A (Happy) Marriage of Convenience

RET-1013-LThe idea behind mobile marketing is to make things more convenient for customers by treating them as the individuals they are. Who better to illustrate that than 7-Eleven, the company that refined and redefined the concept of the “convenience” store? 7-Eleven, for those of you who don’t know, started out in the ice business in Texas after the Great Depression, and they’ve done some pretty cool things ever since, from Slurpee® to the Big Gulp® drinks. Today, they’re the world’s largest convenience retailer, with 55,000 stores in 16 countries—including more than 7,800 stores here in the U.S.

Despite the huge volume of business that 7-Eleven does on a global scale—more than 55 (this is globally, in the U.S. it is 7 million) million transactions per day —the company has always respected the importance of the individual and particularly the individual’s time. Each store is geared to local tastes and trends, with the goal of providing customers with their neighborhood store experience.

Until recently, 7-Eleven knew a ton about products and purchases, but relatively little about the people making them. So when the time came to create a data-driven loyalty program, 7-Eleven sought to make more than a data connection between products and people. They wanted to make a personal connection, beginning with that most personal of devices, the smartphone.

As 7-Eleven sees it, they want to “build convenience on top of convenience.” In other words, build on the speed and convenience of the 7-Eleven store experience by creating a Digital Customer Experience that would enhance that convenience through individualized content and personalized offers. This is something that every business should strive for: to make the customer experience as personal and inspiring as possible.

7-Eleven worked with Teradata and Brierley+Partners to build a real-time customer relationship management (CRM) solution that leverages all of their rich, transactional data and blends it with customer segmentation (i.e., Who are you?) and localization (i.e., Where are you?) to create a mobile app that is the very model of convenience. Through the app, for example, customers can immediately find the information that most interests them, whether it’s new movies on Redbox, where to exchange a propane tank, or which local events are happening that week.

Of course, the app also provides targeted mobile-marketing messages; but in this case, it happens in real time through Teradata’s Real-Time Interaction Manager (RTIM) software. So, customers get relevant offers, based on individualized insights, right when they matter most. Importantly, 7-Eleven conceived the mobile app as part of a broader multichannel experience—dubbed the Digital Customer Experience—managed through Brierley LoyaltyWare™ technology. Customers get the same convenient experience in the store on their smartphone and at home on their computer.

The really interesting piece in all of this is the aspect of localization. 7-Eleven is using location to drive relevant offers in ways that many businesses have imagined but few put into practice. For example, on cold days the app will entice customers with the offer of a hot cup of coffee and a danish. On a hot day, the offer might be a cool drink and a refreshing piece of fruit. Or it could take customers out of their usual comfort zone by offering them a free salad or other healthy alternative.

The addition of customer-centric analytics will also help shape the way individual store owners stock their shelves. Most 7-Eleven store owners ultimately decide the product mix for their store. The new real-time analytics system will help them ensure they have the right stock on the shelves at the right time.

Kudos to 7-Eleven for finding a way to put even more convenience into the notion of a convenience store—all by knowing and inspiring their customers.

If you’d like to check out the app for yourself, you can download it here.

The post A (Happy) Marriage of Convenience appeared first on Darryl McDonald: Vision 2.0.

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