The Macy’s mantra: Put the customer at the center of everything

4 Comments | This entry was posted in Events, Retail Companies, Retail Trends

Retail’s BIG ShowI 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.

The panel discusses customer loyalty at Retail's BIG Show.

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.”

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3 Comments

  1. Posted January 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I will look forward to the day when this extends to the in-store experience at Macy’s. It’s rare to find a helpful and knowledgeable associate on their retail floor. Potential sales walk out the door every day because someone wasn’t able to connect a customer with product the fit their needs or desires.

  2. avatar Carol
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s 70% because Macys*s (Federated, in reality) took over so many other chains and changed their names.

  3. avatar Dave
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I applaud Macy’s efforts to satisfy my needs through their omni-channel delivery. However, they need to apply more common sense in arranging shipments to satisfy a customer’s request. I recently ordered $1500 in dinnerware and the pieces came from all over – approximately 15 different shipments! Many had only 1 small piece – a gravy server, a bowl or a plate – shipped in a very large box. I felt so guilty over all the packaging and logistics expense. Macy’s is good but definitely not green and they must have lost money on my order. I would have gladly waited an extra week for them to consolidate it into one, two or even three shipments.

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  1. [...] The Macy's mantra: Put the customer at the center of everythingNational Retail Federation (press release) (blog)The panel discusses customer loyalty at Retail's BIG Show. 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 … [...]

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