The Dirty Little Secret of Point-of-Sale Data

Mar 31, 2008 11:50 PM  By

Let’s concede that you’re doing some things right. You collect data at point-of-sale so you can follow up with catalogs. Who would argue with that?

After all, these people are interested in your product and have left the comfort of their home to shop for it. And they have given you their name and address to hit them up again.

Or have they?

When customer information is caught at POS, many data-hygiene issues arise: miss-keys by the sales associate, sloppy handwriting on a bingo card, even false information given by the customer. So although a retail-captured list can be highly profitable, multichannel companies stand to lose if they do not cleanse this segment appropriately.

Here are some tips for making the most of POS data:

  • Have your service bureau run advanced hygiene on this segment. Sometimes the typical address standardization is not enough. Advanced address hygiene can match your data to larger compiled databases, finding apartment numbers and other address components not captured at the POS.
  • If you don’t plan on omitting records with non ZIP+4, then segment them separately. This helps you gauge how many non ZIP+4 records are on your file and allows you to separately track response, should you decide to omit them in later mailings. Remember that they are more expensive to mail and generally have a lower response.
  • Run the uniques from this segment through optimization. As mentioned in this month’s case study, this allows you to retain sincere customers identified as active direct mail shoppers who want to hear from you again via the print channel. It also enables you to omit those jokesters who give names like Big Bird on their bingo card. Remember, recency is important here. Try to mail retail store customers as soon after their shopping experience as possible.

By following these simple tips, you stand a better chance of profiting in the multichannel world.

Tracy Blake is a marketing consultant for San Rafael, CA-based multichannel retail advisory Lenser.