How one UK grocer used customer data to sell more turkeys

By Marc Hummel

August 24, 2016

Waitrose is a brick-and-mortar chain of British supermarkets with a strong ecommerce presence. The first location opened in 1904.

Open sign

What started as a small grocery store in West London is now a regional chain with 350 locations scattered across the United Kingdom. And what was once a strictly bricks-and-mortar operation is now an omnichannel business, offering home delivery (or “click-to-collect,” if you please). They even offer a service that enables shoppers to handpick their selections in-store and schedule them for delivery at a later time. It all adds up to a customer experience that meets the needs and desires of every type of Waitrose shopper.

Waitrose also uses their online store and tailored promotions to acquire new customers, with the hopes that their experience will convert them into loyal customers for years to come. One particularly successful promotion utilized customer data (purchase history) and a careful analysis of customer behavior.

Waitrose found that customers who made at least five online purchases were more likely to convert into long-term customers. So their marketing team leveraged this insight with an email campaign that offered a £80 discount, spread across their first five orders. But after order was placed, they didn’t just email the customer their unique promo code and forget about it. They also carried the message through to the Waitrose homepage, so the shopper would be reminded of the offer on every subsequent visit.

The campaign helped drive new customer conversion by over 30%.

In another campaign, the grocer used Monetate to syncronize data from the myWaitrose loyalty program during the 2015 holiday season. They presented a tailored offer to customers who had purchased a turkey from Waitrose in the past, but not yet in the present year. The targeted offer delivered a 20% conversion-rate uplift versus the control group.

Jane Godfrey, Digital Optimisation Manager at Waitrose, said:

“The website is a growing part of the Waitrose brand and we want the customer online experience to be consistent with the quality of experience you get in one of our stores. We’ve seen great benefits from using the Monetate personalisation platform – it has allowed us to work more efficiently and target our customer base more effectively. We also have greater business agility with the ability to react and respond to changing market needs in minutes.”

What we love about these promotions: They show how listening to your customers and the implicit messages they’re sending you via their shopping behavior can drive long-term customer loyalty and incremental revenue. All you have to do is look for the right data, and have the ability to make dynamic, real-time changes to your marketing messages across web and email.

Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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