The Co-operative Group adds customer surveys to chip and Pin terminals

The Co-operative Group has adapted chip and Pin terminals at the point of sale to survey customers' opinions as they shop.

The Co-operative Group has adapted chip and Pin terminals at the point of sale to survey customers' opinions as they shop.

The project has allowed The Co-operative Group to gather 250,000 customer responses from stores around the country within 24 hours, a process that normally takes 6 weeks.

The software could potentially save the Co-operative Group £1.2m by reducing the need to hire third-party mystery shoppers.

Lawrence Freeman, The Co-operative Group's development manager, said, "We are getting between 5% and 50% response rate, which is better than traditional surveys."

In the future, The Co-operative Group hopes to generate revenue from suppliers by conducting surveys on their behalf.

The in-house developed application, based on the .net programming framework and Smart Technology Solutions' (STS) SmartNS chip & Pin terminal software, allows The Co-operative Group to schedule questions and transmit them to targeted stores. Data from each survey is stored centrally in a Teradata data warehouse, which provides business the retailer with real-time data analysis.

The Co-operative Group completed the roll-out of the software across all 1,700 UK stores in mid-December. During 2008 it plans to roll out to a further 500 UK stores.

The Co-operative Group was formed from United Co-operative following a merger of the two co-operatives in July 2007. Freeman is planning to submit the project for the Retail Solutions Awards 2008 which takes place in June.

How it works

- Managers set and schedule questions at head office

- Questionnaire transmitted to back office systems of targeted stores

- The stores' chip and Pin terminal are configured with the new question using STS SmartNS

- Data is collected in a Teradata data warehouse

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