Tim McCreadie, Director of Cutco Stores, started working with eSite when the direct-to-consumer company wanted to explore opening retail stores in popular markets. Here, he talks about the tough decisions Cutco’s been facing and how spatial analytics has made all the difference.
Why site selection strategies?
Good question. The direct marketing model has been very profitable for Cutco. We’ve been around since 1949 and have a very loyal customer base. And, because our products are so dependable, the hands-on nature of in-home demonstrations is a very reliable selling tool.
Having said all that, we felt it was time to test drive a few retail stores as another way to interface with our 11 million customers. We needed to verify that the markets and sites we were considering would be wise investments. eSite’s analytics did just that.
How will eSite’s analytics guide Cutco in the future?
At first we just wanted to ensure direct marketing and retail stores could successfully coexist in the same markets. Eventually, we’ll be looking to take our store concept to a national level. That’s when eSite’s customer insights will play a big role in site selections. The firm’s scientific insights will likely be the difference between a store that adds to a market’s profitability and one we might otherwise have to consider closing in a couple of years.
What’s one of your favorite ways to use eSite Tools™?
It sure is nice to have eSite as a partner when we’re considering a city I don’t know. The firm’s analysts can use their software to profile an entire market and map out the perfect locations for our brand. And I don’t even have to get on a plane! We can narrow down options to one store location that’s guaranteed to be successful, and do it all from the comfort of my office with nothing but a laptop. That’s a whole lot better than flying to a city two or three times to check out sites and then hope we’ve selected the right one.
Are there any insights that have proved especially valuable?
If you had asked our company 20 years ago what our demographic was, we may have had a couple of executives who could get close to defining our most loyal customers. But we’ve never been able to really identify who, exactly, we were marketing to until we started working with eSite. Now we can really segment our clientele, see what they like (and don’t like) and incorporate all those meticulous details into our sales training tools and retail strategies.