Customers, and therefore customer loyalty programs, are becoming increasingly mobile. In 2010, dm-drogerie saw the mobile wave coming and envisioned a real-time e-coupon loyalty program, a complement to paper and online coupons. The vision was for customers to activate coupons via the third-party Payback website or its popular mobile app while they were shopping and immediately redeem them at checkout. The convenience and higher-level service would help turn customers into fans.
With the old capabilities, paper coupons were sent to customers who had to remember to bring them to the store. Data on activated coupons was collected and updated on the point-of-sale system (POS) as an extract, transform, and load (ETL) batch process overnight, a procedure that was much too slow for the new services the drugstore now wanted to provide.
“We envisioned a much better shopping experience for our customers,” explains Andreas Gessner, head of application infrastructure. “But we needed to change infrastructure to move from batch processing to real time. We needed a solution that could handle more than four million coupon redemption requests per week. We also wanted a unified, tightly integrated system, not a collection of individual products. TIBCO was also interesting to us because we could use our existing infrastructure for processing high volumes of coupon transactions.”
The company expected that proof of concept would take up to four weeks, but TIBCO completed its design and implementation within one week and deployment in less than two days. Very soon, dm-drogerie markt knew its loyalty program would be based on TIBCO technology.
The TIBCO BusinessWorks™ model-driven design environment was used to build the process flow between the central e-coupon system and all partner systems. Integrating partner systems was easily accomplished using web service interfaces.
To correlate customer membership with e-coupon use, ERP customer data was also integrated with the e-coupon system via TIBCO adapter technology. TIBCO messaging technology was used to make real-time updates to the e-coupon system based on activated coupons received from loyalty partners. Every e-coupon transaction is pushed to the data warehouse using TIBCO technology.
Fast Rollout of Business-Building Capabilities: The entire project for all German stores was completed in six months’ time. In the first four weeks of deployment, 1.58 million coupon requests were processed.
New Ability to Delight Customers: Instead of waiting 24 hours for coupon redemption, customers can now redeem e-coupons at the POS system in less than 30 seconds. And when a customer uses their Payback membership at a DM store, the POS queries the central e-coupon system for any active coupon. If one is found and activated, the coupon is automatically redeemed, instantly saving the customer money, which is the kind of service that is turning dm-drogerie customers into fans.
Cost-Efficient Innovation: In addition, with a better integration strategy, dm-drogerie has made a major shift in its approach to application development. Where data integration had been the main focus, the company is now able to create more services for customers using services integration, which saves time and reduces costs.
Real-time e-coupon redemption is now being rolled out to dm-drogerie stores in other countries in a much shorter timeframe than would have been possible without the TIBCO integration approach. The company is looking forward to the time when all of its 2,400 affiliates will provide the same unique and convenient shopping experience to customers across Europe.