The North Face CRM/Loyalty iPad Application

The North Face holds events across the country, from races and competitions, to lectures, to film screenings. These events provide customer relationship management (CRM) opportunities to enroll attendees in their VIPeak loyalty program and email newsletter. Previously, these sign-ups were handled through a difficult-to-install and use iPad application which created challenges for community managers to set up, as well as a manual process of exporting sign-ups to CSV files which had to then be processed by The North Face’s CRM team. The Forest was tasked with rebuilding this platform in order to create an easier-to-use, automated system that integrated with all of The North Face’s CRM channels.

Application and Event Set-Up

Previously, in order to create a new event to capture sign-ups, the iPad app had to be reinstalled every time. This was inconvenient, both from instructing community managers how to do this, and because wifi was needed to download the application (which wasn’t always available at their events).

We rebuilt the platform so that the application only needed to be installed once, and both event and software updates would be handled through a central application server and CMS. This allowed community managers to create an event once and sync all of the information to all of the iPads being used at an event (versus the manual process of installing an event-specific application for each event). If wifi isn’t available at the event, a manager can create the event locally on the iPad and sync it once they have a wifi connection, merging multiple instances of the event into one record.

Customer Data Collection

Each iPad at an event captures sign-ups individually, merging all sign-ups to the central database when a wifi connection is established. This automation of syncing and uploading records to the central database replaces the need for community managers to manually export a CSV from each iPad, streamlining this process and reducing any errors along the way.

Part of streamlining data collection is the automation of data to various North Face CRM channels. By automating data to The North Face’s internal CRM platform, email marketing platform, and loyalty platform, we significantly reduced the amount of time it takes to enter potential customers into marketing and loyalty programs.

“Select a Winner” Functionality

A new feature for the app is the ability to select “winners” for any contests or raffles held at The North Face’s events. By using this feature, community managers can randomly select a person who entered their information (whether they opted into marketing and/or the loyalty program or not) to win a prize. This functionality simplified the process of selecting winners, which used to take place after events once data was collected and downloaded.

App Administration

Access to the iPad app is controlled through an online system where administrators can create events, check sync status, and change users and passwords. The realtime online dashboard provides the CRM team with visibility into record gathering every event, where records are in the syncing process to internal channels, and the ability to download a CSV of all data should it be necessary.

The online dashboard also allows the CRM team to enter data which feeds to the iPad apps. Beyond the ability to create new events which sync to all iPads, the online dashboard includes the ability to create, edit, and delete event types, activity categories, and The North Face retail locations.

Data Syncing

Since the iPads at events may or may not have wifi access, the data flow has a number of failsafe measures in place. All data is stored locally on the iPads until they have wifi access, when this data then syncs to the online dashboard. Events can also be created locally on iPads without wifi access, then once wifi access is obtained they merge with existing event records if the event has already been created (either via the online dashboard or from a separate iPad).

This project launched while I was (and currently am) Creative Director at The Forest For The Trees. I was responsible for information architecture, user experience, creative and brand direction, and design.