I heard an incredible stat at Retail’s BIG Show this afternoon: 70% of households shop at Macy’s at least once a year. The question for Macy’s is not so much how to attract new customers, but how to make their existing customers more loyal. Their strategy? Put the customer at the center of every business decision.
We talked with Macy’s CMO Peter Sachse last month about the My Macy’s initiative and what customer centricity means. Yesterday, Peter joined a panel of those close to the project to share more details about the program with attendees at Retail’s BIG Show.
Macy’s identified their best customers and focused on developing and retaining their loyals, the shoppers who buy and visit most frequently. To truly personalize the experience, the company has implemented the My Macy’s store localization model, focused on omnichannel integration, an emphasized associate training.
The panel agreed that many businesses make the mistake of focusing on acquisition strategies instead of making good customers better. The lesson from Macy’s: focus on the customers you have. Fix the hole in your bucket, don’t try to keep refilling it.
The concept to strengthen customer loyalty sounds simple enough—treat your customers well, and treat your best customers better. But the key is to get your entire organization behind it from the top down. Macy’s took this to heart, giving CEO and Chairman Terry Lundgren another title—Chief Customer Officer.
Stuart Aitken, CEO of dunnhumbyUSA, who helped Macy’s with the project, said customers speak loud and clear through the data, and you only have to listen. Listening and adapting to those needs and desires has led to changes throughout the entire organization.
As Macy’s moves toward better understanding customers, personalization increases. One of the stats that amazed a lot of attendees was that Macy’s sent out 500,000 different versions of a direct mail book. Good, but not great. One-to-one marketing would be better.
Peter wasn’t surprised at our raised eyebrows at this massive effort. “Expect skepticism, he said. “But be bold and confident.”