Christian Retailing

Targeted marketing, data tracking help Parable, Covenant stores Print Email
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 09:14 PM America/New_York

Parable-Covenant-breakfast-ICRS16The Parable Group and Covenant Group make targeted marketing and data tracking their ongoing goals, the marketing groups told vendors at the Parable-Covenant vendor breakfast Tuesday morning at Unite 2016.

With regard to marketing, Steve Potratz, Parable Group founder and president, showed suppliers how heat mapping highlights for stores the geographical location of their customers and dollars spent to give retailers a better view of their reach. “Every Door Direct” and Facebook advertising targets customers and their friends, enhancing potential visits and sales.

“Usually, stores use a dot map, but when you can see where your customers are on a heat map, it makes a huge difference,” Potratz said. “When you overlay that with the Every Door Direct U.S. postal program that allows you to zone in on specific neighborhoods and see how many people are in the average household, what the ages are and what the income is, and you compare those neighborhoods to where your customers are, you can create much more effective mailings.”

Potratz said the retail marketing groups also have made database improvements in daily new-title tracking, which gives stores the ability to “crowdsource” new releases. That means they can filter products by release date and see what percentage of stores is ordering the new item, the average number of copies other stores have in stock, and more.

“Many stores say they no longer have reps coming to see them, and we were surprised at how many stores missed whole cycles of ordering new titles,” Potratz said. “We’re excited about this new-title tracking, and our stores were very excited too.”

On the front end of the groups’ retailer websites, member stores will soon have a MyMedia burn bar on their front pages, allowing customers to download and burn vocal tracks, movies and more.

“We recently added 30,000 burnable CD artist tracks, and before the end of the summer, we will also be adding other things regarding DVD burns,” said Chuck Wallington, founder and president of Covenant Group. “Within a couple of months, we will also have a streaming service of downloadable movies that can be shopped 24/7, 365 days a year.”

The breakfast opened with a devotion by Harold Herring, owner of The Christian Soldier in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Herring told vendors that Christian stores can not only survive but thrive.

“In three years, my store sales have increased 62 percent and are up 18 percent this year,” Herring said. “Achievement at the store level is made possible by vendors like you.”

Potratz also encouraged vendors to remind their customers how important it is for stores to report their sales to Parable for CROSS:SCAN and BookScan, data-collecting services free for retailers, which provide valuable statistics industrywide.

“There is huge value for independent stores in that data,” Potratz said. “Also, those sales get reported in The New York Times, so the store can say it is a New York Times reporter.”

The Parable Group and Covenant Group provide services to more than 170 stores worldwide.