Customer Loyalty: Missed Opportunity at the Cash Register

by Scott - 1 Comment

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After I made a purchase yesterday the cashier asked me for my email address. For the sake of my inbox sanity I respectfully declined. In alignment with my moleskin diet, I thought about this interaction for a good 15 minutes. It got me thinking, what is the conversion rate on this question and the roi on each email address?

Lets compare this with if she asked me for my twitter handle. Knowing that I’d have to opt-in to receive updates from the brand, I’d be cool with giving that away. Don’t kid yourself, we all want more followers.

Brands can derive a ton of value from their customers’ twitter handles. For starters, by following someone they’re potentially giving them a subtle nudge to follow them back along two touch-points: a new follower notification in their inbox and the chance that they happen to notice their avatar on the followers section of their twitter dashboard. The value of a twitter follower for a brand is non-debatable.

But even if a customer doesn’t follow them back there is a ton of value brands can capture. A few sources of value and ideas from a customer loyalty standpoint:

-Target their customers at a very granular level
-Gain a better understanding of their customer base via social profiles
-Monitor customer conversation and sentiment
-Determine influencers of their customer base
-Obtain location data via foursquare check-ins published on twitter
-Manually push deals to people who have checked-in nearby via @ mentions
-Identify and reward brand evangelists

Bottom line is their is a treasure trove of data here for any brand. Obtaining this data is certainly better than coming home empty-handed. At this point in time, it’s hard for me to argue that a twitter handle is more valuable than an email address. After all, email is asynchronous (tweets are ephemeral), provides conversion benchmarks, and offers a richer medium for advertising creative. Still, brands can take ground.

I think an interesting strategy to test this would be if cashiers requested an email first and then maybe a twitter handle if customers declined. I believe this qualifies as an elseif statement…

if (get_email) {
} elseif (get_twitter_handle) {
} else {

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