Cover Story: Getting Organized
The Container Store, a leading multichannel retailer of storage and organization products, understands the importance of having a cross-channel retail strategy: Developing cross-channel customers pads its bottom line.
"We know that our multichannel customers are about three times more valuable to us, so we do focus on developing more of them," says Catherine Davis, direct marketing manager for The Container Store. "We've learned that customers who shop both online and in stores dramatically outperform the rest of the customer base, and are the fastest-growing segment."
The Coppell, Tex.-based company was started by Chairman and CEO Kip Tindell and Chairman Emeritus Garrett Boone in 1978 with one retail store in northern Dallas. It currently sells its storage and organization solutions through catalogs, a transactional website and 48 retail stores nationwide. Just two years after opening its first store, the company launched its first catalog, and in 1992 started offering a mail order form in its catalogs, making it a true multichannel retailer. In 2000, The Container Store launched its transactional website. Currently, web and catalog sales make up 10 percent of the company's total revenues.
One way The Container Store develops cross-channel customers is through consistent brand messaging across all of its customer communications. "Whatever the theme is for a particular campaign we're running, we make sure our messaging is consistent," Davis says, "whether it's online in our email marketing, affiliate marketing and search marketing programs, offline in our direct mail campaigns, or on billboards, radio, TV and newspaper ads."
GoShop! Click & Pickup
A big part of The Container Store's strategy of cultivating multichannel customers stems from its GoShop! Click & Pickup program, which was launched in Oct. 2008 in all of its stores. The program allows customers to pick up purchases at a store within two hours of ordering online.