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Why retail needs to embrace mobile clienteling

Clienteling isn’t new. In fact, retail store associates have been doing it for years, using their own black books to record and look back on customers’ preferences and purchases. But modern clienteling, especially in the post-pandemic retail environment, has become digitized in order to help associates manage a higher volume of VIP data and provide customers with the omnichannel shopping experiences they’ve come to expect. Today’s leading retailers are embracing mobile clienteling and digital black book management for four key reasons. 

1. Acquire new customers the right way

Modern clienteling apps enable retailers to capture a wealth of customer information on-the-spot and quickly begin the process of converting them to high-value, VIP clients. And this can happen anywhere in the store, at any point during the customer’s visit, not just at the counter. Just as importantly, clienteling apps allow store associates to save customer information and communication preferences and confirm GDPR opt-in at the same time. Maintaining compliance with data privacy regulations is an absolute must for retailers engaged in modern clienteling. 

2. Systematically drive omnichannel sales

Being systematic about clienteling can unlock incremental sales for retailers. What store associates really need is a framework for customer outreach and the ability to send customers personalized product recommendations based on their preferences and past purchases. Retailers have seen double-digit growth in clienteling conversion rates using this strategy. Having access to rich customer data has also enabled them to cross-sell, upsell, and increase average order value (AOV) on store transactions.

It’s also important that associates are properly equipped (and incentivized) to manage omnichannel sales. This way, associates can reach out to customers and show them products online. Or, if a customer isn’t ready to purchase an item in the store, the associate can send them personalized communications linking them to the products they’re considering, so they can purchase them online at their convenience. Store associates can also receive commission for the online purchases they’ve initiated.

3. Improve customer engagement and loyalty

Modern clienteling is all about scale and this requires smarter associate outreach that’s driven by business rules defined by the retailer.  This could mean creating and sending bespoke looks to customers for ideas and inspiration, extending offers for store services, sending them products within a preferred product family or color range, and even offering promotional gifts to loyal customers. The important piece is that associates are automatically prompted regarding when and how to follow up. 

Store associates also have the ability to send proactive outreach messages to targeted lists of customers informing them about new collections, special offers and upcoming events. They have access to branded, customizable email and messaging templates that make the process easy and efficient.

4. Elevate the in-store shopping experience

Whether a customer has booked an appointment or walks in unexpectedly, associates need to be able to easily identify a registered customer and quickly access their preferences and purchase history. They need to sync up the in-store experience with the digital experience, since that’s what the most connected and demanding customers expect. 

While the most seasoned associates may be able to provide that level of personalization for their clients from memory, clienteling technology lets you transform more store associates into trusted advisors. By putting customer information easily within reach of the associate, clienteling moves from a mostly transaction-oriented retail experience to a more proactive and customer-oriented one.

Mobile clienteling is the future of retail

By capturing customers’ preferences and purchase behavior across both digital and physical channels in one place, retailers gain a more comprehensive view of customer wants and needs. This 360-degree view can then be leveraged to provide a more personalized experience to customers, driving sales and brand loyalty across all channels.

  • By adding products to outreach messages, one luxury retailer increased its clienteling conversion rate by 54% in 6 months. 
  • A luxury retailer generated a 30% higher AOV on Tulip-influenced orders than on other store orders within 6 months. 
  • One premium fashion retailer increased its customer data capture by 68% in 3 months. 
  • Tulip’s Clienteling app helped one luxury fashion retailer grow its black book management customer base by 16% within 6 months. 

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