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Getting closer to the customer with clienteling


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Today’s empowered fashion consumer is driving the retail agenda. With shopping now a 24/7 experience, their loyalty is waning, while expectations are constantly on the rise. Brick-and-mortar retailers once dominated the retail landscape, but today their failure to meet these new consumer expectations is one of the main reasons contributing to the decline in brand loyalty.

Fashion retailers are now understanding the need to adopt clienteling as part of their brand building strategy as it helps to empower sales associates to create engaging customer experiences. However, it is not limited to in-store interaction alone; instead it serves as a tool for consistent interaction and communication across all geographies and sales channels.

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Getting closer to the customer with clienteling

  1. 1. Getting Closer to the Customer with Clienteling 1 Getting Closer to the Customer with Clienteling The Age of the Informed Customer Today’s empowered fashion consumer is driving the retail agenda and their loyalty is waning while their expectations are rising. Brick-and-mortar retailers that once dominated the landscape failure to meet these new expectations is the main cause of a decrease in brand loyalty. A rise in social and mobile technologies has led to the success of innovative stores and redefined brand-customer interaction. Most importantly, these technologies have allowed consumers to define how they want to be engaged—but, is the retailer listening? Fashion retailers must adopt clienteling as part of their brand building strategy, specifically to generate a positive experience for the omni-present customer. Clienteling brings brands closer to customer across all channels and greatly improves top-line revenue. Clienteling incorporates all customer touch points and is not limited interaction in the store alone. Clienteling is best delivered and best received with consistent interaction and communication during the sales process across all geographic and sales channels. The largest measurable impact of clienteling is in-store productivity, which is improved by empowering sales associates with tools enabling them to create engaging customer experiences. Sales associates leveraging clienteling to target customers to provide an exceptional service can 1 increase in-store traffic by 6% with a 1 24% increase in conversion rate and a well-executed clienteling strategy can increase repeat business by 1 33%. Getting to Know the Customer World-class customer experience is a fundamental objective in today’s retailing environment. Customers are in control, expecting an experience targeted to their needs and wants. With technological advancements, customers are smart, well-informed and realize they are in control. To service this focused customer, fashion retailers have embraced customer experience management, where they observe and attempt to translate and synchronize customer interactions, across all touch points. Call Center CRM Social Media Store Traffic Data e-Commerce Loyalty Program Customer Catalog In-Store Clienteling Customer Touch Points It’s about the customer
  2. 2. Getting Closer to the Customer with Clienteling2 The resulting improvements in consumer experience and the loyalty it leads to differentiating brands and increases traffic, thus resulting in increased revenue. Leading brands are deploying an omni-channel retail strategy which digitally empowers in-store employees as enabled ambassadors that will be able to gather and receive information, browse available products and form a more personal relationship with customers. In today’s connected world, where so many people walk down the street with a mobile device in their hand, 69%2 of customers shopping in a physical store expect store employees to use a mobile device to enhance the brand-customer relationship. Clienteling Drives Brand Loyalty Successful clienteling begins with defining a process that interacts with customers and customer information across multiple touch points, designed specifically for the fashion and lifestyle industry. This 360 degree customer-centric model delivers real value through the optimization of customer relationships, and reinforces best practices in sales associates, thus resulting in increased customer spending and store revenue growth. A 360 view of the customer is critical and requires accessibility to real-time purchase and behavioral information across all customer touch points. This information is held in a cross-channel ‘Customer Relationship Management’ (CRM) repository or customer data hub, which provides a single view of the customer and can be utilized to develop one-to-one marketing programs. Building a Foundation for Repeat Business Start with the implementation of a customer-centric foundation with the ability to enable and support proven best practices processes for in-store clienteling, multi-channel campaign management and analytics specifically focused on providing fashion retailers a common view of the customer. This shared view of the customer must include all customer touch points including the customer’s profile, preferences, purchase history and social media feed along with POS, inventory and product data across all channels. clienteling Targeted and relevant customer engagement and outreach  Empowering sales associates to provide an exceptional in-store customer experience  Relevent and timely follow-up with the customer  Integrated monitoring and measurement Customer-Centric Foundation In-Store Clienteling Social Media Loyalty Program Online Commerce Marketing Analytics Customer
