Sports retailer Decathlon is using Microsoft Azure and ASP.NET – a Microsoft framework for building web application and services – to improve its customer loyalty programme in Romania. These technologies have given the firm access to key data insights to deliver discounts and experiences that are tailored to its local customers.
Decathlon Romania worked with technology partner Zitec to build a mobile application for the new programme. “We saved approximately 15 per cent on development costs by using Azure as the foundation of the loyalty application, because we didn’t need to set up operating systems or runtime database infrastructure,” said Paul Matache, project manager at Zitec. “When it comes to operating costs, there were considerable savings too. We estimate about 50 per cent savings by operating this platform in Azure versus on-premises as we don’t need to worry about disaster recovery, availability, scaling or provisioning of resources.”
The partnership also used ASP.NET, which Marian Diaconu, IT Director at Decathlon, says “sped up the development process, reduced infrastructure administration requirements and enhanced the platform’s security and scalability”.
By extracting relevant customer data from its French headquarters, Decathlon Romania was able to tailor the new app to its local market. “We used Azure Data Factory to import the relevant client transactions into our application,” said Diaconu. “Then, we used the Azure SQL database in the Azure App Service for storage and analysis. Using the SQL database, Decathlon employees can easily answer to customer requests regarding their transactions, points, and vouchers, along with their statuses. They also have the option to generate points-based or voucher-based reports for certain periods.”
The app integrates with Decathlon’s Romanian website, enabling customers to easily check information about points, vouchers or benefits. “The overall feedback from customers about the programme has been very good,” said Cezar Nicolaescu, data and marketing leader at Decathlon. “This shows the added value we’re offering.”
In addition, Decathlon employees can access real-time information into the usage rate of vouchers and conversion rate of the loyalty points. “It gives us a clearer picture of how effectively the loyalty programme is operating and what we can do to improve the customer satisfaction related to it,” added Nicolaescu.
With the success of the programme, Decathlon plans to add new functionalities using Azure and roll out versions in Belgium and Czech Republic.