Clienteling: It’s not just for high-end retailers – or Christmas

The experience of shopping at a certain Swedish furniture store is one that most people have had at least once. Personalised it is not. All shoppers are led along a path decorated with examples of how you can configure beds, wardrobes and desks or sofas, shelving and coffee tables until you arrive in a warehouse like the one at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie to embark on a treasure hunt only slightly less difficult than that of finding the lost Ark of the Covenant. Conversely, when you visit a high-end luxury retailer, you can expect to be treated like a VIP. To have your coat taken, your hand furnished with a glass of your favourite champagne and the display of products you are presented with to have been handpicked for you and expertly matched to your tastes. At least that’s the aspiration.

Between one extreme and the other, from a luxury brand to serve yourself budget furniture shopping, the focus on Clienteling has traditionally dropped off. There are good reasons for this. With fewer clients at the luxury end, it has simply always been easier for brands to keep track of who buyers were, what they liked and what they purchased. Conversely at the low cost, high volume end of retail – the interactions between retailer and shopper have been, of necessity, briefer and too many to keep detailed notes on.

There has also been a cost/benefit reality to consider as you move from the luxury brand towards the absolute bargain basement end of the spectrum. When the very basis of your brand is that you are selling items for less than a pound or a dollar, the cost of the time you spend with a customer will have far less value than if you are selling luxury yachts. However, new technology has changed this equation fundamentally, so that the cost of Clienteling is much lower than it used to be and the benefits are much greater.

How KIT Clienteling enhances the customer experience for any retail business  

By using a Clienteling app like KIT, the ease with which you can record and access data that enables you to help and indeed delight a customer makes it crazy not to practice Clienteling, even if you are selling products as inexpensive as a pound or a dollar. If you know a customer is interested in a particular range of products, you can easily contact them, using KIT, when you have particularly good deals on those or similar products, especially if that customer is one who tends to spend a lot in the store, which KIT can tell you. Furthermore, if you have an e-commerce store KIT enables you to set up purchases for your customers to complete.

Meanwhile, between the top end luxury retailers and the 99p or 99 cent stores, there are thousands of retailers whose ability to lure people out of their homes and away from internet shopping has to derive from something other than unbeatable value or inimitable indulgence. These are the stores where KIT helps store associates to deliver a customer experience worth coming back for and telling their friends about. The kind of personalised customer experience you feel you couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. KIT does this by giving store associates and customers access to the full product catalogue, with the ability to save favourites and compare items, leaving the customer confident that they are getting the right product at the best price. KIT can also help with ‘project shopping’ making suggestions and helping to create a package of products for a particular purpose. For example, holiday outfit concepts if the retailer is a clothing store or interior design concepts if the retailer is a home furnishing store.

KIT can also help make the experience of visiting a store much less troublesome by relaying requests for products to the stockroom, expediting their arrival on the shop floor. The app even enables store associates to complete purchases themselves, so that the moment after customers choose to make a purchase they aren’t sent to wait for a cashier, whom they haven’t met before, for an anti-climactic end to an otherwise very pleasing sales interaction. The store associate can then easily follow up with some simple after-sales communication via the app, to reassure the customer they made a good buying decision, cementing their loyalty and boosting the chances that they will tell their friends what a great shopping experience they had.

KIT is extremely easy to learn and it is very simple to set up a full demonstration of the app to see how it can help your store associates improve their Clienteling and your customers’ experience. Just contact the team on +44 203 691 2936 or email info@instore.technology. You can use these same details to ask any questions you have or to request more information, or if you prefer you can also complete the short form on our Contact page.

 

Drive more holiday sales with Clienteling

When it comes to gift-giving, one of the reasons they say: “It’s the thought that counts,” is that coming up with an idea for a present that is both fresh and fitting for the recipient can be extremely difficult. However, this offers a great opportunity for the savvy store associate. Indeed, as store associates search for ingenious ways to personalise and enhance the customer experience, it is easy to forget the relatively low hanging fruit of helping people through the minefield of present choosing. Moreover, it is the perfect time of year for store associates to practice their Clienteling skills.

At its core, the power of Clienteling comes from building relationships – listening to and getting to know people well enough to make them feel that you understand their needs. That includes remembering what Auntie Annie thought of the cardigan your customer bought her last year, what toys she gave her nephews and nieces, whether her best friend wore the perfume she chose for her and so on. Back in the day, a store associate would keep a record of those kinds of things in a notebook so they didn’t have to rely entirely on memory. Today store associates have a more advanced tool to record that kind of information, which is not only more searchable, it is also more intelligent, capable of making suggestions and turning those suggestions into purchases with a few taps on a tablet screen.

KIT Clienteling helps to remove the hassle out of choosing products

KIT is a cutting edge Clienteling app that brings a wealth of data and information to the fingertips of any store associate that far exceeds what most humans are capable of absorbing and retaining on their own. It organises the data in easy to access customer profiles and product catalogues, and enables store associates to create personalised product bundles, for example, ‘looks’ for customers of fashion retailers or ‘system configurations’ for customers of technology retailers.

As well as having access to a customer’s purchase history and wish list on KIT, store associates can record notes to keep track of customer preferences. So Sarah will be impressed when the store associate remembers how her nephew, Adam, was more excited by Frozen II than he was by Star Wars Episode IX. However, most advantageously, when it comes to the holidays, KIT enables store associates to communicate directly with customers via the channel of their choosing – text, email or other social media. This is how a store associate can nail it in the approach to the holidays, by offering suggestions that make the customer’s job of choosing presents for their friends and family a whole lot easier.

As a store associate, the trick is to use your knowledge and understanding of a customer to make the right suggestions. Are they someone who wants to express their modern sensibilities by buying the latest thing for their loved ones? Are they someone who needs or prefers to get a good deal or a bargain? Are they someone who would love the kudos of giving the most popular gift this Christmas, but has no clue what it is? Might they even want you to reserve it for them?

While the return on investment from each of your customers’ efforts to come up with good ideas for presents is limited, every gift idea you use KIT to come up with is one that you can replicate for all other customers like them. You can use your store’s data on what kids, mums and dads are buying themselves to make suggestions to other people buying gifts for them. You can browse your store’s catalogue for ideas that might work for people who are especially hard to buy for. You can make different suggestions to different groups, keep track of which of your suggestions are most popular and modify your suggestions accordingly.

KIT is super easy to pick up and can turn a new store associate into a high performing store associate within their first week, particularly in the run-up to Christmas when stores become busier and shoppers become more urgent and crazed. For more seasoned store associates who already have sharp Clienteling skills, KIT provides a toolkit that turbo powers those skills and lifts their sales performance to the next level.

You can see a full demonstration of KIT by calling the team on +44 203 691 2936, emailing info@instore.technology or if you prefer you can also complete the short form on our Contact page. The KIT team will also be happy to answer any questions you have or provide more information.