Appointment booking provides customers with a new way to shop exclusively with their favorite brands. Incorporating it into a retailer’s omnichannel experiences has helped store associates and customers stay connected with personalized clienteling moments during the global pandemic. Customers can take control of how they interact with brands, stores can offer safer and more comfortable shopping environments, and store associates can guide customers through seamless omnichannel experiences.
With Appointments, more stores are offering both virtual and in-store style appointments, virtual consultations and private shopping visits. Retail appointments provide more options for customers to shop, view a product, receive a service and visit the store in a safe way. Customers are booking only when store associates are available and store associates can readily deliver a great customer and brand experience.
Unifying digital and physical touchpoints has helped retailers increase store traffic, sales and customer satisfaction. But how do retailers increase the number of customers booking an in-store or virtual style appointment or consultation visit? Here are some tips to help promote and make it easier for customers to book an appointment:
Make your call to action stand out on your brand’s website
Showcase the appointment booking functionality easily on your website where customers can find a range of services available. On your homepage and relevant sites, ensure your call to action is prominent, incorporate design elements that are clean, and add contrasting colors to the navigation line for visibility. Also, research best practices and examples for your industry. What works best for a beauty brand may not reflect what’s best for a jewelry brand.
Let customers know appointments are available
Talk about your service to your customers through all your communication channels. The more information that is shared the more likely customers will remember that appointment booking is available to them as another way to shop at their convenience. Promote appointment booking through your social media channels, email campaigns, newsletters, and one-to-one communications with customers. If you are using a web chat functionality on your website, ensure your associates are offering appointments to customers who reach out. As well, promote appointments in your physical stores at checkout counters or in store windows.
Book and manage appointments on the customer’s behalf
When communicating with customers virtually, provide them with an option to visit the store in-person to view, try-on or receive exclusive in-store consultation. Make it easy for them to book in-store appointments conveniently through a secure bookable link using SMS or email. Alternatively, book an appointment on their behalf and send them a confirmation note. Increasing convenience in the omnichannel experience will make customers more likely to return.
Use a mobile friendly and intuitive appointment booking solution
Customers predominately view multiple websites before making a purchase, oftentimes they’re using their smartphones. Ensure you’re providing a quality mobile experience with an intuitive user-interface as customers will quickly switch to a site that is much easier to use. Make it also clear and seamless for the customer to book by providing real-time appointment availability, branded email confirmation of their appointment, and the ability to easily reschedule or cancel appointments through their email confirmation.
The estimated growth rate of the appointment scheduling market in 2026 is 13.1%. The global market is set to expand. The retail industry continues to leverage the online booking option for more exclusive and safe omnichannel experiences. Style appointments, virtual consultations, fittings and more are great ways to offer safe and comfortable shopping experiences for customers. By clearly featuring appointment booking on your brands website, app and social media channels, and showcasing the service through other communication channels, brands can best increase customer engagement and convert traffic to sales.
Contact a Tulip representative today to learn more about Appointments.