Rockport Adapts Customer Engagement Strategies Based on Changing Shopping Habits

Adapting different customer engagement strategies based on changing shopping patterns is a wise maneuver for any loyalty marketer.

While The Rockport Group has undergone some major changes in recent years, one thing remains the same: Its deep commitment to its loyal customers and to enhancing an already stellar customer experience.

“For the past few years, customers have changed their shopping habits, specifically the steps they take in the shopping and purchasing process,” Mario Protano, director, global e-commerce, The Rockport Group, explained to Loyalty360. “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 for Rockport is its use of video.

“Customers are relying on videos for product knowledge and research as well as ‘how to’ videos for direction and inspiration,” Protano added. “We are always looking for ways to leverage video to provide all the information the user needs to make an informed purchase decision.”

Joanna Linder, director, global direct to consumer marketing, The Rockport Group, told Loyalty360 that the company faces a challenge in developing the true definition of Rockport loyalty in the marketplace. 

“Since we are currently without a formalized CRM or loyalty program, this is an area of opportunity for us and something we are discussing as we develop the foundation for these programs,” Linder explained. “Because we have such a large wholesale presence outside of our company-owned channels, this makes the idea of consumer loyalty even more interesting. We want consumers to be happy with the Rockport product they purchase, regardless of where they purchase it.” 

Linder noted that The Rockport Group became a standalone company in August 2015.

“We’ve been undergoing a major transition, carving out the business from two giant athletic companies, adidas, and New Balance,” she said. “What this means is that we’ve moved from 163 shared systems to 14 of our very own, and this cutover is still happening globally. 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. 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 said company officials want to ensure the Rockport experience is as consistent as possible across all company-owned channels: In stores, website, and with the consumer care team.

“Part of that comes from consistent brand messaging and a strong customer service proposition,” she said. “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.”      

Like many 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 said. “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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