  3. 3. Getting Closer to the Customer with Clienteling 3 Deliver a ‘Best Practice’ approach to enhance the customer experience: • Breakdown organizational silos that limit cross-channel shopper engagement • Establish goals that bridge gaps between customer expectations and existing capabilities • Create success metrics and incentive structures that drive results • Up-to-the minute view of the customer from any location of engagement • Leverage ‘new’ technologies that deliver real-time results • Single view of the customer and insight across channels, products and operations • Leverage high-speed predictive analytics that deliver customer demand across all channels • Provide sales associates with mobile devices that enable higher customer service level offerings In-store clienteling applications supported by a customer-centric platform run on mobile devices that are fully integrated into the company’s ERP platform. It is imperative for handheld devices to be considered a fully functional device, and incorporated into a company’s technological strategy and architecture. This enables the tracking of individual customer shopping preferences and purchase history, which in turn facilitates the offering of personalized recommendations by sales associates. The Business Value of Clienteling Clienteling has been shown to improve store traffic, market basket sizing, conversion, and customer loyalty. Perhaps, clienteling has evolved to a near-science as retail executives noticed over the decades, the manner in which associates instinctively deliver exceptional customer service, in the all-encompassing general definition of exceeding customer expectations would be those achieving the highest number of clients and sales, leading to ‘largest sales’. Helping these exceptional associates, to better serve the customer would deliver an enhanced service, resulting in improved traffic, sales, conversion and loyalty. This is the simple business case for clienteling. Further, validation can be derived from the response received when customers are asked, how retailers can encourage them to spend more, as 66% reply that this would be achieved through providing improved customer service.
  4. 4. Getting Closer to the Customer with Clienteling4 attune is a team of trusted business technology advisors who work with fashion and lifestyle brands to transform their business performance. attune offers services across the fashion and lifestyle value chain, developing solutions that maximize competitive advantage, integrate and transform activities across people, processes and technology. About Us For more information e-mail us at or visit Copyright© 2014 attune Lanka (Private) Limited. All rights reserved. Therefore, merchant instinct to structure a business case for clienteling is merely the understanding that traffic multiplied by conversion rate, multiplied by transaction size, equals store sales. These levels are all positively impacted by clienteling. Industry analysts have placed numbers to these levers, which help validate the importance of clienteling and the opportunity at hand. 3 Research indicates that customers spend 3.5 to 4x more annually, and the average transactional size is 63% greater compared to those of “non clienteled” customers. These customers are also 33% more likely to return as repeat customers. Most importantly, clienteling activities deliver specific response to time and effort invested. The same analyst reported, associated clienteling efforts to reach out to the customer, delivered a 24% conversion rate, on that outreach investment within 14 days of the effort. Similarly, outreach regarding new product arrivals and invitations have delivered a 6% contribution to overall traffic, whilst increasing margin on this spend by 8% due to the sale occurring prior to product markdowns being offered. 1 Retail Touch Points 2 Forrester Research, Inc. 3 Retail Touch Points To sum this up in terms of the value opportunity, we simply return to the simple equation above regarding traffic, conversion, and average sale. When the preceding impacts are combined, it is clear that a clienteled customer delivers more to the retailer in terms of all three metrics. The combination of the three improvements, yields and overall margin improvement of approximately 1% for every 5% increase in clienteled customers. For example, assuming revenues of $1B, and a net margin of 8%, a retailer could expect to witness an approximate 10% marginal increase for every 4% increase in clienteled customers. Omni-channel retailers that seamlessly integrate the best of both digital and physical worlds at each step of the customer experience, are likely to enjoy significant benefits over retailers that try to pursue either one alone, or both independently.