Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
A start-up sends e-mail or text message offers to customers based on their past behaviors.
Retailers can create and distribute personalized marketing offers to consumers via e-mail or text messages through a service from CaptureCode, a start-up marketing company.
Company president Tony Padam says the service is an alternative to daily-deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, and that it has the ability to target consumers with offers attuned to their individual preferences.
A restaurant patron, for example, can sign up for the restaurant’s CaptureCode-operated loyalty program by submitting his e-mail or mobile phone numberTheCaptureCode system can track what the consumer ate, by capturing information from the merchant’s point-of-sale terminal, and feed it intothe merchant’s customer relationship management program that tracks the individual’s purchases and other interactions with the retailer. The merchant can then leverage that information about a consumer’s buying patterns for future offers. No manual data entry is required beyond initially adding the e-mail or phone number, says Padam.
Merchants can use promotion templates provided by CaptureCode to plug in the details of the offers they want to make, or create their own. E-mail and text message promotions include a bar code the merchant scans to log the redemption code and add that data to the user’s account.
This way, a patron that only comes in for happy hour drinks isn’t sent an offer for a free kids’ meal. Or a customer that always buys men’s jeans isn’t sent an offer for a discount on children’s shirts. Offers can be sent via e-mail or SMS text messages. Offers sent to mobile devices include a bar code that the merchant can scan to redeem the offer.
“Smaller merchants can reach out in real time and provide promotions or deals based on past buying behavior,” Padam says. “The consumer doesn’t have to search for offers and merchants aren’t annoying them with multiple promotions that don’t apply to them.”
CaptureCode says it has about 70 merchant clients, most in the hospitality sector, but that it isworking to add retailer clients. Padam says the personalized offers would enable merchants to drive incremental salesthat they would not otherwise make.
One hospitality client, whichPadam declined to name, says 10 customized promotions sent to1,800 consumers drove $8,700 in incremental revenue. CaptureCode says the average open rate for its personalized offers is 30% and the redemption rate among those who open the promotion is 7%. By comparison, the average open rate for marketing e-mail during the fourth quarter was 22.1%, according to the Email Experience Council.