How The Container Store stops customer churn

PHILADELPHIA—Customer churn can be devastating to a retailer's short-term strategy and long-term growth. Stopping churn starts with knowing who customers are and building a strategy that fits that particular customer base.

The Container Store's Pop program—referred to as a customer engagement program rather than a loyalty program—was designed with the store's busy shopper in mind, according to Melissa Collins, The Container Store's VP of creative and online at the Shop.org Digital Summit 2015.

Collins said the program is based solely on a customer's email, meaning there's no card to remember and everything is loaded straight into the account. Promotional deals or discounts are taken off immediately at checkout so that all the shopper needs to know is her email.

"We had two goals with the Pop program: drive incremental sales and increase the number of channels customers use," Collins said. "The program turned 1 year old in July, and we are already seeing positive results for both goals."

Airbrush makeup retailer Temptu also creates promotions and programs carefully to fit its dual customer base: makeup professionals and general consumers, according to Amy Madonia, executive director of e-commerce.

On the consumer side, Temptu has an auto-replenish service that includes a 10 percent discount and free shipping. For professionals, Madonia said promotions are scheduled during the week because they know that customer base is largely off-line and not ordering on the weekends.

"Beyond knowing customer motivation and schedules, look at what's new and exciting—what will appeal to all," Madonia said.

Similarly, Justin Winter, CEO and co-founder of startup Diamond Candles, said he is always looking at new companies and startups to see what they are doing, keeping an eye out for anything new and different that may be applicable to his business.

Like many components of retail, ending customer churn starts with thinking of the shopper first and creating innovative strategies that fit the retailer's specific customer base. 

See all FierceRetail's Shop.org 2015 coverage.

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