makes communciation with our customers easier and more effective than ever before – and allows us to ask them questions and provide them with advice and help, as well as offers and promotions. Examples might be “Don’t forget it’s the Falkirk Gala Day on Saturday. It starts at 10am and should be a great day!” So it’s not all about selling – it’s about strengthening the bond we have with our customers.

The tech side

Making the solution work has been a challenge. Technically it has been a very complex task to ensure the Darius software interacts with our RS EPoS system, particularly when it comes to ensuring that redemptions are still trackable down to an individual level. It has taken many months of work between the software developers and the EPoS team but we are confient the work will pay off.

We will run a full, extended report in the next issue of SLR – hopefully with some initial results.

The benefits of ‘Darius’

Our world-first for convenience solution, known as Darius, allows us to:

  • capture every transaction from Rewards Club members, including basket spend and contents
  • send bespoke, tailored messages to individuals or groups of customers