Retailer Entrefarma turned to Stefanini when it decided to digitally transform its relationship with customers. Entrefarma serves an estimated 500 thousand customers at its 103 stores in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. In a pilot project by Febrafar, an association advocating for independent pharmacies, participating stores implemented a loyalty app for consumers to receive exclusive offers, win discount coupons, and make requests. While the app has many functionalities, its most effective is the ability for clients to chat with the store.
Febrafar and Stefanini Inspiring developed the new digital technology to create a new channel of customer engagement and build a relationship between the stores and clients. Last year the program gained a new benefit, the “digital purchasing voucher”, which was incorporated into Febrafar's loyalty program. The results surpassed expectations with an increase of 300% in allegiance to the digital loyalty card and an increase of 40% in the retention rate of consumers on the platform. Additionally, clients spent an average of 32% more per month than those who only had the traditional loyalty card.
For clients participating in the engagement program, they receive a voucher which can be used on a new visit to the store. The app is now available to all of Febrafar's network of stores participating in the project. With an estimated reach of 1.5 million customers, the initiative has a big impact in Brazil. Felipe Prada, from Stefanini Inspiring, says the new digital functions provides advantages for the consumer since it's a much simpler process in which rewards can be used immediately. Additionally, all rewards can be easily managed through the app.
“For Febrafar stores, the purchase voucher represents a very powerful tool, capable of attracting new clients, converting current clients into loyal ones, and help increase the frequency in which people go to the store”, says Felipe Prada, with Stefanini Inspiring.
The model applied by Febrafar is more widely used by big retail chains in mature markets such as the United States and the United Kingdom. The traditional loyalty programs in operation in Brazil use the coalition concept, where the points awarded are directed to a marketplace and customers can redeem products from any brand. In this format, the store that generates the points loses the opportunities to add more value to its consumer.
“The big differential of Stefanini Inspiring’s solution is the redemption at the same store, which encourages the client to come back to the store and helps construct a long-term relationship”, says João Mota, Stefanini Inspiring’s President.
Febrafar represents 10.8% of the Brazilian pharmaceutical retail market with more than 56 store chains for a total of 9 thousand retail locations. The association produces and disseminates good management practices so independent retailers can compete with larger pharmaceutical chains.
“Our independent store chains are supported by relevant partners, such as Stefanini. As a result from these and other planned actions, affiliates of Febrafar are showing reoccurring growth rates higher than the pharmaceutical retail as a whole. In the last 12 months, Febrafar’s networks grew 21.1%, while the market grew 12.5%” says the President of Febrafar, Edison Tamascia.
Marketing Director and Operations of Entrefarma, Ângelo Vieira, calls the success of the new functions of the app shows the importance of using the right tools.
“The consumers are more demanding. A way to attract them is to make them feel exclusive and this can be done through advantage programs. Stefanini Inspiring brought to us the correct solution, which allowed this to be developed in an organized and successful manner. The result has been extremely positive to our business” said Ângelo Vieira, from Entrefarma.
Through a set of functions, – chat with a pharmacist, content management, offers and coupons in real time, surveys, monitoring of the value journey and customer portal for the storekeeper – Febrafar helped it's associated stores establish a new relationship with customers in a way unique to pharmaceutical retail in Brazil.
“We are an association that wants to constantly offer news to position ourselves as differentials in the market. With this concept in mind, nothing is more logical than leading the development of an app that boosts sales in our pharmacies. With this tool, we will enable a relationship between the stores and the final client, boosting businesses”, says Ney Arruda, Operational Director at Febrafar.
The technology that made the project feasible is a result of a joint effort by Stefanini Inspiring and Febrafar. The Inspiring Engagement Platform solution provided Febrafar's existing loyalty plan new customer relationship and engagement capabilities through innovative applications and technology that enables automated management of the customer’s value journey.
The Inspiring Business Process Server supports the automation of business processes. It works in real time with large volumes of transactions and data and integrates with the current information systems of the company.
Together, Stefanini Inspiring’s two products act in real time, creating a customer journey based on a personalized, fluid, efficient and transparent communication. Together, they enable the pharmacy to offer deals, information, products or personalized services to customers.
Efficiency and Engagement
The initial project involved 26 stores from two pharmacy chains. The retention rate registered on the apps reached 50%, while the market benchmarking was around 7%.
During the observation period, there were 210 thousand interactions by consumers on the app. The search for offers function was accessed the most with 52% of all interactions.
A big feature of this project was the app’s chat, through which consumers exchanged more than 12 thousand messages with the stores. Consumers mainly searched for pharmaceutical customer service and information about products.
Sales were also registered through the chat, confirming the versatility of this new digital channel. The application for each retail chain always suggested the closest store location and connected them directly with a pharmacist. This O2O approach (On-line to Off-line) with human and personalized service is unique in the market, representing one of the big differentiators of Stefanini Inspiring’s platform.
“We had high expectations for the use of the apps, however the results we're getting are impressing us with their relevancy. Consumer store visits increased approximately 35%, and average monthly spending jumped by 20%. Not to mention, our customer satisfaction rate which is also much higher”, explains Febrafar’s director.
“This project with Febrafar demonstrates that the digitalization of the client’s journey, supported in our technological platforms, breaks barriers, innovates business, captures value for the consumer, as well as establish a relationship of trust between the customer and the brand” – Marco Stefanini, founder and CEO of Stefanini
- 2 chains involved in the initial project
- 26 participating stores
- 50% retention x 7% market benchmarking
- 210,000 ++ interactions in 3 months, or an average of 48 interactions per client
- 12,000 message exchanges
- 33,000 product questions
- 1,500 price questions via chat
- 140% increase in purchasing frequency
- 90% increase in the average monthly ticket by the client