Coop runs 1,230 grocery stores and supermarkets in Norway, under a number of different chains, including: Obs, Extra, Coop Prix, Coop Mega, Coop Market, and Matkroken. In addition, Coop has over 120 hardware stores and online stores under the Obs BYGG and Coop Byggmix labels. Coop is owned by its members through local associations and currently has 1.5m members and co-owners in Norway.
While email is the most effective marketing channel for many businesses today, Coop Norway was experiencing some serious challenges with its marketing e-newsletter. Several different parties were issuing mailings on behalf of Coop, including marketing agencies and the various chain brands. There were inadequate procedures, processes and solutions for email list cleaning. Multiple recipient lists were maintained at different locations, and there was no unified customer database. With this lack of consistency, many of their messages were being trapped by spam filters giving them a poor reputation with public email services. It was on Black Friday in 2016 when its challenge became evermore visible, after Obs and Obs BYGG spent several hours trying to send 160,000 emails. Ambitious targets for tripled Black Friday sales in 2017, spurred the company on to make a change.
A longtime user of Episerver CMS and Episerver Commerce, Coop decided to add Episerver Campaign to its platform as the next logical step. Episerver Campaign is a solution for automated marketing communication. It provides powerful cross-channel campaign management including email, SMS, and campaign analytics.
For a large retailer with 1.5m members and multiple store concepts, it was a complex and time-consuming task to migrate IT solutions. As a pilot for Episerver Campaign, the two chains, Obs hypermarkets and Obs BYGG hardware stores, were selected to build the organisation’s skills and develop new communication solutions.
As Coop switched to Episerver Campaign for sending newsletters, it gained access to a well-reputed sender IP. Coop also activated two new sender domains, obsbygg.no and obs.no.
The entire process from evaluation to implementation moved quickly and seamlessly. The agreement was signed in September 2017 and the first releases were made in November. For a large and complex retail operation like Coop, this was an impressive feat – considering everything that had to be settled in terms of technical development, templates, mailing lists, security, consent, GDPR and segmenting. With the new sender IP and new sender domains, the delivery rate to recipients immediately increased.
“The benefits for Coop were quickly evident,” says Øyvind Moen, who was the main driving force behind the initiative.
"Our production was more efficient, with fewer people involved. We could do more work in-house, which strengthened our ownership of the newsletters. We also got a shorter path for integration with Episerver content, to obtain product and pricing information. Our ability to test and measure the effects of mailings also improved.
One minute 50 seconds after pressing the send button for its Black Friday campaign in 2017, 150,000 emails were delivered.
Coop exceeded their ambitious sales targets. Together, the Coop chains posted a 70% revenue increase from email campaigns compared to Black Friday 2016.
Coop has pushed forward by adding double opt-in, automated welcome letters, and more marketing automation features. Using Episerver Campaign, Coop has continued enhancing communications with members and visitors to all of its store chains.
- Øyvind Moen – E-handelskonsulent i Coop Faghandel Norge