Create a Customer-Focused Business
Communicate early with the marketing teams and business divisions. Find out what the best practice is,
and develop a few live test cases to ensure programming and processes work as anticipated.
Revise a reuse. One way retailers track coupon usage is with bar coding. When a promotion is deemed successful, reusing the artwork for a future promotion is a good strategy—except when you forget to update the bar coding. Customers go to the store only to find their coupon doesn't work or activates the previous promotion that isn't relevant. It's important to include a step in the creative process to allow for live scanning at the retail store before the artwork goes to press.
Accept returns through all channels. Customers look at your store as part of your company. They don't understand why the store can't accept returned catalog items. Some multichannel marketers also allow in-store merchandise pick-up from a catalog/Internet order, as well as exchanges.
Be sure your return and exchange policies include retail, catalog and Internet. If your company's business rules do not allow for these conveniences, explain the do's and don'ts as part of the ordering process; also include a written statement in all fulfillment packages.
Use graphics across the board. Take advantage of artwork, photography, themes and advertising emphasis across all channels. Don't separate advertising campaigns among retail, catalog and Internet. Reinforce the visual elements to help customers immediately recognize promotions and your brand. This ultimately will save advertising expenses.
Finders keepers when it comes to data. Whether you interact via sweepstakes, special events, sneak-peak preview sales or catalog requests, capture the names and addresses of prospective customers. When gathering data, apply source codes to each source. It is important to differentiate sweepstakes entrants from catalog requesters (as well as all other sources) by time period and event. Determine the best way to capture the information—store associate input, business reply cards, sweepstake entry forms or direct phone line.