Monoprix, one of France’s leading retailers, launched a targeted mailing plan in 2010 that sends 600,000 unique emails every month as part of an overall customer-centric plan that has yielded more valuable insights.

Monoprix CEO Stephane Maquaire and dunnhumby France COO Emmanuel Déchelette discussed the pursuit of customer-centricity during a session at the National Retail Federation this week titled, “Using Customer Data to Increase Profits and Keep Customers for Life.”

Monoprix has partnered with dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer science company, for the past five years.

Each of the 600,000 customers receives 10 personalized emails per year and, according to Maquaire, “personalization increases customer participation over time.”

Here are some findings revealed during the session:

1 Loyal customer is worth 5 Opportunity Customers

Only 1 out of 10 Opportunity Customers becomes Loyal

43% of Loyal customers are not loyal one year later

Multichannel loyal customers spend 30% more

Only 3% of loyal customers are multichannel

Since 2009, Monoprix has worked with dunnhumby to put the customer at the center of every business decision. This includes specific programs to better understand customers and to serve their wants and needs across Monoprix’s portfolio of 500 stores. Gaining a better understanding of Monoprix customers through shopping habits, price sensitivity, and lifestyles was the starting point of the collaboration.

Maquaire said that Monoprix has learned that rewarding loyal customers results in the greatest profits. The partnership also confirmed that offering free home delivery could be profitable, with Monoprix earning more than €6 million in additional margin on an annual basis by providing the service.

Maquaire touched on Monoprix’s customer pricing strategy, findings on price elasticity for price sensitive customers, and details of how Monoprix has maximized returns on its personalized communications with 600,000 customers every month.

“Monoprix has invested five years in learning how to serve its customers better,” Maquaire said. “Our partnership with dunnhumby has showed us that investment in long-term initiatives yields more revenue than trying to achieve short-term gains.”

Monoprix comprises six store brands that are located in more than 200 cities in France. It has over 500 stores and 21,000 employees. Monoprix includes convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, and downtown specialized stores all under one roof offering a unique shopping experience.

The customer is at the heart of Monoprix, Maquaire said, and the company empowers its staff to serve its customers. He listed the company’s main customer-related objectives since partnering with dunnhumby France in 2009.

2009: Customer knowledge; Customer health check

2010: Customer strategy/engagement; Customer contact plan

2011: Customer pricing; Customer category reviews

2012: Personalized contact plan; Store customer reports

2013: Collaborative category reviews; Promotional health check

Knowing customers better, shopping habits, price sensitivity, and lifestyles are insights Monoprix has pursued relentlessly in the past five years.

“Customers are at the heart of our corporate strategy,” Maquaire said.

To be truly customer-centric, Maquaire noted there has to be company commitments, customer promises, and staff requirements.

Price sensitivity among customers is an issue Monoprix has focused on in the past five years.

“Price sensitive customers are more elastic to price,” Maquaire said. “When you lower price by more than 5%, you have three times more elasticity on price sensitive customers.”

Some other key takeaways from the Monoprix presentation included:

Customer reports for each store prioritize actions at store level based on customer knowledge

Goals: Profit short term and loyal retention in long term

Improve price perception by smarter investment

For our customers, provide a seamless shopping experience to each customer

Monoprix and brands make better decisions based on our customers

Respond to what’s most important to our loyal customers

Rewarding loyals is profitable

You can stretch your best customers when it’s relevant to them

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