Applying the Golden Rule to Omnichannel Retail Marketing

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Tim Mason is not only CEO of Eagle Eye, a SaaS company that provides global personalized retail marketing via its loyalty and promotions platform, AIR, he is also a 30-year retail industry veteran, author, and keynote speaker.

Before becoming head of Eagle Eye in 2016, Mason held senior executive positions at Tesco, the largest multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer in the UK. He also led the launch of Tesco Clubcard in 1995, creating the world’s first major grocery loyalty program.

In September, Mason published an updated edition of his business book, Omnichannel Retail – How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World (Kogan Page). The first edition was published in 2019. Both versions were co-authored with Sarah Jarvis. Mason talked to StreetFight about the updates to the book and how omnichannel retail marketing has evolved in the past few years.

What was the impetus behind creating a second edition of Omnichannel Retail?

The retail industry is under significant pressure with rising costs and rapidly changing consumer behaviors, technology, and competition.  According to Forrester, 60% of all sales are digitally influenced, up from 49% pre-pandemic. New customer stories and case studies were added to the book to provide additional context about omnichannel customer experiences. These include Asda, Woolworths Australia, Pret a Manger, Target, and many more.

According to Deloitte Digital, one-third of consumers report shopping “often” in-store and online during the same purchase occasion. Consumer expectations from the retailers and brands they do business with have also shifted. Consumers today demand higher-value, more convenient and personalized offerings compared to 2019. Consumers have less time and even less patience than ever before. They expect you to know what they want and to use that understanding to make their shopping experience as simple as possible. The book contains several new chapters about building loyalty and personalization.

What specific technology does Eagle Eye use for its own omnichannel marketing solutions, both proprietary and third-party?

Eagle Eye technology is proprietary. However, our solutions are built on MACH – Microservices-based, API-first principles—cloud-native and Headless architecture. Our core platform, Eagle Eye AIR, houses the many products we can deliver independently to our clients. AIR is a collection of microservices that our clients can seamlessly integrate into their broader retail marketing ecosystem, enabling them to run next-generation loyalty schemes and execute personalization at an unrivaled scale.

AIR is integrated with over 80 other SaaS platforms and providers, ranging from point-of-sale systems to CRM, payments and e-commerce platforms, each using APIs to orchestrate constant communication and facilitate plug-and-play flexibility. Our solutions are fully hosted in Google Cloud and utilize the latest technology and cloud products Google has to offer. The cloud-based architecture ensures scalability – a critical capability for our clients – and flexibility regarding integrations with existing tech stacks.

What is an example of a granular, personal POS activation Eagle Eye completed for a customer.

Loblaw’s PC Optimum loyalty program and customer engagement proposition. It harnessed the power of digital connection – with tens of millions of customers who regularly earn and burn PC points, primarily using the loyalty app to do so. The PC Optimum program is managed using Eagle Eye’s AIR platform which enables Loblaw to execute hundreds of millions of personalized offers to their customers every single week. These offers can be redeemed by customers in real-time at any point of purchase (in store or online) and have been proven to drive significant engagement with the scheme as a whole.

What is a recent omnichannel campaign for a brand (not from Eagle Eye) that you particularly admired and why?

Target, who aren’t currently a customer of Eagle Eye, have made amazing strides in executing their omnichannel strategy. They placed their physical stores at the heart of their plans to drive omnichannel engagement and have seen huge successes as a result of doing so.

What are the top three things brands need to get right in their omnichannel marketing this holiday season?

The top three things that brands should get right in their omnichannel retail marketing approach this holiday season include:

  • Following the golden rule. Treat your customers how you would like to be treated while building out a seasonal retail marketing strategy is crucial for retailers who want to provide their customers with a personalized and holistic experience.
  • Rewarding the behavior you seek, which means clearly defining objectives during the holiday season and building engaging campaigns to fulfill those objectives.
  • Turning the DIAL (data, insights, actions, loyalty) means using existing customer data to generate insights that lead to personalized actions that drive loyalty, which is what every retailer wants.

Tell us about Eagle Eye Solutions Group’s recent acquisition of France-based Untie Nots.

The acquisition enhances our promotional and loyalty technology offerings new, end-to-end and AI-powered personalized and gamified challenges. Untie Nots was founded in 2016 to provide retailers with more effective tools to improve digital promotions and loyalty through gamification. It now serves over 60% of the French grocery retail market, other key European markets, and North America.

Through our combined solutions, enterprise grocers and retailers worldwide can deliver digital promotions tailored to individual customers at scale, accelerating their personalization strategies and improving the overall performance of their loyalty and promotional initiatives. The Untie Nots solution can be implemented quickly (within five weeks) and so doesn’t add any complexity to the existing retail marketing stack.

What trends do you see emerging in omnichannel marketing in 2024?

Digitally augmenting physical storefronts to create more intelligent retail spaces will be critical. So will fulfilling marketing-in-the-moment capabilities. The importance of mobile in this process will continue to grow. As we’ve seen in the grocery segment, Retail Media is beginning to hit its stride and will be transformative for the industry. As the fastest-growing media channel, we see first-hand that retailers with a direct connection to their customers (permission to receive marketing) have a significant competitive advantage. Taking retail media networks omnichannel is the next step.

Kathleen Sampey