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Retailers reap rewards with appointments as customers return to stores

Today’s consumers aren’t just looking to buy, they’re expecting a personalized shopping experience. In the connected world, consumers care about getting what they want, but also want to know that retailers know who they are. Mobile devices offer up countless online shopping opportunities, and social media delivers ever-changing inspiration and ideas. As customers are returning to in-store shopping, they’re increasingly looking for a personalized, convenient and immersive shopping experience that also prioritizes safety. How can brands cut through the noise?

Appointment booking is the answer. It’s not a replacement for in-store shopping, it’s an enhancement. Whether they happen online or in-store, appointments are a tool that lets you elevate the customer from every touchpoint. 

Appointment booking helps stores improve their operational efficiency in three ways: delivering insights into customer behavior, delivering an optimized and personalized customer experience, and maximizing in-store labor. Here’s more about each of these and how they help retailers stand out.

Leveraging insights into customer behaviour

Appointments gives store associates an easy-to-use interface that lets them amplify the appointment experience with a wealth of data. With digital clienteling, store associates see their customer’s buying history, so they can confidently suggest options and items that will delight. They can easily communicate with customers to let them know when new products arrive in store, for example, and can provide an in-store shopping experience based on the customer’s preferred schedule. 

This wealth of customer data also helps the backend office. They can monitor shopping trends and tailor stock to customer preferences, right down to the store level, ensuring that the products customers want are always available. And because the app lets associates capture communication preferences for contacting customers, personalized interactions and follow-ups can be delivered in a way that’s more likely to receive a positive response. Associates can build the personal relationships with customers that help brands shine. All these contribute to higher employee engagement, which in turn drives higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately, higher sales.

Delivering an optimized and personalized customer experience

The appointment booking app is embedded within the store website, so it’s easy for customers to schedule an in-store shopping experience as they’re shopping online. Store associates can also use the app to book a style appointment for a customer – ideal for scheduling a follow-up or building anticipation about an upcoming product launch. Associates can also communicate with customers through the app, offering the product suggestions and interactions that make up the personalized shopping experience that customers want, even in digital channels. 

For retailers, the app helps them prepare service requests and then match them to the best store associate. Do you have experts on specific products? Help them share their knowledge with the customers who are most interested. How about associates who are fluent in other languages? Ensure that they’re available to help customers who may not be comfortable shopping in English.

And for customers, appointment booking lets them shop in-store confidently. They know they’ll have a curated experience, with style appointments that give them access to pieces that don’t just meet their needs, but also inspire. They’ll also have the peace of mind that comes from touchless retail and a safer experience. 

Maximizing in-store labor

With appointment booking, customers will never have to wait for an available associate, and with full visibility to appointments across the omnichannel store, whether booked online or in-store, retailers can schedule staff to meet customer needs. The app makes it easy to see what store associates are available at any given time, so retailers can manage productivity during both peak and quiet hours. And because retailers can control customer footfall in stores, they can be confident that both customers and staff will stay safe.

Customers are looking for their next, best shopping experience, and appointment booking delivers. It helps retailers drive sales, increase repeat customers, build brand advocacy and create long-lasting relationships. Appointment booking is scalable and secure. It’s easy to use and syncs to CRM systems, so operational efficiencies easily translate into better customer experiences. 

Speak to a Tulip representative today to learn how appointments can work for your brand.