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CommBank helps unlock opportunities for businesses

An insights tool from CommBank is helping businesses learn more about their customers to improve overall customer experiences

Graham Greenhalgh’s father was a butcher, as was his grandfather and great-grandfather. It stands to reason that Greenhalgh knows a bit about the meat retail business. 

For more than 30 years, Greenhalgh has worked in customer-facing businesses, one of which ranked among Australia’s biggest wholesale exporters of meat. But like all good business operators, Greenhalgh knows there’s always more to learn. 

About 18 months ago, his family took over the Australian Meat Emporium, just before bushfires and a global pandemic sent many Australian businesses into a spin. 

The group serves about 4000 customers a week and boasts the biggest walk-in cool room in Sydney at 1,000sqm which holds in excess of $500,000 worth of meat inventory. They are a high-quality, low-cost operator, actively looking to scale and open more outlets.

Being a food retailer, the Australian Meat Emporium was not subject to lockdown and the pandemic in fact led to a surge in customers, a lift in profit and an opportunity to assess what was and wasn’t working well in the business. In the space of two weeks, turnover quadrupled. 

The group had a five-year strategy to build customer numbers but within those two weeks they hit 50 percent above that five-year target. That figure may have been an anomaly created by the pandemic but it’s been an opportunity for the group to focus on customer retention. 

Speaking from the company farm nestled on the western slopes of the Kosciusko range where he runs 3000 cattle on about 8000 acres, Greenhalgh, whose job title is Managing Director, says his fundamental interest is the consumer – what makes them tick, why do they purchase meat, what do they want to buy and what are the emerging trends.

He’s always on the lookout for ways to learn more about customers and says CommBank’s Daily IQ tool (available with a CommBank Business Transaction Account or a CommBank EFTPOS terminal settling into a CommBank settlement account) gives him the data he needs to deliver better value to the consumer and improve their experience. “We don’t have money to throw away. So to be able to get those insights for free is of massive value to us,” Greenhalgh says.

The group uses the demographics tool to pull data on age and gender which they can use to target product and improve customer service. The data is used to inform push advertising to the group’s target demographic. The research is reinforced by talking to customers in store about what they like and don’t like. 

Each week the group runs a report focusing on demographic data and once a month they do a “heat map” to learn more about where their customers are coming from. That then informs localised advertising and ensures the advertising budget is being used for maximum effect.

Greenhalgh says he also used Daily IQ to help with the group’s online strategy. He can better understand the location of sales activity so he can then ensure he has adequate delivery systems in place.

“It’s a terrific vehicle for us. And the beauty is, it’s painless. To be able to get insights that help you deliver something that doesn’t annoy anybody but makes the consumer experience better and cheaper, that’s what everyone in business is trying to do,” he says. 

“We only pull certain information, but I’m sure it’s got more horsepower than that.”

CommBank is dedicated to supporting Australian retailers to achieve their vision. For more information on how we can help your business visit commbank.com.au/retailinsights or email us at insights@cba.com.au

Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945

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