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What Is Clienteling And Why Is It So Important For Retailers?

A woman carries several shopping bags over her shoulder. Clienteling is a retail strategy that better connects retailers and shoppers with a personalized experience.

Guest Post by Sive O’Neill

Clienteling is the process of building relationships between sales associates and customers through personalized service. It allows retailers to better understand their customers’ needs and preferences, create tailored experiences, and strengthen customer loyalty. The practice of clienteling can be traced back centuries to when shopkeepers would maintain detailed records on their customers in order to provide excellent service.

Defining Clienteling’s Role in Modern Retail

Today, with technology advances, clienteling has become much more sophisticated. Sales associates have access to customer data— such as purchase history, product preferences, and personal information— which they use to provide highly-customized experiences that set them apart from other retailers.

Using this data, sales associates are able to identify potential purchasing opportunities and act on them quickly by upselling or cross-selling complementary products or services.

Additionally, associates can also leverage customer data for targeted outreach campaigns across channels like email, text messaging, and social media. Doing so enables them to build stronger connections with customers and deepen client relationships with the brand overall.

Clienteling also gives retailers an opportunity to collect valuable feedback from their customers on everything from product performance to store experience. Allowing sales associates to take direct feedback from customers provides insights that help shape future marketing efforts and make improvements that increase customer satisfaction.

Clienteling is a retail strategy focused on providing personalized service and building relationships with customers. It involves engaging customers through in-store interactions, technology, and data analysis to create a more personalized shopping experience.

By creating a unique experience for each customer, retailers can build loyalty and drive sales. It also allows retailers to target specific audiences and segments, increasing their ability to reach potential customers. Clienteling helps retailers better understand their customers’ needs, tailor their offerings to meet those needs, and build meaningful relationships with customers. As such, it plays a key role in the success of modern retail businesses.

How to Use Clienteling in the Retail Store Environment

Technology’s Role in Retail Strategy

Technology has revolutionized the way businesses interact with their customers. By utilizing modern-day technology, companies are now able to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with their customers through strategies like clienteling.

As we’ve been discussing, clienteling enables businesses to deliver personalized experiences tailored to the individual needs of each customer. This leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as more repeat sales and increases in same-store sales. In order to facilitate the clienteling process, businesses can utilize various technologies such as mobile applications, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and artificial intelligence (AI).

  • Mobile applications allow customers to interact with the business directly from their smartphones, providing personalized services such as real-time contact with associates and appointment setting.
  • Next-gen clienteling systems store customer data such as purchase history and preferences, enabling businesses to create customized offers and experiences for their customers.
  • AI-driven technologies can analyze store data in order to automate processes, create risk assessments and optimize labor costs to improve store operations.

By leveraging these technologies, businesses can provide a seamless clienteling experience that meets the needs of their customers and drives their business forward.

Related: The ‘Last Mile’ in Retail is Often the Most Important

The Importance of Creating a Personalized Customer Experience

When it comes to today’s incredibly informed customers, personalized experiences can be the difference between success and failure. A great customer experience isn’t just about providing good service, but about making an emotional connection with the customer.

Creating a personalized experience for customers means understanding their needs and preferences and tailoring interactions accordingly. This involves taking the time to get to know customers, tracking their habits and behaviors, and understanding the unique context that shapes the way they interact with your brand.

Doing so allows you to create experiences that are tailored to each customer’s individual needs and preferences. This way, their shopping experience lives up to the expectations of today’s increasingly discerning customers.

Related: Why Personalized CX Matters and How Brands Can Do It Right

How Clienteling Can Help Drive Sales

By utilizing digital black book technology, associates can proactively reach out to customers when new stock arrives. They can send sample images of favorite colors or styles and book a time for the client to come into the store to touch, feel, and try out the items that catch their eye.

By understanding what drives each individual customer— such as their buying habits, preferences, and desires— retailers can design offers and promotions tailored to specific shoppers.

Additionally, stores can use clienteling to inform the placement of merchandise within their stores, displaying items that are likely to be of interest to a particular shopper when they come in for an appointment. This helps to create an engaging shopping experience by providing customers with the items they’re most likely to purchase.

Through the use of automated associate task lists and customer segmentation, stores can also identify which promotions or newly arriving stock could incentivize clients to buy. This provides another value-add touchpoint and drives additional sales.

Related: The Amazon Customer Experience Remains Elusive To Other Retailers

In Summary: The Importance of Clienteling in the Retail Store Environment

Clienteling is a crucial aspect of successful retail, fostering customer-staff connections and enhancing the store experience. It involves personalized services, such as tailored promotions and product recommendations, which cater to individual needs. This results in more efficient sales processes, heightened customer engagement, and satisfaction, ultimately leading to increased sales and stronger customer loyalty.

Sive O’Neill is Vice President of Marketing at Tulip, a mobile retail platform focused on omnichannel commerce. Learn more at Image by gonghuimin468 from Pixabay.

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