Gary Hawkins, chief executive officer of independent grocer Green Hills of Syracuse, N.Y., and ceo of retail consulting firm Hawkins Strategic LLC, has built his business on rewarding loyal customers.
Now the grocer has replaced its loyalty cards with shoppers" fingers. Working with Pay By Touch, Green Hills has developed and implemented a pilot called SmartShop that uses biometric data — in this case, a swiped finger — rather than a loyalty card for customer identification and rewards.
The pilot, which went live this month, prevents customers from borrowing each others" cards and improves the accuracy of the retailer"s customer data. It"s also convenient for the customer, who doesn"t have to carry the loyalty card around.
"At many large retailers, 30 to 50 percent of customer data is worthless because it"s inaccurate," said Hawkins.
The Green Hills loyalty program offers only relevant discounts to customers, and Hawkins said he hopes eventually the store will be able to charge different customers different prices, based on their shopping patterns.
Hawkins has long been a proponent of rewarding only his best customers with discounts and other incentives, such as parties. He has written two books on the subject of loyalty marketing, the most recent of which is "Customer Intelligence."
Green Hills, which has been in business since 1934, is operating in a difficult competitive environment, said Gary"s son, Sterling, vice president of Hawkins Strategic. The population of the area has declined more than 10 percent in the last decade and the economy is relatively stagnant. Competitors include Wal-Mart and other big-box and discount stores, many of which have recently added more selling space.
But after the grocery store began to reward its best customers with targeted discounts and promotions — rather than offering them across the board — business improved.
Typically, the least loyal customers receive more than their fair share of deals, said Gary Hawkins.
Now 53 percent of the grocer"s sales come from loyal shoppers, up from 38 percent before its loyalty marketing program. The retailer has increased its gross profit margin by 5 points.
Gary Hawkins defined customer value as the average spend per visit, the frequency of the shopping, the amount of gross profit margin and retention over time."Many retailers have loyalty programs," he said. "Fewer of them understand it and use it in how they go to market."
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews