How SPORTFOOD launched a loyalty program at 22 sports nutrition stores in 5 weeks

3 Sep ‘19

Sportfoodis a sports nutrition chain with 50 stores in Russia and an online shop. It’s offline stores see monthly purchases from over 20,000 people.

This is a story about how we connected 22 offline stores and an online shop to a single loyalty program in just a few weeks and what results we achieved in 3 months.. We broke the article into 4 parts for convenience:

  • Why SPORTFOOD needs a loyalty program
  • First results: we saw offline repurchases
  • How we launched the loyalty program
  • What mechanics were launched in regards to the loyalty program and the effect that they had
5 weeks

for the integration of the
loyalty program in
cash register software 1C:
Trade management

2 weeks

for the integration of the loyalty program
into the website

22 shops

connected to the Mindbox
loyalty program

Why SPORTFOOD needs a loyalty program

One of SPORTFOOD’s key metrics are repeat purchases. To motivate customers to come back and track repurchases in online and offline, the business required an omnichannel loyalty program.

A loyalty program was needed to:

  • Track repeat purchases in online and offline.
  • Identify a customer by phone number without a plastic card.
  • Create a multilevel loyalty program with personal cashbacks and payment size.
  • Increase revenue through new personal mechanics with direct communications.
  • Allow customers to use points at their convenience.

Before

Prior to switching to the Mindbox loyalty program, SPORTFOOD used a self-developed loyalty program with several drawbacks.

The loyalty program was available in online only

The loyalty program worked only with the online shop,offline buyers could not use it. Clients got their points only for leaving reviews for goods and subscribing to social media pages, but purchases were not taken into account. Moreover, they could spend their points online only.

The loyalty program was not available for offline buyers

Stores did not collect customers’ data, and marketers did not know the stores offline audience nor their interests. Direct communications did not take into account the offline customer experience: it was impossible to measure financial results of mailings if customers shopped offline.

First results: we saw repeat offline purchases

The offline and online loyalty program was launched in March of 2019. After the integration of an omnichannel loyalty program, SPORTFOOD was able to see repeat offline purchases. A rising trend of the chart does not indicate that customers started making purchases more frequently. It is possible that they made purchases at SPORTFOOD previously, but anonymously. Now repeat purchases are visible.

Chart: proportion of repeat purchases

Proportion of repeat purchases of all identified orders at SPORTFOOD
Proportion of repeat purchases of all identified orders at SPORTFOOD
Alexey Deykin
Alexey Deykin,
SPORTFOOD owner

SPORTFOOD owner opinion

Before the introduction of the omnichannel loyalty program, it was problematic for us to assess our number of regular customers, purchase frequency, and the average check. We were very well informed about the online shop but knew nearly nothing about our offline sales. All we had was the information provided to us by our sales personnel.

We knew for sure that many of our customers who made an order in our online shop for pick up from a retail store later chose to shop with us offline. Many transition to online.

We have already been working with Mindbox for 1.5 years prior to starting the discussion on introducing a bonus program and omnichannel promotions. Generally speaking, the fact that they provide these features influenced the choice of a partner for smart emailing previously.

How we launched the loyalty program

To set up a loyalty program via Mindbox, SPORTFOOD developers needed to integrate the loyalty program module into the cash register software based on 1C: Trade Management and an in-house website solution.

Mindbox loyalty program integration with SPORTFOOD systems

To prepare SPORTFOOD from a technical point of view, we began integrating the Mindbox-based loyalty program in mid-January 2019. On the base of a free Mindbox integration module for 1C, SPORTFOOD developers connected a loyalty program to the 1C: Trade Management cash register software in 5 weeks.

In parallel, a web developer from SPORTFOOD was busy with the integration of the loyalty program into the website. That took a week, and another week was spent debugging and testing basic customer behavior scenarios: using and collecting bonus points, buying special offer items.. Transferring 2 previously existing loyalty campaigns took an additional 2 days.

In order for the loyalty program to be used via the website conveniently, a web developer from SPORTFOOD updated the interface. Also, the loyalty program got its own descriptive web page where one can see their bonus points movement history via their profile page.

Welcome to SPORTFOOD loyalty program

Bonus

information about order

Prepared SPORTFOOD offline stores

In parallel with integrating SPORTFOOD, offline network points were also prepared. A few days before the launch of the loyalty program, all company stores received instructions for cashiers on how to use the loyalty program. The instructions described the loyalty program, included video instructions for working with the cash register and also focused on when to send text confirmations.

Offline buyers can learn about the loyalty program from the cashier and handouts. Each company store had printed banners, questionnaires for collecting contact information, and loyalty program brochures.

We set up a multi-level loyalty program and taught SPORTFOOD to how launch promotions

Before Mindbox, SPORTFOOD’s loyalty program had no levels.

Now, clients fall into one of 3 categories: standard, silver or golden. The loyalty level depends on the total sum of purchases. Relevant data for the purchases is stored in Mindbox, and as soon as the client spends enough a new level is automatically assigned to them.

