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Royal Doulton supports drive for online sales with new CRM suite

Daniel Thomas
Ceramics maker Royal Doulton will go live later this month with a new customer relationship management system that will underpin a drive to boost online sales revenue.

The company is rolling out the latest version of Blue Martini's Intelligent Selling suite, covering relationship marketing, call centre, content management and business intelligence software, in an attempt to improve sales conversion rates of potential customers visiting the website to 5%.

The Blue Martini 6 roll-out is part of a wide-ranging overhaul of Royal Doulton's e-commerce operation designed to increase the number of products offered online and widen the customer base.

"Conversion rates have traditionally been low on the web as we have had a very static environment," said George Kenton, general manager of global CRM and e-tailing at Royal Doulton.

The company will use the software to gain a better understanding of its customers, improve marketing campaigns and ensure the product mix online is relevant, Kenton said.

Royal Doulton said it suffered integration difficulties with a new JDA supply chain management system in 1998.

The company therefore anticipated potential problems in integrating the Blue Martini software with its MFG Pro ERP and Boss warehousing systems, but they have not materialised, Kenton said.

"Our ERP system is based on older technology, so that is where we thought the problems would be, but we have had no difficul-ties linking the systems," he said. "All the interfaces are working fine."

Kenton said that, given the company's previous IT integration problems, the Royal Doulton board took a sceptical view of IT investment but the Blue Martini CRM implementation was felt to be crucial.

"This was very much looked at in isolation," he said. "We believe that this will be fundamental to the growth of the business. The numbers I used to justify the investment were based around the growth in e-tail."

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