The Rockport Group became a standalone company in August 2015, undergoing a major transition, carving out the business from two giant athletic companies, adidas, and New Balance.

Nevertheless, some things remain constant: Such as maintaining and bettering the customer experience.

“We are proud of the relationships we’ve developed with our loyal customers over the past 45 years, so maintaining and bettering the customer experience remains a top priority as we stand the company up on its own,” Joanna Linder, director, global direct to consumer marketing, The Rockport Group, told Loyalty360. “Ensuring we’re operating to our fullest potential is critical to delivering a customer experience that is seamless and best-in-class. Part of this potential involves the development of our CRM strategy, which we’re working to build this year alongside a customer loyalty program that we will roll out in 2018.”  

Linder noted that Rockport officials want to ensure the customer experience is as consistent as possible across all company-owned channels: in stores, on the website, and with its consumer care team.

“Part of that comes from consistent brand messaging and a strong customer service proposition,” Linder added. “The other part comes from aligning our data, both consumer and product. While the consumer data piece is in the works, we currently ensure pricing is consistent and that any special offers can be redeemed across all of our channels. With the upcoming implementation of a CRM solution and development of a loyalty program shortly thereafter, we will ensure we are also rewarding the consumer for being loyal to the brand and will ‘surprise and delight’ them whenever possible.”  
    
Mario Protano, director, global e-commerce, The Rockport Group, talked to Loyalty360 about how customers are changing.

“For the past few years, customers have changed their shopping habits, specifically the steps they take in the shopping and purchasing process,” Protano explained. “They are using all channels and devices to make informed purchase decisions. However, without a CRM system, it can be very difficult to understand their behavior, which is why we’re excited to have a 360-degree view of our customers when we launch our CRM later this year. With that data, we can then market to customers in the right place and at the right time. In the meantime, we are using Certona, Google Analytics, and online only purchase data to adapt to these changes. Another area that has changed is the use of video. Customers are relying on videos for product knowledge and research as well as ‘how to’ videos for direction and inspiration. We are always looking for ways to leverage video to provide all the information the user needs to make an informed purchase decision.”

Protano said that Rockport’s biggest obstacle in personalization is the availability of online and POS data.

“Once we have this information, we can customize the user experience and our digital marketing programs to offer the user the right message,” he said.

Like other companies, Rockport’s mobile traffic is growing significantly.

“We are moving toward a ‘mobile-first’ methodology, which means when we’re developing our user interface and digital marketing programs, we focus on the mobile experience first,” Protano added. “We also look at the customer journey to better understand how consumers are using mobile when interfacing with our brands. Along with personalization, we plan to continue refining our strategy to market to customers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message.”

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