Survey: European banks adopting retail industry techniques to increase revenues
The survey revealed substantive progress among banks in implementing proven retail strategies. Overall, 41 percent of respondents said that they had implemented or will implement within one year at least one program similar to retailersâ€™ initiatives.
Accenture and UniCredit commissioned the Efma to interview 78 senior marketing and retail executives at 60 leading banks across Europe. Respondents represented almost all of the top European institutions.
And, a significant number of respondents said their banks had already begun initiatives similar to those of Best Buy (56 percent), Giorgio Armani (47 percent), and Prenatal (38 percent).
Best Buy had implemented a customer segmentation initiative which identified current and future customer profitability and that segmented customers for appropriate marketing and offers. Giorgio Armaniâ€™s initiative includes in-store and online branding programs targeting Y-generation customers with popular icons, social networking and entertainment. The Italian-based maternity retailer, Prenatal, provides free in-store and online customer education services.
Respondents to the survey were asked to evaluate 16 successful customer initiatives by companies outside the banking industry for their applicability and potential to increase bank revenues and cross-selling.
According to the survey, four out of five respondents (78 percent) believe the customer analytics and behavioral segmentation techniques employed successfully by retailers will be vital to the banksâ€™ future competitiveness.
Respondents also gave high ratings to Prenatal, and BMW received high marks for its â€œbuild your BMWâ€ online product self-configuration tool.
Alessandro Maria Decio, head of UniCreditâ€™s Family and SME division, said: â€œDespite the differences between banks and retailers - in terms of their products and frequency of customer interaction - banks can gain selective inspiration from traditional retail practices.
"Marketing, customer segmentation and the ability to continuously monitor customer needs are key areas where many leading retailers have distinguished themselves. Leveraging these successes for their own business can help banks differentiate their products and services for consumers.â€
Many of the retail strategies considered to have the highest intrinsic potential for banks are also considered among the hardest to implement, according to the survey.
The Apple and NH Hotel customer initiatives were also rated among the top five for having the highest investment and organizational impact.
Piercarlo Gera, managing director of banking distribution and marketing services at Accenture, said: â€œNew service models, with increased focus on digital channels, including social media, are already under development or being implemented to engage with todayâ€™s less loyal customers. Those banks that learn quickly and selectively from the successes of top retailers - particularly in areas such as customer analytics and behavioral segmentation, self-service and customer-centricity - have a clear opportunity to outperform their competitors.â€
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