SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Schultz Sav-O Stores here expects to better meet its frequent shoppers' needs when it brings its database management application in-house this month to analyze its customer purchase behavior on a daily basis.
"This is a tool that will help us to look at customer data such as sales, what they are buying, and how our products, categories and specific universal product codes are meeting their needs," said Michael Houser, executive vice president of marketing and merchandising for Schultz Sav-O.
"We are on our way to better management of our customer data and the analysis of that data," he added. "We will use this application not just to look at the information, but to act upon it. Anyone can collect data, but the difference is how it is used to better satisfy your customers."
The application, which will run on Schultz Sav-O's client-server network, will reside at headquarters and be operational by the end of this month. The wholesaler's 86 Piggly Wiggly stores will be able to electronically transmit all shopper purchase data from their point-of-sale units directly to a database, at headquarters, on a daily basis.
"Once the data is batched, we can look at the information on a store-by-store basis, instantly," said Houser. "We will start by focusing on the top 30% of our best shoppers, then move to our mid-level shoppers. This is a logical step to building a wall around our best shoppers."
The wholesaler is implementing the database management tool internally to better plan weekly promotions.
"Our stores were asking to have access to information on a daily and weekly basis so they can plan what promotions they will run weekly and monthly," he said. "The next step would be to use this customer data and pursue targeted marketing initiatives by different customer groups."
Since Schultz Sav-O launched its card-based "Preferred Club Program" in October 1995, the wholesaler's data was handled by DCI Cardmarketing, Manasquan, N.J., the provider of the application. Once the information was collected by the third party, it needed to be downloaded by Schultz Sav-O in order to analyze the data.
"By having access to this data in-house it will be faster for us to generate reports, customize them, and act upon the changing needs of our shoppers in the form of incentives and rewards," Houser explained. Though it will managed internally, Schultz Sav-O will continue using DCI's database management software.
By the end of 1998, Schultz Sav-O hopes to affect its category management through the use of its collected frequent shopper data. "Primarily we will be analyzing data on a category-by-category basis, and by department," Houser explained. "We expect to see our sales and profitability increase as we do a better job with our category analysis.
"On a store-by-store basis we will get a more accurate picture, rather than relying on warehouse shipment data," he added. "Matching customer loyalty data with category management data will be accurate in terms of [analyzing] actual sales. This is definitely a goal for this year."