10 steps of marketing analytics for personalized national retailing


It's remarkable how the women my life really like shopping at the different Chico's FAS stores. I think a big reason is that somehow they manage to deliver a boutique experience for every customer at all their stores.  That's not an easy feat when you run over 1,000 stores nationwide under 4 different brands: Chico'sWhite House | Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper

Chico's operates with a catchy tagline of "helping women look as great as they feel." What drives their ability to deliver on that promise is a laser focus on the customer experience based on a structured approach to marketing analytics.  We captured those details in a recent webinar and what emerged are the ten steps that drive how Chico's offers personalized retailing on a national level:

  1. Consolidate the data:  If organizational or data siloes are irrelevant to the customer, try to remove them because they'll just get in your way. A key first step for Chico’s was bringing together all of its key customer data to effectively mine, segment, cross-sell and prospect across brick-and-mortar storefronts, catalogs and websites for multiple brands.
  2. Segment accurately across channels: Once your data is consolidated, aim for relevance with each customer. Marketing analytics can help you achieve relevance by allowing you to develop better segments that enable improved targeting.
  3. Predict confidently: The results from combining marketing analytics with your own institutional knowledge of your customers will instill confidence in your ability to predict outcomes - making your strategy proactive and not reacive. Chico's tripled their results in winning back lapsed customers with applied marketing analytics.
  4. Make it worthwhile for your customers: Get your customers to willingly share their profiles and other data with you with a robust loyalty program that the customers value. You'll get more details that are more accurate when they're incented to help you keep it real.
  5. Capture and integrate online behavior data: If your data draws from all the places where your customers live, breathe and shop, then your analytics will yield insights that reflect the whole profile of your customers. And we all know how much of our lives are lived and shared online.
  6. Look at the data in multiple ways: Get a richer, more complete picture by running multiple models to address different issues and considering how the different outcomes may compliment each other. The linkages you make can extend the value of the analytics in unexpected ways.
  7. Cluster for conclusions: Chico's compared clusters of outside data and inside data on share of wallet and found out that location plays a surprisingly large role in the way customers spend money and what kind of merchandise they buy. Your data may have other hidden opportunities for insight.
  8. Get the communications right: It's never been more important to send the right messages to the right people at the right time and with the right frequency. That alone can deliver a competitive advantage with customers that are busy as ever and inundated with messages. Bug them in a way they're not open to (or with irrelevant offers) and you'll erode the way they regard you.
  9. Align operations with the single customer view: It's all about keeping the customer at the center of all of your organization's touchpoints with them. Chico’s now views the supply chain through this same prism and tries to "get the right merchandise for the right customer at the right place and at the right time."
  10. Forge a partnership with IT: At Chico's, the CRM team speaks business on the technology side, and the business side definitely is data savvy and has their hands on their data. Having those viewpoints on each side and working together enables everyone a seat at the table during the strategic discussions.
Based on those 10 steps, Chico's is able to manage the customer experience in ways that seem personalized at a time when their customers interact with them across multiple channels, and do so with a voice amplified by social media. It's all possible with marketing analytics. 
You're welcome to tune into the webinar, or even download the whitepaper we created from the content. Both tell a great story of how Chico's manages to seem personalized on a national scale:
Let me know what you think, and as always - thanks for following!

About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm John Balla - a Digital Marketing Principal here at SAS focused on Content Strategy. I co-founded the SAS Customer Intelligence blog and served as Editor for five years. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions and maybe even challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I stay busy with my wife and I keeping up with my 2 awesome college-age kids, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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