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Revealed – the companies optimising loyalty data and leveraging it to convert new customers

Gone are the days when loyalty programmes were just about boosting customer retention and lifetime value. Brands are increasingly waking up to the power of loyalty programme data, and now smart retailers can leverage that data to not only identify their existing most profitable customers, but to identify and target the customers they should be looking to acquire. 

In the latest episode of Epsilon’s Let’s Talk Loyalty, Joseph Taylor, Epsilon’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations explained how two brands are putting this innovative use of loyalty data into practice. 

Case study - Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand. Based in California, it represents more than 650 independent hotels, resorts, and residences, across 85 countries. 

What was the challenge in a nutshell?

Taylor said: "Preferred Hotels already had demographic data and reservation data from their existing loyalty programme, but although they were creating personalized email marketing campaigns, they were not happy with the level of engagement they were getting from prospects."

"They tried different digital channels to entice customers, but they were focusing too much on converting existing site traffic, without drilling down to figure out what was happening, especially with high-value lapsed members."

What was Epsilon’s solution?

Epsilon’s solution was to work with Preferred to build a customer identity graph. This was used to create highly personalized digital promotions focusing on specific locations, residences and experiences. 

What is a customer identity graph?

An identity graph provides a single unified view of customers and prospects based on their interactions with a product or website across a set of devices and identifiers. An identity graph is used for real-time personalization and advertising targeting for millions of users. 

What was the result?

During the Let’s Talk Loyalty podcast, Taylor said: "This solution delivered a combined 50% increase in both online and email engagement. And what’s even better than that – it eventually led to a 15% lift in new reservations. This was delivering value far beyond what Preferred Hotels & Resorts expected."

Case study - Rue21

Rue21 is an American speciality retailer of women’s and men’s casual clothing and accessories. The company has around 500 stores across the US, stocking fashionwear designed to primarily appeal to 11 to 17-year-olds.  

What was the challenge in a nutshell?

During the Let’s Talk Loyalty podcast, Taylor said: "Rue21 had transactional data and email data the company had collected from both its point-of-sale systems and its eCommerce site, but they didn’t quite know who their customers were and also what and where they liked to shop."

What was Epsilon’s solution?

Epsilon helped Rue21 design and implement a bespoke loyalty program, which enabled them to identify who their customers were, both online and offline. Epsilon also helped Rue21 incentivise its members to complete their profiles. Through this exercise, Rue21 benefited from some powerful insights that it could leverage in its personalisation and marketing campaigns. For example, Epsilon revealed that: 

    • 30% of Rue21’s customers were parents buying for their children. 
    • 40% of shoppers came from a multicultural background. 

What was the result?

Taylor said: "Rue21’s marketing team were really responsive, acting upon the findings really quickly. First of all, they looked at how to improve their branding and photography to reflect their multicultural customer base."

"They also started to improve their promotions and offers as well, with a focus on parents during seasonal events such as ‘back to school’. It was amazing how, with a better focus on data and generating customer insights, Rue21 was able to optimise its customer offering."

Rue21 is now using loyalty programme data and insights to build prospective customer lists – especially for online targeting. The retailer has also used its identity graph to scale up prospective opportunities around its larger stores. 

 Listen to the latest episode of Epsilon’s Let’s Talk Loyalty podcast for more hints, tips and insights into leveraging loyalty programme data to increase high-value customer acquisition.