The loyalty level influences the percentage of money that turns into bonus points and the possible amount of points a client can use to pay for a purchase with. For example, a standard customer receives 3% for an order and can pay with bonus points up to 10% of the purchase amount. The gold level receives 7% and can pay with points up to 15% of the order.

We set the levels to reward customers’ loyalty with increased accruals and spending options so as to motivate them to come back and buy from us again. The average check at SPORTFOOD is 3.5 thousand rubles. Purchase frequency is once every 90 days. To level up to silver, a client needs to place 3 orders.

The loyalty program is customized and new mechanics are set through the interface. Developers do not participate in the launch as SPORTFOOD marketers don’t need their help to launch promotions and deals. A new promotion instantly launches in all stores and online shop. For example, an extra 500 bonuses for customers who order items in two new stores of the chain.

Requirements and terms for levels of the loyalty program are set via the Mindbox interface
Requirements and terms for levels of the loyalty program are set via the Mindbox interface

Dumped inconvenient plastic cards in favor of SMS confirmations

From the very beginning, plastic cards were not an option for SPORTFOOD due to the inconvenience that they create for clients. Authorizations and sign up verification at the checkout uses text messages and phone numbers.

The client can use bonus points only after providing the consultant with a confirmation code. If the client has not signed up through the site, they can check their bonus account on a special page.

What triggers we launched under the loyalty program

In just 3 months, we transferred 2 mechanics and launched 11 new ones. New mechanics were launched based on their benefits for our customers. Mechanics were launched together with A/B testing and a control group. But we haven’t collected sufficient data to conclude a statistically significant difference between the options yet. Let’s talk about the most interesting mechanics.

Notification of the next level of loyalty achieved

When a client registers in the loyalty program or moves to a higher level, they receive an automatic notification. The content varies depending on the level the customer belongs to.

Automatic notification

Notification of accruals for completed orders

After the customer has completed an order, they gain bonus points. The system automatically reports the accrual of bonuses for online and offline purchases.

Notification of accruals for completed orders

Notification of bonus points expiration

According to the rules of SPORTFOOD loyalty program, accrued bonuses expire in 90 days. We automatically notify the client if their bonus points are about to expire with a two week notice.

Notification of bonus points expiration
Mailings Conversion rate Average check
Emailing about bonus points expiration 1,5% 2795₽

Giving out bonus points for reviews

A few days after the customer has completed an order, we ask for feedback on a purchased product. For each published review, the client receives 20 bonus points.

Giving out bonus points for reviews
Mailings Conversion rate
Mailing – asking for feedback 0,29%

Giving bonus points for special occasions

If a client looked through the product categories on the website but did not open flypages and did not order anything, we will send a letter with recommendations from the product category of interest. In this mechanic, there are three mailing options, with bonus points and without them.

The conversion rate of the option with bonus points is higher but there is no statistically significant difference between them.

Mailing Conversion rate Average check
Emailing with bonus points 17,1% 1600₽
Emailing without bonus points 13,2% 1058₽

Summary

It took us 3 months to launch the loyalty program in SPORTFOOD sports nutrition stores. We integrated offline and online, launched new campaigns and made the SPORTFOOD network omnichannel. In less than six months, SPORTFOOD obtained a tool to test new ideas and track performance reliably.

In the future, SPORTFOOD is planning to create scripts and KPIs for cashiers to invite customers to use the loyalty program more actively and increase the share of personalized checks.

Yulia Leontieva
Yulia Leontieva,
marketer at SPORTFOOD

Opinion: Marketer at SPORTFOOD

Regular customers kept asking about cumulative discounts and loyalty extras but all we could do was say sorry. Cash register software did not allow us to use features like this. As a result, customers went to competitors with a loyalty program because they could gain something extra and enjoy the same price.

We set a mission to collect data on sales and customers buying online and offline. The basic module of the 1C bonus system could not help with the vast majority of issues related to online sales like tracking, abandoned baskets, and goods a specific user viewed.

Connecting retail was painstaking, especially the transition to 1C and further connections to it. Until the end of 2018, the company employed different software for stock accounting.

Integration with the website had been partially done so we already stored the data from the online store in the Mindbox CRM. We had to add a few final strokes so that the website could recognize promotional operations from Mindbox. Finally, we were able to launch promotions in our online and offline shops at the same time!

The bonus loyalty program from Mindbox helped us set everything up as functionally as possible and use personalized promotions. Those 3 months saw us making a lot of effort to test and launch advertising campaigns but we still have plenty of room for improvement in the future.

This success story was prepared by

Filipp Volnov

Filipp VolnovProject Manager and Editor

Andrey Borisov

Andrey BorisovDevelopment Manager at SPORTFOOD

Ilya Tsyrulnikov

Ilya TsyrulnikovProduct Owner under the loyalty program

Maria Vekshina

Maria VekshinaEditor

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