Customer engagement

How is Clienteling Pivotal to Modern Retail Growth?

  • book T-ROC Staff
  • calendar Feb 17, 2024
  • clock 5 mins read

The retail landscape is constantly evolving. Consumer expectations and shopping habits have fundamentally shifted over the last decade with the rise of e-commerce and mobile technology. Brick-and-mortar stores can no longer rely on the traditional retail playbook to drive sales, and retailers must adopt innovative strategies and transform the in-store experience to thrive amidst digital disruption.

One emerging approach that is revolutionizing the relationship between sales associates and customers is clienteling. Forward-thinking retailers are embracing clienteling to foster meaningful, personalized engagements that promote long-term growth.

What is the Role of Clienteling in Retail?

Clienteling is the practice of retail sales associates developing personalized relationships with customers to provide an enhanced shopping experience. With clienteling, associates use technology like mobile apps and customer data to access information about individual customers such as past purchases, sizing, likes/dislikes, and more. This allows associates to provide personalized service, product recommendations, and a tailored experience during each store visit.

The goal of clienteling is to improve customer service, increase engagement, build loyalty, and drive sales by transforming impersonal transactions into personalized interactions.

What are Clienteling Platforms?

Clienteling platforms are transformative tools that empower businesses to elevate their customer engagement strategies. These platforms harness the power of data-driven insights, offering a comprehensive view of customer preferences, purchase histories, and behaviors. By leveraging this wealth of information, businesses can provide highly personalized experiences, tailoring recommendations and services to individual customers.

Clienteling platforms streamline and enhance the customer journey, fostering lasting relationships and building brand loyalty. With features such as appointment scheduling, omnichannel messaging, and integration with CRM systems, these platforms optimize the efficiency of sales associates, ensuring a seamless and cohesive customer experience.

How Sales Associates Employ Clienteling Solutions for Customer Service

Sales associates use clienteling software to identify customers, access their profiles, and engage in personalized conversations. When a customer enters the store, sales associates can discreetly look them up via mobile app to view past purchases, sizing, likes/dislikes, occasions, and more.

With this context, associates can proactively approach customers to provide personalized service. For example, greeting them by name, asking about satisfaction with previous purchases, making recommendations based on their preferences, helping them find sizes that fit well, and more. Associates log all interactions in the app, so the next associate can pick up where the last one left off.

How Past Purchases Factor into Clienteling

Visibility into customers’ past purchases is one of the most powerful components of clienteling. With purchase history integrated into customer profiles, sales associates can reference specifics like items bought, colors, sizes, fit feedback, occasions purchased for, and more.

Associates can use this data to make relevant small talk about previous purchases customers loved or recommend complementary items in preferred colors and sizes. It also helps associates identify opportunities to fill gaps in the customer’s wardrobe based on what they’ve bought before.

How Clienteling Enhances the Shopping Experience

Clienteling improves the in-store shopping experience by enabling sales associates to deliver tailored, high-touch customer service. With access to customer data and profiles, associates can provide personalized attention from the moment customers enter the store.

Associates can save customers time by pulling items in their size or preferred styles ahead of time while surprising and delighting them with relevant recommendations and remembering small details that make interactions feel more genuine and human.

What a Customer Profile Entails in a Clienteling Context

A customer profile in a clienteling solution captures all the data collected on an individual customer from their history of store interactions and purchases. This typically includes details like:

  • Contact info and demographics like name, age, and location
  • Purchase data – items bought, colors, sizes, prices, occasions
  • Product preferences – likes, dislikes, favorites, wish list
  • Sizing info and fit feedback
  • Special occasions
  • Customer notes/comments from sales associates

Profiles may also include stylistic preferences, lifestyle and activities, and photographic style profiles to further personalize recommendations.

Nurturing a Loyal Customer Base with Clienteling

Clienteling provides the personalized service and engagement consumers now expect. By implementing clienteling strategies like store associate apps and CDPs, retailers can nurture loyalty by making customers feel recognized and valued.

Clienteling allows associates to form personal connections with customers and demonstrate an understanding of their unique needs. Instead of annoying consumers with irrelevant offers, clienteling uses data to provide thoughtful recommendations and a tailored shopping experience. This level of personalization transforms every visit into an engaging, high-value interaction.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, businesses that embrace clienteling strategies position themselves at the forefront of innovation and customer-centricity. The ability to harness advanced technologies, leverage customer data, and provide personalized experiences sets the stage for sustainable growth and enduring customer loyalty. Clienteling not only transforms transactions into meaningful interactions but empowers retailers to stay agile in an ever-changing market.

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