How is Castorama tackling the end of third-party cookies?

Newsroom

16 Jun 2022 • Rédigé par Sonia Ouaksel

Castorama readapted its customer relationship management methods to rely more on its own data. The company is actively working with Batch to orchestrate its campaigns across all digital touchpoints, including push notifications.

In every DIY project, smoothly executing the finishing touches makes all the difference... This also applies to marketing, especially at a time when third-party cookies are set to disappear. At Castorama, an extensive project was carried out to better manage the various communications sent to customers. "Customer marketing and CRM are two strategic elements for the group," says Romain Roulleau, Chief of Marketing, Digital & Customer Officer at Castorama and Digital Strategist for Kingfisher France, currently leading this project. "However, the end of third-party cookies is creating unprecedented ambiguity in the market, with a real lack of information to personalize campaigns. This leads to a situation of great vigilance in the martech ecosystem. We are looking for possible solutions that comply with the law, while trying to anticipate tomorrow's developments. We are moving at a rather complex technological level that requires a certain amount of expertise."

For Castorama and its subsidiary Brico Dépôt, this challenge is essential to the company's growth. "Our priority is to further expand our share of voice in the purchases of our customers.," says Romain Roulleau. "On average, customers shop with us 5 to 10 times a year, with 8 to 12 million website visits per month. We need to capitalize on every touchpoint to increase the conversion rate."

This is a deeply-rooted trend in retail, according to Sonia Ouaksel, Batch's CMO: "In the last few years, retailers have been very focused on acquisition, but this has given way to customer retention, as they now capitalize on existing customers and a non-activated audience."

Omnichannel organization of the customer experience

To increase the revenue coming from households, Castorama's strategy is based on leveraging its own data and using more efficient tools, both in terms of targeting and creating quick and seamless campaigns. Castorama relies on Batch to manage customer relationships on all digital channels, especially on mobile, and to send truly customized and personalized messages in real-time.

The collaboration began in the summer of 2020, coinciding with the release of Castorama's new mobile app. It plays a key role for the company, as "75% of traffic is generated through this channel," says Romain Roulleau. "It is strategically important for us, but customers have to download it first. We know that this will take some time. That's why we started to implement Batch on our website first."

Technically, the solution is integrated into the retailer's ecosystem. All events that occur on the Castorama website, from a computer or a smartphone, are recorded. This information is later used to personalize the browsing experience and to structure and diversify the way Castorama communicates with its customers. The prerequisite is to obtain the user's consent. "We didn’t face any issue in this area," says the director. "Within a few months, *about 1 million people agreed to receive notifications*. That was a pleasant surprise given the lower projections we predicted."

A test & learn approach with digital marketing campaigns

Castorama's marketing teams then capitalized on user consent to build sales campaigns and "to get a clear idea of what works and what doesn't, we tested several scripts between cross-selling and retargeting," explains Romain Roulleau. "For example, one of the scenarios we developed is: a customer looks at a drill from a major brand on the website. He leaves without buying it, but the next time he visits the Castorama website, he receives an advertisement for this product."

Castorama also intends to use its mobile app to collect information and push messages. For example, consumers can scan an item in store to check availability or obtain more information about an article through the app. This data is collected through the Batch platform to promote the product or an offer at a different time, for example when they visit the website.

Successfully communicating through web push notifications

For Romain Roulleau, desktop usage opens up interesting creative possibilities: notifications can be sent to communicate and generate interactions with users. "We have multiplied the number of campaigns thanks to web push notifications," he says. "This format is quite simple, with 2 to 3 lines of text and a large image. Our teams also have templates that allow them to gain speed and create a variety of messages easily. It's different from an email where you have to fill in several fields."

In addition, the company also plans to switch its SMS communication to push notifications. This way, Castorama can easily communicate on hot news in a shop, such as the shop being open on a public holiday, or announcing promotional events. "We are seeing real benefits to this strategy, with lower costs and good responsiveness," *says Romain Roulleau. *"We are switching gradually, so SMS is increasingly being replaced by notifications. We also have to be careful not to overwhelm the audience. On average, we should not exceed 3 to 5 notifications per week per individual, all channels combined."

Castorama intends to further refine and improve its results through the creation of a Customer Data Platform. "It will allow us to maintain a complete omnichannel customer database," the director explains. "We will focus on our member customers first and then expand it to all customers."

The ROI challenge

Properly orchestrating communication campaigns therefore requires a clever mix of data and creativity for a return on investment that is not always easy to measure. Especially because, in the DIY sector, shops represent more than 90% of the business. Performance indicators are therefore not merely based on the increase in e-commerce transactions.

Castorama has, for example, concentrated efforts in building its customer relationship for the “Kitchen” category. "The latter is of strategic importance, as we generate 45% of our turnover from products that we develop ourselves," says the director. "In addition, we redesigned our entire range in 2020, as there is great potential to be found here. It is, however, a complex customer journey: it requires many interactions, takes time and the final purchase is made in store. The challenge is to capture leads using the web." Castorama has therefore used traffic information provided by Batch to target intentional shoppers with web and app notifications. In October 2020, a dedicated unit was specifically created to organize the first remote client meetings. "This organization has enabled us to generate 264 qualified leads for €1.2 million in business opportunities," Romain Roulleau is pleased to report. These results are more than encouraging and show once again how both channels, store and web, complement each other.

This article was originally written by Clotilde Chevenoy in Républik Retail.

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