Insight and loyalty: Building a data-driven loyalty programme for Cambodian retailers
The difficulties in making effective decisions and the abundant amount of data have driven many businesses to adopt data-driven processes using enterprise applications like business intelligence. Although these applications have been around over the last decade and the benefits of using them are evident in several countries, Cambodia still falls behind in adopting such technology. This thesis, therefore, aims to explore opportunities for a data tool, specifically tailored to meet the needs of retail firms in Cambodia. In order to achieve the objective, the study employs a two-phase approach. In the first phase, a qualitative method through in-depth interview was undertaken. Six managers from different retail businesses were interviewed in the areas of: data utilisation, perception and investment towards data technologies, and relevant future plans. Findings reveal that the incorporation of data in decision-making was limited. Although managers did embrace the use of data and acknowledge its importance, the costly nature of the technologies held them back from major investments. The findings imply that although there are opportunities for data-related tools for enterprises, certain components are necessary for their success. Managers tended to look for technology that produced final results with little or no technical assistance from their side. The ability to gather data outside their consumer base is also emphasised. The need for a low-cost application is an important implication. The first phase of the research led to the decision to create a data-driven loyalty programme due to its double benefits for firms (loyalty and data), its low cost, and the ability to capture data from a large base of consumers. To understand consumers’ usage and attitude towards loyalty programmes, the second phase of the research was carried out using a quantitative method. One survey was distributed and completed by 187 respondents, the majority of whom were teenagers and young adults, a potential segment for the loyalty programme. Data was cleaned and analysed using descriptive analysis. Findings from consumers revealed interesting insights into how loyalty programmes are perceived in relation to shopping behaviours. Consumers were open to a new loyalty programme and embraced the idea of combining all the cards into one application. Flexibility was found to be the most important factor driving the participation of loyalty programmes. That covered the ability to set up their own plan for reward redemption and to receive personalised communication. Technology was another important success factor, specifically mobile technology that allows consumers to manage their profile through touch on their smart devices. A business case for the loyalty programme has been developed based on the findings from both phases, relevant literature, and discussions with others. The target segment, who are the urban, young, and middle- and high-income class, was studied. The potential market for the programme was assessed by looking at the size, need and trends of the segment. Competition in the country and the ASEAN is also evaluated. The programme adopts a multi-sided platform model and the closed-loop mechanics. Furthermore, the details of how the programme is designed and managed are discussed. At this early stage, many other features still need to be further studied, including the technical development, detailed financial forecast and planning, and team management.