Digital marketing strategies for the large-scale retail sector


What tools are required of the large-scale retail sector to be competitive and offer a customer experience that meets the expectations of its audience? Let’s find out together through the case study of Iperal, which with its omnichannel retail strategy has gone from 34,000 to 300,000 newsletter subscribers.

Omnichannel retail approach, segmentation and hyper-customization: these are the three weapons of the Iperal‘s success, which after a path of digitalization and work of increasingly advanced customization of the newsletter, has managed to achieve important results: 300 thousand subscribers to the newsletter of a total of 600 thousand customers and performance of the main KPIs on mail well above the industry average:

  • open rates of 27% compared to 17% of the large-scale retail sector average
  • click rates of 5% vs. 1.9% of the average
  • unsubscribe rate of 0.05%

These are important numbers for a company in large-scale retail. This is because large-scale retail digital marketing struggles to break away from the traditional mass communications based a strategy that today is ineffective and far from the needs of the post-Covid audience. The error often made is to replicate in digital format the classic standardized paper leaflet with generalized offers and no specific target.

Iperal is different from many other businesses in that it adopts a customer-centric approach, directed at customers’ specific needs and the integration between physical and digital stores. 

So let’s take a look at the direction Iperal took to achieve these goals and how it implemented an omnichannel retail strategy to maximize its digital marketing activities.

Who is Iperal

Before we get to the heart of the matter, here’s a brief sketch of our client Iperal.

Iperal is a large-scale retail distribution company present in eight provinces of Lombardy (Sondrio, Lecco, Como, Monza Brianza, Milan, Varese, Brescia and Bergamo) with over 50 stores and about 600,000 customers.

Digitization: the starting point

It was way back in 2012 when Iperal decided to embark on a path of digitalization. It invested resources, skills and work on the development of a digital marketing strategy to become a reality on the rise and grow in Lombardy.

Objective: digitalization

Solution: Creating an internal digital-focused work team

Email channel: the tool to establish a relationship with customers

The need to digitalize soon led to the need to find a channel of communication to contact present and potential customers and keep the dialog active and constant. Here too, Iperal was ahead of its time and made a forward-looking choice, identifying email as the most suitable channel to communicate with the public.

Why email and why are we talking about forward-looking choices? Email channels are experiencing constant growth, with an increasingly positive trend that in 2021 reached peaks never seen before:

  • +8% of emails sent compared to 2020 (according to MailUp’s customer base only)
  • 60% of consumers declared that they concluded a purchase thanks to an email from the company
  • 4 billion users worldwide

Goal:

  • Provide present and potential customers with a useful service for everyday shopping
  • Forge an ongoing relationship with each customer, aimed at loyalty and, therefore, repeated purchases

Solution:

Iperal chose MailUp to manage, through its professional platform, all its Email Marketing campaigns.

Email campaigns: the responsive newsletter template is born

Thanks to the advice of MailUp’s expert team, Iperal has gone from an HTML template for its newsletter to a template of great visual impact, functional and built completely with the BEE drag&drop editor integrated with MailUp’s platform.

No longer purely informative and editorial, the newsletter is much more effective visually, to the professional design of MailUp’s platform. In addition, it is now a promotional tool to inform the public about new offers with incentives for buying through coupons.

Goal: Making the newsletter more effective:

  • optimizing layout and visual impact
  • providing less information and integrating more promotional content
  • encouraging in-store purchases through coupons

Solution:

  • rely on the strategic advice of MailUp experts
  • take advantage of the BEE drag&drop editor integrated in the platform

Segmentation by cluster: the newsletter is personalized by recipient

From a newsletter with a product showcase and a universal coupon for the entire database, Iperal switched to a personalized message based on the interests and specific characteristics of each target.

Thanks to the segmentation of its contact list, Iperal identified 8 clusters (7 specific + 1 generic) and used the MailUp’s customization tools, such as the customization engine, to create different content blocks, personalized according to the recipient. That way it shows customers exactly the most relevant products according to their needs, interests and previous purchasing behavior.

Goal: Increase newsletter effectiveness and facilitate purchases by automatically offering customers the most relevant products for them

Solution:

  • database segmentation in clusters
  • adoption of the tool Customization Engine that, through the use of the Liquid markup language, allows you to create emails with content recovered in real time from a site or from an external page to MailUp and customize them for each recipient

Do you want to discover the potential of hyper-customization and learn more about the MailUp customization engine? Contact us to obtain information from our experts.

SMS Marketing: SMS integration for an omni-channel retail strategy

Iperal is not limited to the use of emails. It also exploits the potential of SMS, integrated into a single fluid and frictionless omnichannel retail strategy. That increases the contact points with customers and intercepts them again with personalized and relevant messages.

These are Iperal’s uses of the SMS channel:

  • Notification of the opening of stores close to the customer (thanks to geographic data on the user)
  • Notification of the opening of e-commerce
  • Service communications (special openings, closures, anti-Covid norms…)
  • Transactional SMS (cake reservations, order confirmations, notice of prompt collection)
  • Automatic SMS (birthday greetings to loyal customers)

Goal: Increase digital touchpoints where customers can be intercepted, creating a comprehensive omnichannel retail strategy

Solution: the use of SMS for the different types of communication needs listed above is possible thanks to the MailUp platform’s advanced SMS Marketing tools, such as:

  • Database segmentation by geographic data (for notification of opening neighboring stores and service communications)
  • Transactional SMS (sent automatically after certain customer activities)
  • SMS Automation (sending greetings for the recipient’s birthday)
  • Sender customization

Marketing Automation to build customer loyalty

An omnichannel retail strategy needs the use of Marketing Automation.

Tapping the right recipient with the right content is an integral part of the customer-centric approach to omnichannel retailing.

Iperal used MailUp automation features and automated platform mailings for automatic greeting emails aimed at high spending, loyal customers, holders of the Gold Club Card.

And not only that: Iperal has integrated the role of the physical store in its digital strategy by inviting the customer to collect they birthday gift at the nearest store. A great example of omnichannel retailing.

Goal: To retain high-spending customers

Solution: use of MailUp’s Automatic Sends, when a specific action triggers (set to your choice according to the need), using the personal data of the recipient profile (date of birth) and setting the birthday date as the sending trigger.

Find out more about MailUp’s automatic sends: go to the website page

Post-Covid scenario: how digital communication changed Iperal

During the health emergency and in the current post-Covid context, Iperal’s strategy continued to rely on current customization and automation and send personalized newsletters to the recipient.

However, there has also been an increase in the number of communications about new services and methods of contact and sale invented during the pandemic: campaigns on click and collect, locker and home delivery services introduced during the months of lockdown.

Objective: To shorten the distances between physical and online stores and meet the needs of a radically changed audience

Solution: implementation of completely new digital sales and contact modes with increased communications to push these services.

Conclusions

To find out all the details of Iperal’s strategy, go instead to the case study on our site!

If you want our next case study to be about your business and have visibility in our webinars and digital channels, write to us at marketing@mailup.com

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