NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to leading consultants at ThoughtWorks Retail, retailers that prioritize insights from social clienteling and ongoing conversations with customers can empower sales associates to deliver a personalized experience that shoppers crave and help improve the bottom line during this year’s holiday shopping season.
Simply put, giving sales people the right tools can have a huge impact. A leading global apparel retailer and ThoughtWorks client reported a 2% sales lift during the 2014 holiday season as a result of implementing an “order in-store” mobile solution for its sales associates. The mobile app reduced the amount of sales lost due to not having the right size, color or style in stock, and has reported that more than 500,000 customer orders have been processed through the app. But clienteling moves beyond sales enablement to arm associates with a suite of services that allow them to provide a uniquely tailored set of options that help customers complete their purchase goals.
Luxury retailer Mitchells has brought clienteling to the next level by working with ThoughtWorks to develop a platform that supports one-to-one and one-to-many relationship building. The platform acts as a digital extension of an in-store interaction, allowing staff to curate individual style suggestions based on real preferences and purchase history. For example, if new Dolce & Gabbana stock arrives, associates can easily look up which customers like the brand and send a personalized email with photos of specific items. The initiative has significantly increased sales and store traffic.
Here is a list of five things retailers should be doing now to drive clienteling success:
1. Super Charge Your Sales Associates with Digital
The sales associate is the bridge between customers and the brand experience, and they need progressive tools to be successful. Connected associates, coupled with connected customers, can give multichannel retailers a significant advantage over their pure play counterparts, ensure repeat visits and increased frequency, gain higher job satisfaction for sales associates and win loyal customers.
2. Don’t Think in Channels – Your Customers Don’t
Customers don’t care about “mobile this” and “in-store” that – they care about getting the right product at the right time. Retailers can use these insights to curate products that match a shopper’s lifestyle, not solely based on channel. Successful curation at scale can be achieved by connecting with shoppers through digital channels. Being able to predict consumer preferences from customer conversations can empower sales associates to deliver a more tailored experience.
3. Don’t Push Product – Think Brand Experiences
Today’s consumers visit brick-and-mortar stores for the brand experience and personal interaction. Retailers need to sell distinctive lifestyles and use physical settings to articulate what the brand is about and how that brings value to the customer. Retailers should create an experience that keeps customers entertained and spending additional time in their stores to effectively become a cultural and social hub that’s based on more than just products.
4. Deliver Dynamic Clienteling with Device Independence
Because engagement can happen at anytime, a retailer needs to work in real-time across all channels, giving both shoppers and retailers the freedom to choose how and when to communicate. Sales associates should not be limited to the POS for information gathering, as it’s typically at the end of the visit and too late to influence purchases. Retailers should empower them with information upon customer entry and give them time on the selling floor with the customer to influence decisions.
5. Turn Big Data Into Big Action
Sales associates should be able to leverage customer insights to deliver dynamic ensemble recommendations, allowing marketing teams to turn data into personalized promotions and messaging to retain customers and attract new ones. With the power of big data at their fingertips, sales associates can understand how to deliver a unique experience, offer more relevant products, and increase conversion.
To read ThoughtWorks Retail’s full ebook on this topic, please click here.
ThoughtWorks is rethinking retail. We take a customer-centric approach in accelerating and delivering digital business transformation and unique unified customer experiences. Our retail team accelerates ideas to outcomes quickly and we are driving differentiation to boost your brand. Our agile way of working and lean processes combined with our unbiased approach enables retailers to become more market responsive and ensures rapid time-to-value. Visit us at http://www.thoughtworks.com/retail for more information.