#LEAwards 2020 highlight: CapitaStar sparkles with innovative loyalty push for retailers

Taking home the silver awards for Best loyalty programme – Retailer and Most innovative loyalty programme at this year’s Loyalty and Engagement award is CapitaStar. Launched in 2011, CapitaStar is CapitaLand loyalty rewards programme. Designed to be a holistic consumer and retailer platform to enable the implementation of CapitaLand’s omni-channel retail strategy, the objective of CapitaStar is to create a seamless shopping and lifestyle experience across CapitaLand’s retail ecosystem.

This includes integrating physical and digital touchpoints across 17 of its retail mall properties to provide a 24/7 new retail experience for consumers.

Recognised as one of Singapore’s top loyalty rewards programmes, with over one million members since inception, the main value-exchange for a CapitaStar member happens in the form of:

  • An acquisition utility – Earning of STAR$ when members scan receipts for all in-mall purchases across CapitaLand malls and strategic partner networks to help CapitaLand build data set ecosystem of shopper behaviour and trends for data-driven marketing.

  • An exchange utility – Members gain access to direct benefits through the usage of STAR$® for exclusive retailer’s rewards or exchange STAR$ for CapitaVouchers or eCapitaVouchers.

Challenge

With changing consumer behaviours and economic landscapes, the challenges faced by the brand was largely around standing out amidst a competitive and saturated retail mall industry in Singapore. Today there is intense competition within the retail loyalty programme space with many programmes having very little points of differentiation in the eye of the consumer.  This comes at a time when shoppers are seeking for experiential retail from brick-and-mortar retailers where key connections hinges on attributes such as lifestyle relevancy and relatability.

The brand also saw that consumers moving towards a world of digital payments, purchase and touchpoints presented a big challenge for physical retail owners and their interactions with shoppers. Convenience-seeking consumers were now turning to food-ordering platforms for delivery, affecting the viability of physical dining-in and takeaways. Meanwhile, ease of purchase through global e-commerce channels presented a threatening dynamic, potentially creating a perceived redundancy for brick and mortar businesses.

On the retailers front, it found that many of the shop owners remained impetus towards incorporating digital strategies and technologies as part of their business model due to the perceived high operating costs required.

Strategy

CapitaLand knew that it needed to future-proof its business and support retailers through the CapitaStar platform, and cultivate physical retail as a key destination for “unique sensory shopping experiences”.

With a primary target audience spread across the entire shopper network within Singapore, it needed to create advocates marrying a hybrid of relevant, cumulative rewards with tangible benefits beyond its retail ecosystem, so shoppers would desire to be part of the programme.

Retailers formed its secondary target audience, where CapitaLand needed to position CapitaStar as a marketing solution increase retailer brand equity and sales conversion.

The overarching key consideration of its executions was to enhance CapitaLand’s omni-channel retail strategy - merging offline to online experiences permeated with unique retail concepts, engaging sensorial content and lifestyle offerings – allowing for the brand to help retailers reach out to more consumers and access new revenue streams and monetisation opportunities 24/7.

On the shopper-end, CapitaLand also wanted to provide a comprehensive shopping experience for CapitaStar members. It wanted to keep shoppers within CapitaLand’s retail ecosystem and to maximise a members’ life-time value through the CapitaStar programme. Overall, it aimed to to unite shoppers and retailers through CapitaStar and its various enhancements and pivots, to achieve strong brand association of being synonymous with lifestyle rewards programme that drives authentic value.

Execution

With this in mind, it created a four-benefits approach for the CapitaStar programme:

  1. Allowing retailers to acquire new customers

 To drive shopper-to-retailer engagement, retailers are encouraged to run tactical marketing campaigns with exclusive rewards listed in the CapitaStar app. This allowed members to utilise their STAR$ for direct benefits. With this in mind, CapitaLand aimed to increase receipt size and transaction frequency for retailers. To date, it have more than 150 rewards on the CapitaStar app monthly, with a conversion rate of approximately 70%.

To adapt to rising digitisation and cashless solutions, CapitaLand also introduced eCapitaVoucher(s). With eCapitaVoucher marketed as the perfect digital gifting solution, shoppers can buy or gift eCapitaVoucher(s) at their convenience and reap the benefits for spend by exchanging the STAR$ accrued for eCapitaVouchers via the CapitaStar App.

