Retail

Pier 1 Imports Hoping New Data Collection Network Will Be Enough To Stave Off Customer Decline

Pier 1 Imports, the posh home goods retailer, is hoping its newly completed omnichannel shopping experience, which blends its online, mobile, email, loyalty rewards customers and brick-and-mortar shopping divisions together into a seamless data collection network, will be enough to stave off a continued decline in the company’s sales.

In its first quarter earnings call last month, Pier 1 Imports said that, although sales fell below expectations, it saw a 40 percent increase in sales ordered outside its stores — either online, over the phone or email — for the first quarter of 2017, Alexander Smith, Pier 1 Import’s president and CEO, told investors on a recent earnings call.

Smith said the sales increase was due to more traffic and a higher customer conversion rate on the company’s ever-improving website and said that Pier 1 Imports is forecasting a 25 percent increase in online sales for fiscal year 2017, with more increases expected in subsequent years.

“We are keeping our foot on the gas to drive continued direct-to-customer sales growth through website usability product, compelling inventory and functionality,” Smith said. “Our website evolution is ongoing. We released new code approximately every two weeks.”

Smith also announced that Pier 1 Imports was launching a new online gift registry on its website later this year, which it is hoping will also fuel further growth in its online sales division.

Pier 1 Imports also plans to roll out its new three-level customer loyalty program across all its stores in August, Smith said, which the home goods retailer hopes will help it to grow its database of repeat and longtime customers. Smith said these customers typically account for about 70 percent of Pier 1 Import’s sales each year and are highly valuable to the company.

“With our customer data excellence initiative complete, we’ve now got a new, more powerful database, improved segmentation capabilities, driving greater personalization, new campaign management tools and expanded loyalty program allowing us to better engage with customers, and just completed this week a customer relations tool that provides a more seamless path when assisting Pier 1 Import shoppers,” Smith said.

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