Tesco Using Databases to Make Green Push

Womens_wear_daily_jpegOriginally posted Feb. 13, 2008
by Denise Power, Women’s Wear Daily

Retailers are finding new ways to leverage their customer databases to
change shoppers’ behaviors or just understand existing habits so they
can refine the merchandise mix.

Tesco, the U.K. behemoth whose Clubcard loyalty initiative helped the
food retailer double market share from 16 to 35 percent, is using the
program to nudge shoppers toward environmentally responsible behavior.

who reuse bags to carry groceries, rather than use new plastic bags,
earn Clubcard points that can be redeemed at Tesco and other stores.

nine months’ time, that incentive reduced the number of new plastic
bags that would have ended up in a landfill by one billion, said Terry
Hunt, chairman of London direct marketing agency EHS Brann. Hunt, who
helped mastermind the Clubcard launch 13 years ago, said Tesco is
beginning to reward shoppers with redeemable points for recycling cell
phones and printer ink-jet cartridges.

Hunt outlined Tesco’s
loyalty card program here last week during the National Retail
Federation’s Retail Advertising Conference.

At Banana
Republic, the shopper database is sifted to find the most profitable
and brand-loyal consumers who make up an "insiders panel" that is
polled regularly. The national panel of 10,000 consumers provides
regular feedback in various ways, such as uploading photos of
themselves wearing Banana Republic outfits, apparel fit testing and
focus groups conducted around the country.

Tamra Krefman,
manager of consumer strategy at Banana Republic, told the conference
the qualitative research yields unique and nonintuitive insights into
the brand and its most loyal following. For instance, Jennifer Aniston
and Reese Witherspoon are the celebrities shoppers most associate with
the Banana Republic brand. Also, Krefman added, panel research revealed
the majority of male consumers prefer boxer briefs over other innerwear

Krefman said the panel is a cost-efficient way to get feedback fast.

about coming up with a quick and flexible way to do research," she
said. "If there is a decision that needs to be made soon, we can easily
put together a survey, throw it out to our panel and get responses
within a few days."

The consumer strategy team then synthesizes
the consumer feedback data with other research sources and develops a
"point of view" memo for various Banana Republic departments including
design, product development, advertising, merchandising and marketing.

Loehmann’s is exploiting customer data to help merchants plan and
allocate merchandise at the store level more intelligently, said Mara
Kelly, vice president of database marketing. She spoke at a session
along with Jan Cantler, director of database and customer relationship
management at Brooks Brothers.

also shared customer data insights with planning and allocation
executives as well as real estate, finance, advertising, store
operations and merchandising. "I am reaching out to every functional
area of the organization I can, just starting with small conversations
to say, ‘What myths, theories, known facts do you have that I can prove
or disprove that will help you understand your business and what you
need to do?’" she said.

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