In a year where every industry, especially retail, was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be easy to throw in the towel and wait for easier times to come.

However, this was never an option for Susan Stein, Director, Reporting & Insights at Baesman. 

With experience in the brand side of marketing, analytics, web operations, and even financial consulting, Stein understands practically every side of a business and knows how critical it is to adapt to any situation.

Stein is the latest guest on Loyalty360’s “Loyalty Live” – a web series focused on interviewing leaders in loyalty on their work in the field and trends they are keeping an eye on. In this edition, Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson and Stein discussed Baesman’s work in the retail sector and how brands can stay ahead during the holidays. 



Retail Throughout COVID
Perhaps the number one issue brands have faced during the pandemic comes from the supply chain issues, with numerous items across every industry being in low stock/production. 

Stein and her team have shifted all attention towards the customer to combat this. 

“We’re really focusing on how to create a great customer experience,” explained Stein. “Even if there is disappointment about not getting that one favorite product, they still walk away with a positive feeling about the brand and come back.”

Creating this positive association is no easy feat. Still, Stein and her team accomplish this by “strategically overcommunicating,” allowing them the chance to be fully transparent in challenging times and engage in meaningful, worthwhile discourse with their consumers. By establishing this trust, retailers can further capitalize by providing consumers a way to channel their energy and money into causes they’re passionate about. 

“If brands can’t reward based on product availability, a great strategy is to give customers the option to use their rewards towards a charity of their choice,” she says, explaining how this conclusion felt appropriate given an astonishing 70% of consumers want to know how brands they support are addressing social and environmental issues. 

A Jolly Holiday Season
As the holidays approach, the supply chain still presents an issue, but this doesn’t get Stein down. 

“There are a few things we’ve been thinking about and keep in mind as we navigate through these uncertain times,” says Stein, pointing towards the already discussed strategic overcommunication and social advocacy rewards as excellent methods. 

Adding to these, Stein discusses the impact brands can have by simply prioritizing loyalty members during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. 

“Brands know that those who lead in loyalty in their industry grow their revenue faster than their competitors,” Stein explains. “Not only are they more likely to grow revenue faster by focusing marketing efforts with loyalty members, but they’re also providing the perception of prioritizing loyalty members who are concerned about holiday shopping the supply chain this year.” 

It’s a win-win scenario – brands can further establish rapport between themselves and consumers, and in turn, their members are targeted towards and can feel valued. 

Finally, brands can, of course, partner with Baesman “to create personalized outreach campaigns.” As more brands look to foster meaningful personal relationships with their audience, the Baesman team sees this as an opportunity to step in at a busier time than ever and lend a hand with their critical data analytics.  

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