Over the last half-century, Salling Group has grown to become Denmark’s largest retailer, with its collection of brands “improving everyday life” for Danish shoppers. Its 1,400 stores range from small supermarkets to hypermarkets, discount retailers to department stores, striving to provide the best shopping experience for its many customers. Its 35% market share means that if you’ve spent any time in Denmark you have probably been looked after by one of its brands.
Over the past few years, Salling Group has embarked on a digital transformation to own a best-in-class loyalty program that goes beyond traditional points-win-prizes and delivers highly-personalized offers to its customers.
We sat down with Andras Szocs, Senior Director and Head of Customer Programs and Center of Excellence to discuss the success of Salling Group’s loyalty program and how it is fulfilling the brand’s mission statement of “improving everyday life” for its customers.
A digital transformation rooted in loyalty
Like many in the retail industry, Salling Group had been delivering coupons to its customers on printed leaflets for decades. However, this spray-and-pray strategy just isn’t fit for purpose if a brand wants to deliver true personalization to its customers.
Salling Group turned to Cheetah Digital to build a loyalty program that could be used as an owned digital personalized communication channel, rather than relying on the Facebook and Google walled gardens — imperatively Salling Group wanted to understand its customers through more than just transactions.
Andras Szocs says: “We were surprised how successful the transformation was.” By focusing on delivering an excellent and seamless customer experience Salling Group boasted a 10x lift in daily active users than previous loyalty iterations that didn’t contain personalized membership offers. The loyalty program leverages single-touch activation, where the customer's payment card was also their membership card - the customer needed to simply download the relevant app.
The "grandma" test
As Steve Jobs extolled “a user should only ever be 3 clicks away from what they want to do” and Salling Group with the help of Cheetah Digital has this principle at the center of their loyalty program.
The Salling Group loyalty program is a digital transformation, not merely a digital project and simplicity is at its core. Rather than asking lots of questions at sign-up and profile building, the program merely requires an app download, email address, and payment card. It should pass the “grandma test” (can my grandma use this easily?) — and it certainly does.
Putting the theory into practice
Any loyalty program should deliver intelligent offers and aim to make customers feel like they have a one-to-one relationship with the brand and are not purely part of a large cohort. With Cheetah’s expertise, Salling Group has moved from the theoretical to the practical — quickly collecting and then activating data.
Every time a user makes a purchase the transaction is captured and Salling Group can use this data to deliver contextually relevant, highly personalized offers to the customer. Tokenization means the individual is not identified, but their shopping habits are — keeping things all above board from a compliance perspective.
The machine learning module combined with the personalization layer of Cheetah Loyalty means customers are served discounts for products that are relevant to them.
- If a customer regularly purchases Diet Coke and offers for this exist, they can be targeted with vouchers for this particular product
- Getting deeper, if the customer has a purchase history for maybe vegan produce or perhaps Italian red wine, they can receive offers for these product types
- If none of these matches, then the customer profile can be matched with a similar segment and targeted with appropriate vouchers.
Flipping the perspective, if there is a new product, however niche, Salling Group can find the specific segment that would benefit it and deliver personalized offers to them. This is a great opportunity for both brands, partners, and customers.
The beauty of audience building is that it is a never-ending journey of optimization. “Since launching the program we are very happy and very proud.”
- Hit year 1 membership goal in just 4 weeks
- x10 increase in daily active loyalty members
- #1 & #2 most-downloaded app upon launch in Denmark (ahead of Tik Tok and Instagram)
You can watch the full session with Salling Group below.
Danny is a Content Marketing Manager for Cheetah Digital. Danny has spent his career in disruptive tech start-ups driving content strategy with a current focus on how brands can connect with modern consumers through a philosophy rooted in self-reported preference data. When he’s not extolling the value of zero-party data, he is guaranteed to be out running.