Remember the Day You Started Your Own Business? Part 3

Matthew T. August 28, 2012 0

Ever heard of terms such as “data mining”, “big data” or Customer Relationship Management Software, and thought these are just more tools for the big boys? It might be time to think again!

What is Big Data?

Many of the most successful internet companies are making their fortunes thanks to big data. It is the ability to collect as much information as possible about a customer or user, and be able to analyse and use that data to improve your business.

Examples would include:

Google: Every time you make a Google search, that is more information that Google has about you, plus also what the world is talking about or buying. This helps direct users to what they are looking for, and better target advertising.

Facebook: The more information you share on Facebook, the better Facebook is able to target advertising to you. This is why Facebook wants you to “Like” as many things as possible.

Amazon: The more items you look at throughout Amazon, the better Amazon is at being able to guess other products you might like. This is how Amazon is able to suggest other products to you, which drives additional sales.

These are internet giants, with access to vast quantities of data to process. As a small business, you don’t have anywhere near as detailed a picture of your customers. Imagine what you could do if you had access to such data. Now imagine that you could get this data, by using Ferret Card as your loyalty program.

Ferret Card CRM

Ferret Card CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one of the tools open to all Ferret Card merchants. With Ferret Card CRM, you can take advantage of tools which were only available previously to the big chains! By giving rewards to your loyal customers, you are building up a database of information that is available to you, and can help you further enhance your future marketing and promotions.

For example, some of the information which could be of great interest to you:

  • total unique customers
  • total repeat customers (search by number of visits within timeframe)
    • E.g. How many of my customers visited twice in the past week, or 6 times in the past month?
  • number of customers who have not returned within a certain time
    • E.g. How many of my customers have not been back in the past month?
  • total transactions (lifetime / range)
  • customer age, customer gender
  • other shops my customers go to
    • E.g. 20% of customers also visited X shop, 15% also went to Y shop, etc. Maybe we can do a cross-promotion with that shop?
  • where my customers are from
  • Gold stamps issued within timeframe
  • Gold stamps traded away within timeframe
  • what did my customers trade their Gold Stamps FOR?
    • E.g. 40% of my customers traded their Gold Stamps for the Gold Stamps from the cafe across the road. Maybe I need to improve my Ferret Card Rewards to retain those customers?
  • total stamps redeemed at shop (both Gold and Silver)
  • total number of redemptions for each different Reward offered
    • E.g. How many times has this Reward been redeemed?

This is all information which Ferret Card is tracking and recording for you every time you issue Gold Stamps to a customer.

Getting the Most Out Of Ferret Card CRM

The key to getting the best results out of Ferret Card CRM is to make sure to get all your customers registered on Ferret Card, and issuing stamps each time they visit your store. It works even better when they have a Facebook account connected to their Ferret Card account. Not only does this provide bonus Silver Stamps to your customer’s friends, it also provides Ferret Card with even more detailed information which can be used in your business. Ferret Card won’t give you any personal information on any of your individual customers, but instead gives you an overview of your customer’s demographics and behaviour.

Another way to further improve the information available to you is to get your neighbouring businesses to start using Ferret Card as well! This allows Ferret Card to show you exactly how many of your customers are shared with nearby businesses, which could lead to some great cross-marketing opportunities with those businesses. No business is an island, and pooling resources with other local businesses is a great way to boost the business of all parties.

Out of all the information which Ferret Card can provide, we think some of the most important items would include:

  • Percentage of repeat customers
    • E.g. If this figure is low, it could mean you need to work harder to entice customers to come back. Reaching out to existing customers could be a priority for your future marketing
    • E.g. If this figure is high, it could mean you have a small but loyal customer base. Now could be the right time to spread out and try to expand that base to grow your business
  • Number of Gold Stamps issued vs. number of Gold Stamps redeemed or traded away
    • E.g. If too many Gold Stamps are being traded away, perhaps it means your rewards are not sufficiently exciting for your customers? You may need to consider improving your rewards for your loyal customers
  • Other businesses your customers are visiting
    • This feature gets better and better as Ferret Card continue to grow its merchant base. It can provide fascinating details into where your customers are REALLY shopping and spending their money. As a small business, your competitors are not likely to be your neighbouring stores. Knowing which of your neighbours are also popular amongst your customers could provide you with some great ideas for marketing promotions working other nearby businesses!

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