April 25, 2002, 12:00 AM

CRM becomes a multi-channel effort for retailers, says a new study

Retailers are broadly integrating the web into CRM as a key component in keeping in touch with customers, with e-mail the No. 1 use of web functionality for CRM.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Retailers are broadly integrating the web into CRM as a key component in keeping in touch with customers, says a new study of retailers’ customer relationship management intentions. “Integrating the Internet with bricks-and-mortar shopping is showing up very strongly,” says Jon Robertson, managing director of Ogden Associates Inc. Ogden and Garnter Inc. conducted the CRMretail Survey for the National Retail Federation. “The use of the two channels together is very powerful,” says Robertson, one of the authors of the study, to be released next week at NRF’s CRMretail Conference.

E-mail is the primary way in which retailers use the web in CRM, ranking number three of all CRM techniques. Retailers rank e-mail communication with customers behind only contact at the point of sale--the primary touch point with the customer and unlikely to ever be anything but number one to retailers--and data mining and analytics. “E-mail is very big in the minds of retailers as a vehicle to reach customers,” Robertson says.

In addition, retailers are using customized e-mail newsletters for CRM purposes and are moving loyalty programs to the web. “The web can be an important touchpoint for loyalty programs as customers log on to check their points, see where they stand and to learn how else they can collect points,” Robertson says.

 

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