12 February 2020
The Weekly

Robinsons has built a 120,000-strong loyalty programme database in just 18 months using an app-based solution. The programme, called R, is signing up new customers every day through interactions with customers of the company’s five stores in Singapore and Malaysia. The 161-year-old department store has reinvented its customer relationship strategy since teaming with Capillary Technologies to develop the app and associated data management and interpretation activities. The application can be used by OCBC Robinsons Group Visa Card Members and Private Label Card Members and those signing up directly to the app, called ‘R-Listers’.

As a department store, Robinsons has hundreds of brands it is constantly trying to share news about with its customers – and shoppers in general. The app enables people to learn what is new in stores, something difficult or costly to achieve through traditional media like newspapers. At the same time, the company is building a rewards programme so people can acquire points and then spend them on items from a catalogue of products. To build interest in the programme the app highlights a catalogue of items which they can redeem points to buy.

The app was an immediate success upon launch. Robinsons’ customer-acquisition rate rose four-fold, from around 1000-1200 per month to 5000. Within 12 months, 60,000 customers had installed it on their phones. Perhaps the most significant measure of the app’s success is the spending behaviour of members. The average transaction value of members is running at 25% more than that of non-members, and there was a 25% increase in the average basket size.

A positive spinoff from developing the programme is the additional insights into their customers’ shopping behaviour, such as how much they spend by demographic group and what promotions or communications they are responding to. An early lesson was recognising that the retailer did not offer as many reward options for customers wanting to redeem their points as they should have had. The next step the company is to integrate the rewards program app with the e-commerce platform so the entire pathway is seamless and that customers can buy products via the app.