Burberry looks to a ‘fundamentally different’ way of using data across its business

Burberry is implementing a ‘fundamentally different way of using data throughout the business’ in an effort to build a ‘single global view’ of its customers after seeing gains in sales and profit following its decision to invest in insight last year.

Speaking on a conference call today (20 May) on the company’s results for the year ending 31 March 2015, CEO and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey said Burberry will continue to invest in data and insight in order to “serve customers better” and improve decision-making across the business.

He added that this will include “more personalised service and targeted and responsive marketing behaviour” through retail, digital, marketing and its customer value management (CVM) programme.

Burberry has seen “early productivity gains across sales and profit” since November according to Bailey, when it announced plans to invest in customer data and insight and to roll out the CVM programme to more than 300 stores globally to drive retention and loyalty through more targeted and personalised contacts with its core luxury customers.

The programme, which enables regular one-to-one personalised communication with associates and “top consumers” including invitations to events and product suggestions, has made customers 50% more likely to return and purchase from Burberry, according to chief customer officer Steve Sacks.

Sacks also said the investment has allowed Burberry improve its design and content performance digitally.

When third quarter sales of the brand’s new Banner bag performed more poorly online than in store, data showed that the product’s digital imagery was not driving click-through.

By creating new images for the bag, product views and sales increased by 100% according to the company, causing the product to outperform online.

“Harnessing data is a core underpinning of the future of retail,” Sacks said. “We’re on a journey to build customer analytics into the fabric of our business.”

Digital and e-commerce boost revenue and sales

The company’s results showed 11% growth in revenue to £2.5bn and retail sales growth of 14%, as well as double-digit growth in its EMEA region.

Bailey credited “continued outperformance globally from digital” for the strong results. This follows a continued investment in e-commerce through an enhanced mobile site, which saw a lift in conversion of over 10% according to Sacks, and an extension of its third-party relationships with sites such as Amazon and Harrods.

In April the brand also launched on Snapchat and live steaming service Periscope, claiming to offer the first ever “red carpet to runway” stream on the platform.

Moving forward into 2015/16, Bailey said the company will continue to invest in technology and digital “to ensure customers have the best possible experience whenever and wherever they shop”, citing summer plans for “something exciting with makeup” in the digital space.

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  1. Jim Rudall 21 May 2015

    These sort of results must be pretty compelling for just about every luxury retailer who’s currently still wondering about the power and value of customer data, and what the measurable benefits might actually be. But apparel brands and retailers in the highly competitive ‘middle ground’ – where price is still a real driver for purchases and shopper loyalty is desperately hard to come by – should also be wondering whether this wholehearted customer-centric approach could also help them by mitigating those issues. Meanwhile, kudos to Burberry, leading everyone out again.

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