de Bijenkorf

A personal welcome by location targeted Apple watch messages

Winner of Best Loyalty Industry Innovation and Best Use of Technology

Why we won: A simple and effective programme that moved quickly to use the buzz around the Apple Watch and delivered impressive levels of customer engagement.

de-bijenkorf-watch-copy-2The thousands of customers who come through the doors every hour at premium Dutch department store de Bijenkorf are used to getting a personal greeting from the trained staff positioned at the entrance.

When the Apple Watch launched in April 2015, the retailer moved with impressive speed to use the ‘hot’ devices to deliver a tech-based twist on this personal touch.

It organised an in-house hackathon to explore the use of Apple Watch technology to deliver greetings to customers wearing the devices.
The retailer’s technologists, designers and marketeers developed a prototype of the app within 24 hours. Two months later an updated version was vailable to the app’s more than 500,000 users. It is vital for de Bijenkorf to reach the app users as they are its best customers with the highest yearly spend.

The updated app was combined with iBeacons that are also in place at all branches to enable the customer’s exact in-store location to be tracked.

de-bijenkorf-applewatch-2-copyGuests who opted in via the mobile app received a short message on their Apple Watch or smartphone, including their current points value in de Bijenkorf’s Privilege loyalty scheme that could be redeemed straight away when buying products in-store. The app also let guests choose if they wanted to be recognised automatically by the cashier without the need to show their Privilege loyalty card.

De Bijenkorf says the app had the added benefit of freeing up the staff normally on the door greeting new arrivals to provide more in-store help to customers.

The customers’ in-store location details were combined with CRM data to trigger personalised messages. For example, if a guest was browsing for a gift on the 2nd floor, they were informed that there was a pop-up fashion show of their favourite brand on the 4th floor, which they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
“The nationwide press coverage on the release of this feature [improved] de Bijenkorf’s reputation as an innovative retailer, which is good for us as a store and as an employer,” de Bijenkorf says.

de Bijenkorf worked with co-ordinating agency Emakina on this initiative.