Retailer Colruyt uses SAS to tailor promotions to the personal preferences of 1.6 million card holders
Use of SAS® Analytics has resulted in increase in customer loyalty and retail spending, and decrease in printing and mailing costs
CARY, NC (Mar. 07, 2011) – Can every single household receive promotional coupons that closely match their preferences? That was the question that Belgian retailer Colruyt asked itself when developing its new marketing strategy. SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services, helped turn this vision into reality thanks to predictive analytics in SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and SAS Marketing Optimization that forecast which promotional items are most likely to result in purchases by each individual household. Initial results show an increase in the use of coupons, as well as higher average spending by each household.
Households get a vast amount of information in their mailbox from a variety of retailers. This makes it difficult to reach customers with the right message. Colruyt searched for a way to ensure that customers would look at their flyer every two weeks. They concluded that the best way to achieve this would be for each household to only receive promotional coupons for products they are interested in.
"If a customer goes through a flyer only to find that there are no products of interest, they will feel that we have wasted their time," said Bart Van Roost, Head of Colruyt's Analytics Department. "And as a result, they may not bother opening our promotional envelopes in the future."
But how can the company make sure that each household gets the most appropriate coupons? Colruyt worked on an idea that goes beyond segmentation, as Van Roost explains: "What we had in mind was nothing less than selective marketing. In other words, marketing on an individual basis."
With 1.6 million "extra-card" holders and 11,000 products on offer, this involves managing and exploiting a huge amount of data. "We required a powerful application with advanced analytical capabilities. After conducting two proof-of-concept trials, we were convinced that SAS has the robustness to handle this vast amount of information."
SAS can calculate purchasing probabilities based on past customer behavior, as well as on household and demographic information stored in the Colruyt database. Based on this intelligence, it selects 30 promotional coupons that each household is likely to use. These coupons are chosen from among the 400 products that are on offer during each promotional period.
"SAS not only knows how to cope with extremely large amounts of data, it can also make an enormous number of calculations in a relatively short run time," says Karel De Wilde, Team Leader for Analytics at Colruyt. "SAS exploits data intelligently."
"Another strength of SAS is that it takes marketing restrictions and rules into account," adds Van Roost. For example, each household will only receive up to eight promotions within the same product category. This is to avoid any household receiving only promotional coupons for drinks, cosmetics or any other particular product category.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world
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