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e5 mode

Additional marketing campaigns in regions with a substandard performance compared with the forecast sales figures.

The Belgian fashion chain E5 mode has 70 stores in Belgium, 55 in Flanders and 15 in Wallonia. In 2017, the retailer was named the best retail chain and best online store in Belgium for men’s fashion.

E5 mode was one of RetailSonar’s first customers. Tine Verschelden, CRM manager: “We regularly made calculations to define new locations or analyse our stores’ results. Time-intensive calculations. That is why we were searching for a good tool that could save us some time. That allowed us to decide quickly whether it was a go or a no go.”

They did not rush into this. “We started with a test. We pushed all the business data we had at our disposal at that time in the tool to see which figures the RetailSonar platform forecast. We then compared this with the effective figures. After a while, we were able to check which parameters effectively mattered for us, which allowed us to create a highly reliable geomodel. It is an illusion that you can be 100% accurate, even when you make the calculations yourself.”

“We also found it important to involve our stores and local district managers in the process to guarantee that we would receive qualitative input to fine-tune our parameters. Over the years, we developed this process, along with RetailSonar, tweaking it here and there to arrive at even more predictive results.”

“E5 mode uses the RetailSonar platform in three ways: to determine new locations, to benchmark the various locations and determine where we should spend our marketing budget for the best results.”

“On the one hand, we calculate the possible impact of a new, possible location on the E5 network as a whole. E.g., how much of a cannibalisation effect this has on the existing locations. This does not always have to be negative. RetailSonar, for example, calculated that our new store in Rijkevorsel would cannibalise our Turnhout store, but that the total of the two shops combined would benefit our network. Which effectively proved the case.”

The ex post control has become a habit for E5 mode: “After one year, we compare the forecasts with the effective sales figure per post code. If we notice significant differences, we try to understand to what this is due. Sometimes we overestimate the influence of a large city centre nearby. Or we see that some regions do better than we predicted.”

But besides location planning, E5 mode also uses the platform to determine where their marketing budget can be most effectively used. “We will mainly distribute flyers in those regions with a lot of potential or where our performance is substandard compared with what the model indicates.”

What does she appreciate the most about her partnership with RetailSonar? “It is a user-friendly and powerful tool. I also value the easy-going cooperation. The team knows exactly what it is doing and is always at your disposal when you have questions.”

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