As we all know, the advent of the Internet changed the world in the last 20 years.
It is difficult for millennials like myself to imagine a world without this technology.
Yes, maybe we remember something from our childhood, but memories are unprecise and sometimes confused, hidden by the nostalgia of that time.

After Internet, another revolution was the creation of social networks. A phenomenon that involved a big part of the world.

In 2016, of 7.395 billion people of the world, 3.419 billion were Internet users and 2.307 were active on social media.[1]

The diffusion of smartphones greatly influenced this growth, because the access to internet became easier and more immediate.[2]

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So, in a context like this, also the relationships with customers have had to evolve and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) represents this evolution.

It is just an evolution and not a revolution, because it was born from the marketing area.
CRM is a database full of information about customers, used to improve interactions and businesses with them.[3]

Relationships created with the customers using this system should be constant and long lasting, also after the conclusion of a sale.[4]

So, in few words, CRM is the dark side of the loyalty programs: names, numbers, statistics. All that kind of stuff that usually scares customers, but not only.

If you think about the classic loyalty programs, with fidelity cards, points collections and discounts, for sure you couldn’t find a real connection with the luxury market. There the concept of discount is not so common.

But: the principles of belonging, personalization and reward which support CRM are very much connected to the true luxury experience.[5]

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Thanks to CRM it is possible create a stronger one to one communication and relationship with the luxury costumer.  Personal information about the consumer could also be inserted in the database along with the basic information.

For example, in fashion, the database can remember important client events like the anniversaries.

This is very important because what the client wants is a personalised luxury shopping experience, so the retailers, by rounding out the basic data of their customers with more information, allow their staffs to personalize the sale process.[6]

What about the new kind of luxury fields?

In the last few years interests of luxury consumers have  changed, moving on more experiential products.

Millennial customers are changing the rules, looking for something different from previous generations, and now is expected a growing of the experiential sector by the 6-7%[7] than the last year.

The food sector is part of the “experiential area” and in the luxury world is quite new, because of that the structure is still disorganized compared to the fashion sector.

Just look around you, how many monobrands food stores can you find? Really few examples. For this reason CRM is not common in this world: the necessity to build such a structure is not already born.

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The situation is not different for restaurants. Even if they use to have some traditional clients it is difficult to find CRM developed inside their organization.

They usually have “the person”, the one that knows everything, remembers the story of the restaurant and has a special relationship with the historical clients. But, what is this if not a beginning of CRM? You collect information from your guests during their visits, create a special relationship with them and, maybe, you invite them for the special events at the restaurant.

How can you transfer all this knowledge? Using only words is possible that some information would be lost.

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Think about, for example, Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants: there are 25 all over the world. With a serious CRM program, they can be sure to treat their regulars in a perfect way wherever they are, in London, New York or where else.

So: CRM is a huge opportunity for restauration and, in general, for food luxury sector. What are we waiting for?

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[1] WE ARE SOCIAL, Digital in 2016: in Italia e nel mondo, http://wearesocial.com/it/blog/2016/01/report-digital-social-mobile-in-2016

[2] MSN, The Smartphone Changed The World In A Decade, http://a.msn.com/01/en-gb/BBy5JPf?ocid=se

[3] MICROSOFT, What does a CRM solution do?, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/what-is-crm

[4] OPEN SYMBOL, Un po’ di storia del CRM, http://www.opensymbol.it/storia-del-crm/

[5] LUXURY DAILY, Luxury brands should not be afraid of CRM, https://www.luxurydaily.com/luxury-brands-should-not-be-afraid-of-crm/

[6] CEGID, Clienteling & Crm Nel Retail: Fattori Chiave Nel Luxury Retail, http://www.cegid.com/it/retail/clienteling-crm-nel-retail-fattori-chiave-nel-lusso/

[7] Il SOLE 24 ORE, Lusso: nel 2016 415 milioni di clienti hanno speso 860 miliardi, http://www.infodata.ilsole24ore.com/2017/02/17/lusso-nel-2016-415-milioni-clienti-speso-860-miliardi/

Images:

http://wearesocial.com/it/blog/2016/01/report-digital-social-mobile-in-2016

http://www.intelligentluxury.it/crm-nel-fashion-e-nel-lusso-come-sceglierlo/

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