In 2017 Waitrose noticed that their highly valuable customer base was slowly eroding over time. There had been no dramatic change to Waitrose’s approach that was pushing them to go, merely that the supermarket had failed to show them how much they loved and appreciated them.
Analysis of the key measures showed that these loyal customers were feeling less rewarded and their Net Promoter Score (NPS) had fallen by 14 points meaning they were more likely to shop elsewhere.
Waitrose set out to recognise and reward this highly profitable segment of best customers to prevent churn, increase spend and frequency, and improve NPS.
Waitrose’s Just for You Best Customer programme is a highly targeted, highly personalised mailing programme aimed at engaging and rewarding Waitrose’s most valuable and valued customers.
Mailings are sent 5-6 times a year to 600k-800k to loyal customers on the Waitrose database Every element of the pack is personalized, making each pack unique to the recipient. Using programmatic technology Waitrose are able to target specific imagery based on shopper history. Inside, highly personalised category coupons, driven by the customers’ purchasing behaviour, incentivise purchase and trial.
The effectiveness of the campaign was measured on both short term and long-term measures. Short term looked at how each individual campaign performed and how many customers used their vouchers. The long-term measures were customer retention and loyalty.
Each campaign was benchmarked against a campaign control cell – 10% of customers who did not receive the mailing. There was also a control cell across the year. This allowed Waitrose to compare results on a both on a campaign and a yearly level.
Voucher redemption was over 50% and their NPS increased +55 points.
"The Just For You campaign has clearly been paramount to improving our NPS score but I think there have been added benefits that we didn’t necessarily realise when we started the campaign. Fundamentally, it has confirmed the importance of our best customers and as a business we are now focussing on a marketing strategy purely for our ‘best’. It has also pushed us to explore the levels of personalisation we can achieve within direct mail and the positive feedback we receive from customers confirms it’s working.
Now, during the Covid-19 pandemic it is more important than ever that we thank our best customers for their continued loyalty and with so many emails from various brands regarding their approach to coronavirus, direct mail felt like a more personal and effective way to communicate. Throughout the pandemic we have sent two Just For You campaigns and the first best customer Christmas card.”
Charley Howell, Assistant Marketing Manager, Waitrose
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