One of the fastest trending tech investments for retail brands is clienteling, a retail technique that empowers store associates with a customer and product data so they can handhold customers through browsing and buying to deliver personalised customer experiences. 

Accenture’s Pulse Check Survey reported that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognise, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations. 

Therefore, with customer data at their fingertips, store associates can communicate with customers to share new range launches, recommend complementary products, and acknowledge special occasions to enhance the shopping experience. Furthermore, virtual clienteling appointments and remote payments allow store associates to connect with the customer at home.  

Rapid and long-lasting retail gains  with clienteling technologies

Retailers see a 35% average increase in secondary purchases after implementing clienteling technology.  According to Attune consultants, clienteled customers spend 3.5 to 4 times more annually, they are 33% more likely to become repeat customers, and their average transaction size is 63% bigger than for ‘non-clienteled’ shoppers.

Clienteling technologies can boost store associate satisfaction and retention, with business resource leaders Expert Market seeing employees’ productivity increase by as much as 25% due to improved training and knowledge levels.  

Store associates can locate stock in another store or online, and reserve or ship it to the customer, enabling a frictionless experience for customers. With inventory distortion a serious issue for retailers, clienteling is a boon to mitigate sales attrition and reduce costs.  

Key foundations for successful clienteling  

Some key foundations for effective clienteling technologies will increase brand loyalty, drive operational performance and boost sales over the long term:  

A truly omnichannel approach  

The only way to enable this powerful customer insight is complete, cross-channel access to customer information coupled with detailed knowledge of the entire product range and how it matches their preferences. Integration across the board into one single platform with everything the store associate needs open up opportunities for increased sales, with seamless cross-channel baskets and follow-up communications.  

Clienteling is most effective when used across online and in-store experiences. Especially in industries like luxury, furniture and beauty, where personalised consultations with a brand expert can walk a customer through the products, it’s more likely customers will return to the store to see products in person.  

The importance of the right data for clienteling technologies

It’s all down to customer data providing real-time insight into customer preferences, behaviours, and purchases to drive a seamless, personalised customer experience.  With an in-store clienteling app, the true innovation is in connecting ever-present consumer phones, staff tablets and fixed display screens to each other in real-time via cloud platforms as well as to back-end systems such as eCommerce and CRM so that retailers can leverage their huge amounts of data to delight their customers.  

Data held on customers, products, stores, and brands must be harnessed by orchestrating millions of data points and multiple reporting systems into a single, accessible view. Retailers have real-time monitoring of individual stores, with unique control of in-store stock and customer activity.  

Seamlessly check out in-store and online   

Allowing customers to seamlessly check out wherever they are is vital to providing a full experience to checkout and beyond. Two-way integration with online accounts enables an undisrupted journey from online browsing to the in-store experience and back again for complete-at-home purchases, which allows for safe store operations. With mobile PoS a customer can easily check out after they’ve left the store with remote payments, emailed reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups.  

With customers demanding swifter and more flexible fulfilment of orders, choices such as click and collect/BOPAK (buy online pick up at kerbside) have become even further embedded into the experience.  

Direct messaging channels  

A direct messaging channel is required to give tailored updates including product and event waitlists, ensuring customers are the first to know about new product launches and re-stocked products. A unified chat screen allows personalised message exchange via each customer’s preferred channel – video calls, push notification, email, text and WhatsApp – including delivery updates.  Retailers can share new collections and inspiration boards through 1-to-1 or group communications, and easily build wish lists for in-store appointments and virtual consultations from home.  

Improved reporting functionality 

an image showing two people in the analytics team reporting on the retail performance through clienteling  technologies.

All this information embedded into rich clienteling dashboards provides a complete view of each customer, including purchase history, wish lists, sizing, preferences, and communications. In customising the dashboards for different user levels, store associates, managers and head office can easily access retail analytics that is most relevant to their roles and responsibilities.  

Retailers can effectively benchmark performance, predict retention rates, spot trends, and allocate resources with real-time retail dashboards that pinpoint product popularity, stock levels, voucher redemption, speed of service, average purchase value and more – they can act on this insight to make effective business decisions.  

Aim for a perfect blend of online and in-store  

There’s no doubt that optimising the blended in-store and online customer experience must involve digital innovation and intelligent data management. This means smart communication based on personalised information and incorporating wider aspects such as social and environmental preferences.  

With deep knowledge of the customer, combined with stock availability and product information, retailers can generate loyalty moments by offering quality human interactions to customers, wherever they are – online or in-store. 

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