Comarch CLM & Hudson's Bay Company

About Hudson's Bay

Hudson’s Bay Company, incorporated in 1670, is North America’s oldest company and one of the fastest-growing department store retailers in the world. Hudson’s Bay has grown to become Canada’s most prominent department store, today operating at 90 full-line locations and thebay.com. For the first time since the banner’s inception, Hudson’s Bay will open outside of Canada with 10 new stores in the Netherlands in 2017, and an online shopping destination at hudsonsbay.nl. This expansion will introduce a new and exciting hopping experience in the Netherlands, catering to the Dutch market. Hudson’s Bay has established a reputation for quality, service, and style by offering well-edited assortments of exclusive and popular fashion, beauty, home and accessory designers and brands, as well as exclusive food concepts. It is part of the Hudson’s Bay Company brand portfolio.

Business challenges

Hudson’s Bay, unknown to Dutch customers, was seeking a tool to acquire a large number of clients and reach out to them using highly personalized communications and services. In order to do so, the company wanted to collect data on customers about their preferences in terms of brands, products, employees, and communication channels. This information, combined with future purchase histories, would allow Hudson’s Bay to target consumers with personalized loyalty offers, and support in-store sales associates in providing an unprecedented customer experience.

Solutions Provided

The loyalty program for Hudson’s Bay, provided by Comarch, is built on the Comarch Loyalty Management (CLM) Platform and incorporates several innovative technologies such as proximity marketing and location-based services, in-store beacons, and the use of push notifications through the mobile application. The beating heart of the whole project is the Comarch loyalty rules engine (Comarch Loyalty Management) that empowers the mobile application. Together, engine and mobile application create a one-to-one communication channel between the brand, stores, employees and customers. Inside the Hudson’s Bay stores, the platform is supported by a network of small beacons that will gather detailed information on the customer’s location via the use of Bluetooth-technology. This additional technology allows Hudson’s Bay to provide customers with in-store navigation or send them location-based offers and messages. At our client’s request, some extra features were added to the CLM solution. The mobile event calendar allows shop managers to invite customers easily to exclusive events and members can book an appointment at the Hudson’s Bay hair stylist within seconds. The system has an integrated and customized chat tool allowing the customer to contact their preferred sales associate to request information or schedule an appointment.

Project implementation

The project started in mid-December 2016, and was divided into two phases. As the final system delivery date was fixed according to store opening dates, there was no room for delay. The challenge was accepted, and after less than 10 months of implementation and very close cooperation with Hudson’s Bay, a fully integrated and highly customized loyalty system was delivered and released live for its customers.
The first phase consisted of putting in place the Comarch Loyalty Management system and a completely new customer database. We launched a loyalty member portal and mobile application (available for IOS and Android devices), tailored to Hudson’s Bay specifics and allowing customers to enroll in the loyalty program, get news updates and access members-only limited edition offers. This latter functionality, developed exclusively for Hudson’s Bay, allowed customers to order unique designer products before store launching. In order to respect Hudson’s Bay’s tight timelines, basic Phase One functionalities went live in May 2017, while Phase Two delivery continued. In the following three months, Comarch integrated the loyalty engine with all crucial channels such as POS and E-commerce, identity service, co-branded credit card provider, numerous internal Hudson’s Bay systems, and an event tool enabling customers to redeem or buy tickets for exclusive events organized by the company.  

In the meantime, Hudson’s Bay decided to add location-based services with a number of in-store beacons to offer additional services to its customers (i.e. in-store guidance and location-based offers) and support sales with additional customer data. Therefore, a parallel project was launched and additional integrations with a number of internal and third-party systems were carried out. These integrations enabled the delivery of additional functionalities such as an event-tool for booking appointments with preferred sales representatives or for beauty workshops in-store, and a live chat tool for direct communication between customers and sales associates. All this was carried out within the same strict timelines. Upon completion, Comarch began providing Hudson’s Bay with ongoing technical support and maintenance. Everything is hosted in Comarch Data Centers in Dresden, Germany.

During the entire project, Comarch’ s strategy consultants supported the Hudson’s Bay teams with technical and business consulting, to help them make the most of the new business opportunities offered by the technologies and define the optimal IT architecture landscape.

More About The Implemented Product

Comarch Loyalty Management

One of the main challenges for customer-oriented enterprises is to create a strong bond between customers and the brand.

Benefits for the clinet

The Comarch CLM project offers Hudson’s Bay various benefits and access to the knowledge of the
Comarch experts:

  • Comarch Loyalty Management solutions, fluently integrated in the Hudson’s Bay IT infrastructure
  • An intuitive web application to handle loyalty management rules
  • Deep insights into the customer preferences
  • Mobile application available for Android and iOS
  • A direct, app-based communications channel between the brand, shop owner, in-store sales associate and customer (customized loyalty offers)
  • Beacon technology for location-specific targeting
  • Loyalty management consulting, and a strategy customized by Comarch experts
  • In-store application for sales associates

Customer Feedback & Business Results

Comarch has proven itself to be a trustworthy business and IT provider, flexible and open to changes, delivering on time and with the expected quality. We asked what Comarch had brought to this challenging project to ensure its success, and the answer was: innovation, business consulting, retail and loyalty experience.
The program has only been operational for a couple of months, but it already contains a large customer database, and the number of mobile application downloads keeps growing. Comarch and Hudson’s Bay have a number of innovative ideas for further enhancing the project.

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