How Cotton On is Winning the CX Game
Elevating the customer experience (CX) remains a hot topic for retailers in 2019, with many investing in a range of CX programs and tools to keep up with the digitally-empowered consumer across all channels.
One prominent retailer leading the way in this domain is the Cotton On Group. Last year it launched ‘Perks’ – a global loyalty program that encompasses all the Group’s brands under one state-of-the-art scheme.
For most retailers operating at a similar scale to Cotton On – the business runs 1,500+ stores across twenty countries and seven brands – bringing a loyalty program like Perks to life would have been a major technological, procedural and financial challenge. But, not for Cotton On.
For more than a decade, Cotton On has operated with a significant competitive advantage, which sets it apart from most retailers – it runs a single, dynamic retail management system that handles the bulk of its operations for all its brands, worldwide.
Having a single source of real-time truth about products, customers and stores (still rare in retail today) was a fundamental reason why getting Perks up and running was fast and easy. The results speak for themselves: the velocity and volume of membership uptake has set a high bar for the industry.
Cotton On’s global retail management IT infrastructure relies on Retail Directions’ consumer-centric software platform, which powers its stores and high-throughput transactional system, manages a vast customer database, and runs a whole spectrum of functions at head office.
Group Director Ash Hardwick has commented that the software provides the business with a “reliable and agile IT base, which has enabled the rapid growth of the business.”
Indeed, the Retail Directions platform has been an essential part of Cotton On’s expansion from a humble 53 stores in 2006, when the platform was first deployed, to its current enviable global footprint.
The Perks program was made possible by leveraging the same technological dexterity that underpinned the business’s unparalleled pace of expansion, in conjunction with tight integrations to Cotton On’s e-commerce provider CommerceCloud and the Salesforce CRM.
The results transcend providing customers with a seamless cross-brand loyalty experience. Perks data also allows Cotton On to truly understand its customers at an individual level, helping to enhance client interactions across all touchpoints and channels. This includes omni-channel facilities such as Endless Aisle and Click & Collect across the Cotton On, Typo, Cotton On Body, Supre, Cotton On Kids, Factorie and Rubi store networks.
Cotton On’s CEO Peter Johnson said, “The Cotton On Perks loyalty program provides the data that helps us understand the products and experiences our customers truly love, while giving us insight into how and where they like to shop our seven brands.”
To date, over six million customers have signed up for Perks in the past 15 months, with around 100,000 being added each week – a tremendous success story for Australia’s largest global retailer.