Agribusinesses are not just farming.
Agribusinesses expand across a range of sectors such as, food and drinks, fishery, forestry, horticulture, florists and retail to name a few.
In Ireland, the food and Agribusiness sector is worth €24 billion to the national economy and provides up to 7.7% of national employment.
Similarly, in the UK, Agriculture is the biggest industry by a number of employees with around 150,000 businesses. This accounts for 6% of all UK businesses.
In this ever expanding sector, the need for building customer loyalty has never been so important to remain competitive. Some agribusinesses are taking the lead and are pursuing numerous approaches to building customer relationships, increase brand loyalty and earn the trust of consumers to improve top-line growth.
We take look at Wyevale Garden centres that focused on loyalty to reconnect with their customer and regain market share in a saturated marketplace.
Wyevale Garden Centres
The gardening retail sector is becoming more and more competitive. DIY chains are expanding their range of gardening products, supermarkets are stocking gardening products, and often these products are aimed at price-conscious consumers. As a result, garden centres have seen a 32% decrease in sales and a significant drop in market share.
Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) had a plan to restore control back into the garden centres hands, using a combination of customer research and updating their loyalty program. WGC understood that they needed to attract and win back consumers shopping elsewhere.
They assessed the current loyalty program and discovered it wasn’t being utilised to its full potential due to a number of factors, such as lack of awareness of loyalty program and its benefits, no engagement and it offered little value for customers.
The WGC plan was to use the loyalty program as a platform to conduct customer research. The aim of the research was to understand their audience and relaunch a loyalty program that would engage their customers and reconnect customer to the brand.
WGC planned to increase customer satisfaction, the volume of high-frequency shoppers, average loyalty spend and repeat purchases with a target ROI of 100%.
WGC’s extensive customer research equipped them with knowledge and insight that lead to a comprehensive approach to customer segmentation. They identified seven different target personas through demographics, value and shopping behaviours.
They built profiles based on these and uncovered each personas relationship with gardening. From here, they developed a new proposition for the WGC’s loyalty program which highlighted the joy gardening can bring to you.
Their research also determined their communication strategy for each type of customer. This ensured every customer received a unique and compelling experience, from initial sign-up, through to becoming loyal customers, maximising lifetime value and creating brand advocates.
The loyalty program
Following the rebrand of the loyalty program to “The Garden Club”, they reissued customers with new loyalty cards.
Welcome communications – Raise awareness and engage.
In the new welcome packs, the benefits of the loyalty program were illustrated clearly and were made easy to understand. They introduced a series of welcome texts and emails that engaged customers and again, made them fully aware of the benefits of their membership.
Rewards – Excite customers.
To ensure customers engaged with the loyalty program they offered reward vouchers as incentives for customers to participate.
Ongoing communications – Enhance engagement and drive sales.
Communications via direct message and email were sent monthly. They sent tailored messages based customers shopping behaviours with relevant promotions. They also localised messages to highlight different offerings specific to stores in certain areas.
Test and adapt- improve offering and continue to be relevant.
A rigorous test and learn approach was adopted to continue to drive sales and marketing ROI. Using different content and different criteria they tested the customer uptake on various rewards to see what was effective and in turn, gained a deeper insight into their customer’s interests and hobbies.
This enabled them to tailor promotions and rewards to specific groups which led to an increase in repeat purchase and engagement.
Extensive voucher testing was also adopted to optimise reward elasticity based on spend thresholds and status of the relationship. This has helped to increase sales and profitability of the program.
In 2015, the mailing campaigns generated over £9 million in incremental sales, exceeding the target for these mailings by over £3.7 million.
71% increase in net sales.
50% increase in repeat visitor rate.
+5 points increase in NPS score
WGC’s most recent NPS score was October 2015 of +35: +5 points higher than in April 2015.
91% of customers said that they will probably or definitely choose Wyevale Garden Centres next time.