On the retailer’s end, with approximately SG$95 million worth of CapitaVouchers/eCapitaVouchers are now sold annually. CapitaLand also encourages acceptance of CapitaVouchers and eCapitaVouchers as a form of currency in-store, so that retailers can tap onto this large pool of customers with no supplementary costs.

  1. Power intelligent retail through targeted marketing and data-driven analytics

 In-depth shopper data is acquired through the platform and the insight is shared with retail partners to embark on customised, targeted marketing campaigns to specified customer demographic/psychographic segments to drive optimised sales conversions.

The data from CapitaStar also forms its retail data analysis for its other business units where CapitaLand augment shopper data sets to establish a deeper study of trend predictions in consumer behaviour to optimise its real-estate footprint and retail tenant mix.  CapitaLand also embraced gamification and automation in all its CapitaStar campaigns to drive cyclical offline-to-online engagement.

For example, its ongoing “Triple-Bonus” spend campaign allowed CapitaStar members to be automatically rewarded with eCapitaVouchers upon meeting prescribed in-mall spend qualifiers.

  1. A Strong partner alliance in parallel with CapitaStar

CapitaStar has built a strong slate of partnership alliances where each partner strategically complements the  programme. This allows for a mutually-benefitting member acquisition advantage whilst creating a robust community retail environment and all-rounded value proposition through each CapitaStar members’ purchase life-cycle.

  1. Expanding on eCommerce capabilities

Launched on 1st June 2020, Capita3Eats and eCapitaMall (food delivery platform and ecommerce respectively) were established to serve as a business continuity solution and valueadded service for retailers who have been greatly affected amidst the COVID-19 situation, as well as to provide a platform for retailers to tap on e-commerce capabilities without having to invest in large capital expenditure or complex logistical infrastructures. .

 ▪ Capita3Eats – This is a value added service where the platform will provide a dedicated and complete end-to-end solution for retailers to digitize their restaurant operations from order, payment to delivery, allowing for shoppers to fulfil their food orders through delivery, takeaway or dine-in.

▪ eCapitaMall – As part of CapitaLand’s new retail ecosystem that offers shoppers the flexibility to seamlessly browse and shop from familiar and sought-after brands available across our malls islandwide both online and offline.

Capita3Eats and eCapitaMall were part of CapitaStar’s progressive e-commerce enhancements which was accelerated to launch on 1st June 2020. The predominant message was to highlight on the bold, new and elevated experiences on CapitaStar – where shoppers can shop online or order their favourite food from eCapitaMall and Capita3Eats respectively – encompassing a ‘We Are Here for You 24/7’ theme where our touchpoints are available 24/7.

Results

Today, CapitaStar stands as a main driver of CapitaLand Retail’s digital engagement in terms of bridging communications with its members – even through circuit-breaker which severely affected CapitaLand’s core brick and mortar business. Through CapitaStar, CapitaLand Retail was able to continue with constant consumer engagement and open communications with its members, enabling it to still support retailers through tumultuous times with an additional communications channel.

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Overall, in terms of CapitaStar’s membership programme growth, it now has nearly 1.1 million members. Through members’ scanned receipts and retailer rewards utilization which stands at an average conversion rate of 70%, it can capture sales transaction data, allowing for data sets to be built based on sales matrixes.

Additionally, retailers who offer exclusive-to-CapitaStar rewards see

  • An increase in average receipt size;
  • An increase in the number of transactions;
  • An increase in overall sales as compared to previous periods ;
  • Re-engagement of past-customers whom have not transacted recently in their store;
  • Acquisition of new customers with attributable spend.

In terms of commercial business objectives for both Capita3Eats and eCapitaMall, CapitaLand has garnered very encouraging sales results for both platforms in just the first month of launch.

Currently, it has signed on more than 280 retailers from its retail ecosystem – Capita3Eats offers a rich variety of culinary delights from over 100 F&B brands, and with many more to look forward to in the pipeline, while eCapitaMall has over 130 merchants which span across fashion, beauty, electronics, home and living categories. Both platforms are on track to onboard 500 online merchants by end-2020.

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