August 27, 2009, 12:00 AM

Customer retention cited as most valuable retail measurement, study says

While 86% of retailers cite customer retention as a key piece of data, only 69% track it, says a new study from RSR Research.


When asked which measurement of customer data was the most valuable, the largest group of retailers, or 86%, cited customer retention, but only 69% were compiling that metric, says a new study from research and advisory firm RSR Research LLC.

"In today`s economic environment, retailers have to do everything they can to drive sales,” says Nikki Baird, RSR managing partner and co-author of the report. “Our research found that keeping up with shifting consumer behavior and both attracting and retaining customers are some of retailers` biggest challenges for customer programs today."

The report, “CRM and Loyalty 2009: Increasing Relevance to Drive Customer Demand,” which covers customer relationship management and customer-loyalty strategies, also notes that 86% of retailers say customer data has become more important this year to their organizations, up from 80% who said the same last year. 20% of respondents in the recent study also said that customer data was more important than product-specific data in tracking demand trends, down from 26% last year.

Among other data in the study are the following points of measurement, with the percentage of respondents who cited them as most valuable followed by the percentage of respondents who use them:

  • Customer purchase frequency, 80%, 74%
  • Average transaction/basket size, 77%, 83%
  • New customer acquisition, 77%, 62%
  • Customer profitability, 77%, 59%
  • Promotion or loyalty offer response rates, 61%, 57%
  • Projected customer lifetime value, 61%, 36%
  • Promotion or loyalty offer profitability, 55%, 36%
  • Movement between customer segments or tiers, 46%, 36%



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