Pushing the Personalization Envelope for Greater Customer Engagement at The North Face

The challenge of personalization is one that officials at The North Face take quite seriously and they are persistent because of the enhanced customer engagement it reaps.

The North Face recently earned a Silver Award in the Loyalty & Rewards Program category of the Loyalty360 Customer Loyalty Awards held at the 10th annual Loyalty Expo.

Ian Dewar, senior manager customer lifecycle, The North Face; and Monica Paul, loyalty program manager, The North Face, talked to Loyalty360 about the company’s ongoing quest for personalization.

“We are continuing to push personalization and relevance in our messaging and engagement with our customers,” Dewar and Paul said. “We’ll continue to improve on delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time. But overall, we are seeing that relevant messaging works to bring customers back more often. We’re also looking at more non-transactional behavioral data from events and other avenues which will help us develop this personalization effort. We are adapting to be where our most valuable customers are and expect to see us. We are leveraging social media as a digital extension to amplify our loyalty program benefits and perks and to drive acquisition and engagement.”

Dewar and Paul said the primary objective of The North Face’s loyalty program, VIPeak Rewards, is to use relevant content and experiences to develop deeper customer relationships.

“We are seeing our efforts reflected in our business as well, with an increase in same-year repeat purchase and year-over-year repeat purchase,” they said. “Our focus is to continue to build interest for customers by reinforcing the activities they are interested in while simultaneously surfacing new activities or products that we hope will be compelling to them. As we get deeper into personalization, we want to refine the right mix of exciting content alongside the best product for their next (or new) adventure.”

The North Face officials are very focused on mobile optimization and understanding more around the mobile experience.

“We are expanding our check-in for points program, we have increased the ease of accessing rewards through digital wallet, and we are adding more ways for customers to enroll in VIPeak through mobile and iPad,” Dewar and Paul explained. “These are putting more control in the customer’s hands.”

The North Face surveys its customers to achieve two things.

“The first is product feedback,” they explained. “We can reach out to key product purchasers when we want feedback on performance. This has been a useful tool for us.  Second, we use surveys to help understand overall customer behavior. That is how we know most of our customers are active, where they like to shop, and what categories they say they are most likely to buy from The North Face.”

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