This project started off in mid 2009 as a vision, and over the last two years the project has unfolded in more detail as Farmers has moved its loyalty offering from the highly successful Farmer Beauty Club (over 400,000 active users, who represent over 63% of all sales on health & beauty in Farmers ) to the recently launched Farmers Club. This is one of the most ambitious IT projects ever undertaken by Farmers, coupled with the most concentrated marketing effort the organisation has ever conducted.
The big idea was a loyalty club for all Farmers shoppers, rewarding them for shopping right across the store. But this necessitated a massive amount of systems planning, including customer journey, interaction in store and online, and not least developing a flexible system that could offer points, discounts, recognition, all in real time and all targeted at the right individuals, both in store and online.
We also faced some critical challenges which represented a real business risk – for instance bring together three different databases (1.3m total records) which were structured and populated in entirely different ways, and distilling them down to a single customer view with appropriate history. To achieve it, we implemented a complex process of iterative rules around what took priority in the data sets, using some smart de-duping tools. We also took successive ‘dumps’ of the data to refine our process before the real thing, removing nearly 80,000 duplicate records between the databases on the way.
Ultimately, we were able to take the full data set from Farmers and return it within 72 hours in a single customer view. Farmers Club launched in August, and the single customer view and integrated loyalty/POS systems has supported the sign-up of an incredible 302,000 new members in just 2 months, predominantly at point of sale. We’ve gone form 52% of sales in qualifying categories being made to Beauty Club members to 75% of all store sales being made to Famers Club members, a massive success story. What’s more, the staff love it – they’ve backed it and critical to this we believe is the vision around the sort of integrated loyalty/transaction POS system we defined at the start of the project and the delivery of this.