Schnucks increased personalized campaigns 200% with Segment

Schnucks unified first-party customer data and improved marketing campaigns with Segment.

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“Segment has become the data hub that we needed. There isn’t a question on how or when data will get from one place to another. We feel confident we can execute communications and insights in the right way with the right data. ”

— Ann Ehnert, Manager of CRM & Loyalty Marketing, Schnuck Markets

Schnuck Market is a third- and fourth-generation, family-owned grocery retailer with over 100 stores throughout the Midwest. Schnucks is considered the hometown grocer for many of its patrons and is committed to nourishing lives and supporting communities. Since 1939, Schnucks has strived to evolve and meet the changing needs of customers. 

With the accelerated adoption of digital shopping, Schnucks wanted to deliver better digital experiences. However, teams struggled to understand the customer journey and personalize digital experiences due to siloed systems and data. Schnucks worked with their partner WWT (World Wide Technology) to overhaul its tech stack and implement Segment to unify customer data. Segment serves as Schnucks’ centralized Customer Data Platform, empowering teams with a better understanding of the customer journey and more effective and automated personalization capabilities. Schnucks is now able to build trusted relationships with customers and scale digital strategies.

Siloed data made it difficult to serve customers and execute effective campaigns.

As more customers were shopping online, Schnucks needed to adopt a more agile tech stack to accelerate digital strategies. Three years ago Schnucks launched a new customer loyalty and coupon program, Schnucks Rewards, and corresponding mobile app. Seeing its success, the company set goals to further incorporate digital into their customers’ in-person buying experience and to communicate with customers in a more personal way. 

Although Schnucks had the aspiration to adopt more mature digital strategies, their teams were handicapped by siloed, hard to access data sources. Ann Ehnert, Manager of CRM and Loyalty Marketing at Schnucks, explains, “We had our email marketing occurring in one platform and Schnucks Rewards loyalty data in a separate database. The two weren’t talking. We had our transactional data in another database, which was separate from our web and app activity. We had the information but no way to bring it together.”

Siloed data sources made it difficult to understand the full customer journey, and resource intensive to bring customer data together to activate digital campaigns. Schnucks runs campaigns on a 7-day ad cycle, a strategy specific to grocery. It could take between 2-3 working days to complete development on a single campaign, and required valuable resources to collect and standardize customer data. Personalization was limited and customizing communications based on transaction data could only be done through manual lookups. Because the systems were separate, the various teams also worked separately, contributing to the challenges of getting effective campaigns out the door at the cadence the business demanded.  

Schnucks identified requirements and evaluated platforms to rehaul its tech stack.

Schnucks engaged WWT to help it understand and evaluate the vendor landscape, overhaul its tech stack, and create a clear path to get to where it wanted to go. Schnucks assembled a team of internal stakeholders across Marketing, IT, and Data to identify clear goals and requirements. Schuncks’ goal was to improve the customer journey and better service customers through personalization. 

“There were specific requirements that needed to be met with the new tech stack. We needed a way to bring together data sources to start creating a complete picture of a customer and their journey with Schnucks. It needed to work with Google Cloud Platform. We also needed to audit all existing sources to make sure we were not missing unknowns,” explained Ann. 

Once all requirements were outlined, WWT guided Schnucks through a curated and detailed evaluation of over 20 different platforms to ensure its pain points were addressed and the new stack would deliver on its goals and requirements. The platforms evaluated are listed below:

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Schnucks selected Segment to connect customer data and sit at the center of its new tech stack.

Schuncks selected and implemented Segment to be at the core of its long term data strategy. 

Ann explains, “In the end, we launched with a tech stack that is bringing our teams and systems together. Segment has become the data hub that we needed. There isn’t a question on how or when data will get from one place to another. We feel confident we can execute communications and insights in the right way with the right data.” 

Segment connects and standardizes data across Schnucks’ different tools and merges offline and online actions to give Schnucks a complete picture of the customer journey. Segment collects data from the Schnucks website, mobile application, and point of sale data, then automatically cleans and sends that data to downstream platforms like its product analytics platform Amplitude, email marketing platform Iterable, data warehouse Google Big Query, and more.

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Schnucks took control of first-party customer data and automated personalized campaigns.

Armed with a complete picture of the customer journey and advanced audience management capabilities, Schnucks can now easily send timely and relevant messages to customers. The marketing team can execute personalized campaigns with ease and automatically segment audiences for emails, push notifications, and campaigns. 

Before Segment, the marketing team would work with the Data team to pull a list of customers to receive a specific email or push notification. Now, Schnucks has replaced that manual batch-and-blast strategy with an automated and triggered workflow for personalized communications based on user actions. Schnucks can simultaneously execute multiple campaigns based on user behavior and make real-time campaign changes based on user actions. 

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Segment enables advanced customer insights to make Schnucks a more customer-centric organization both online and off. The ability to visualize digital behavioral data and transaction data together has empowered teams with an understanding of why a customer does what and when, and the ability to optimize the customer journey accordingly. The Data Science and Analytics team can arm stakeholders and teams company-wide with clearer customer insights and analytics, resulting in better business decisions and products. 

Schnucks accelerated its digital strategies and roadmap by taking control of its first-party data.

With unified systems and reliable data, Schnucks is able to automate audience segmentation and scale personalized experiences and campaigns. A flexible stack and connected data strategy enable teams to work together and focus on continued digital innovation.  

  • 200% increase in personalized campaigns: By unifying customer data and automating segmentation and customer journey data, Schnucks increased the number of active personalized campaigns by 200%. 

  • Automated audience segmentation and campaigns: Schnucks developers and marketers saved over 3+ hours of manual work per week pulling and standardizing data, creating audiences, and launching campaigns. This frees up hundreds of hours per year for teams to focus on digital innovation.

  • Unified data and teams: With their new tech stack, Schnucks not only unified internal data silos, but also amplified Schnucks’ core values of teamwork. Teams are working cross-functionally like they never have before, helping to create better products and shopping experiences.

What’s next? Schnucks plans to continue scaling its digital efforts with Segment and dive further into e-commerce. Segment ensures Schnucks’ data strategy and tech stack are flexible and ready to tackle continuously evolving customer needs. 

Ann explains, “Our goal is to match the experiences our customers know and love from shopping at our stores into our online shopping journey. We are future-proofing our business to ensure we prepare for the next generation of shoppers by expanding our digital offerings, and Segment is at the core of that process.”

Industry: Retail
Location: St. Louis, Missouri