An enterprise-level specialty retailer follows the Annex Cloud process for a successful upgrade and migration of an active loyalty program.

Challenge

A prominent specialty retailer with dozens of stores and a strong online presence turned to Annex Cloud to improve platform performance, security and expand capabilities to create an even better experience for their customers. Annex Cloud’s Proven Success Process took a deep dive into all aspects of the current program to minimize the risks inherent with upgrading an existing program of their size.

The thought of moving loyalty platforms is frightening for most IT decision makers, especially for enterprise-level companies. The stakes were high when migrating this active retail program with a large number of members, sophisticated earning and redemption rules, and new technical integrations. Collaboration was required to discover the current state of all aspects of their loyalty program and establish what changes are needed to reach a future state while minimizing risks. The simple traffic sign approach to change is a good starting point:

“You can’t afford to have any current members lose faith in the program and your company due to technical issues after migration. Your loyalty program is a core component of a customer-centric strategy and a successful migration is the launching point for aggressive plans to grow membership and customer value.”

CIO, Large Specialty Retailer

Solution

Discovery is critical when migrating a loyalty program. The Discovery step of Annex Cloud’s proven success process includes an in-depth review of the current structure of the program, from the customer experience down to the analytics. It’s critical to have a clear understanding of where you’re starting to successfully align where you want to be at the end of the project. As shown in the graphic below, an upgrade plan is needed for every aspect of the program.

Annex Cloud Products Used

Discovery is Critical when Migrating a Loyalty Program

  • What is the current Customer Experience across the customer journey and across touchpoints? How can we make it richer, more intuitive and maximize the opportunities to personalize?
  • What is the User Experience? How can we help employees manage the program and execute efficiently?
  • What is the current Program Strategy, Earning and Redemption Rules, Segmentation and Tiers, Campaigns? What are the newest, most creative innovations and experiences that can make your program more effective?
  • What technical structure and integrations are in place and which are changing? For your loyalty platform to be the most effective, it needs to be integrated with other applications in your tech stack. A CRM or ESP may be changing, while POS and ecommerce integrations may remain. All systems must be identified early in the process to create a truly omnichannel program.
  • What is the current state of loyalty and related data? A sample member data set should be provided along with the program and product data to understand the available data, its structure and storage.

“Annex Cloud led the way with a clear plan for investigating our current program, integrations and data structure that showed they were experts. The plan allowed other members from both our teams to focus on program upgrades and setting the stage for future enhancements.”

IT Project Manager, Large Specialty Retailer

10 Steps to Handling Large Data Migration

One of the more stressful migration aspects for this retailer was the successful transfer program and member data. There are several specific steps in the Annex Cloud Process to mitigate the risks in data migration:

Defining data migration requirements

  • Field identification
  • Migration rules, including member segmentation, tiers and award actions

Gap analysis

Receive sample file — Migration into DEV, QA, and Staging environments

Data mapping

Migration requirement review & client sign-off

Data extract & cleansing by the client

Receive full data feed file - Optimized data migration with applied intelligence

Product data migration, if necessary

Receive delta file of any records generated during migration, if necessary.

Testing & client approval in Staging environment, repeat in Production environment

“The planning and execution of our program migration certainly wasn’t completed overnight. Our teams stayed in constant communication to have clear deadlines and responsibilities. Our Rewards Club is up and running on schedule and we’re ready to expand the program’s rewards and benefits leveraging Annex Cloud’s broad features. Phase two is to immediately add the Refer a Friend program. Our customers love to talk about their families and our products. Enthusiastic referrals will certainly add a lot of new members to the program and customers to our stores.”

CIO, Large Specialty Retailer

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