Retail Trends

What is Clienteling and Why Does It Still Matter Today?

Years ago, if a customer walked into a store they would be greeted like an old friend, with the store associates remembering important details from your last visit, right down to whatever you last purchased. However, as retail stores have grown in size and smaller brands have made way for larger chains, this old-school retail experience has been replaced. That 1:1 connection has been reduced as lines have gotten longer and the demand for quick service has increased.

But there’s no reason why retailers need to forfeit great customer service in favor of speed and efficiency. In fact, recreating that personal connection is a sure-fire way to attract customers and build longer-lasting relationships with them. This is where clienteling comes in.

Clienteling is a way for retailers to offer a completely personalized experience for their customers, while still maintaining a seamless checkout process. The word ‘clienteling’ is intrinsically linked to personalization, and in today’s experience-driven markets it’s incredibly important for companies that are determined to succeed. A great clienteling solution offers huge opportunities for all kinds of businesses, and with advancements in mobile technology it’s now even simpler for brands to be able to offer the type of tailored experiences their customers crave.

What does clienteling really mean?

Clienteling has been defined in a number of different ways over the years, but most agree that the term refers to the specific tools and processes which are designed to make customer experiences better, leaving customers with a great impression of a business.

The processes which are commonly referred to as clienteling span a variety of different ideas and technologies. Many companies will use several of these to improve the customer experiences that they offer. Under the broad umbrella of clienteling there are several different apps and tools, many of which are driven by data and focussed on personalisation.

Personalisation tools make it possible for businesses to offer their customers a completely bespoke service that answers to their needs before they’ve even communicated them. By providing this bespoke experience to customers, businesses stand to benefit in a vast number of ways.

Companies practising great clienteling will see improvements in their overall reputation and customer satisfaction levels, as well as customer retention, resulting in ongoing increased sales. That’s why clienteling is still such a talked about trend in business.

Here’s why clienteling matters

Technology has allowed numerous developments using customer data - and retail is no exception. The rise of ecommerce has ensured an abundance of data, but this is oftentimes only leveraged for marketing purposes. However, data also represents an opportunity for stores to create much more engaging shopping experiences. If associates can see details such as a customer’s likes, dislikes, purchase history and wishlist, they can build much stronger relationships with every customer who enters the store.

Not only will this benefit brands from a sales perspective, but customers too can benefit from a more personalized retail experiences.

What are the benefits of clienteling?

Clienteling offers an array of different benefits to businesses, which can be used in any number of ways. First and foremost, the idea presents new opportunities for companies to improve the experience customers have when shopping with them. This is important, because it’s far easier and more affordable to sell products to existing customers than it is to attract new ones. In fact, research has suggested that the process of selling to a new customer is five times more expensive, in terms of marketing costs, than the process of selling to a customer who is already aware of a brand.

This is true across a number of a industries, whether you're in apparel and footwear, beauty, home furnishings or and even for wineries!

Take a look at some of the other benefits of smarter clienteling strategies to find out more about how clienteling could help your company.

Personalized shopping:

Clienteling means personalising the shopping experience for each and every customer. Using data already stored on customers, clienteling apps and software can subtly tweak the experiences offered to buyers. This means they’ll always see the products they’re most interested in, they’ll know when their preferred items are in stock and they’ll easily find answers to their questions.

Customer preferences can be quickly learnt, with support tickets and returns information providing invaluable insights into every customer’s likes and dislikes. Information like this quickly translates into more targeted, intuitive shopping experiences with personalisation at every turn.

Better informed store assistants:

Online shopping is a popular channel of option, but many shoppers still prefer to venture into a real store and see products for themselves. This doesn’t mean that the opportunities of clienteling will be missed, though. In-store shopping can also be significantly enhanced through clienteling technology. Many companies are already using the latest apps in store to provide more sophisticated and desirable shopping experiences.

Store assistants can use mobile devices to access all the information they need on customers, helping them to provide an informed and intelligent service. Clienteling apps enable brands to facilitate on the spot purchases, so customers never have to queue up to buy the goods they need. And of course all data from these in-store interactions can be saved, to help guide future improvements.

Stronger, more loyal relationships:

The key goal of all clienteling ideas is the promotion of strong, loyal relationships between customers and their favourite brands. By never standing still where customer experiences are concerned, brands can grasp every opportunity to strengthen those relationships.

Improvements to customer experiences are crucial in terms of nurturing and growing strong relationships, because they really do govern the way consumers feel about the brands they shop with, and the products they choose to buy.

By focusing on customer relationships, brands can significantly improve their reputations. Before long companies will be able to build on their successes by turning customers into brand advocates who help spread the word about both the company in question and its great range of products. 

Increased sales:

Customer experience goes hand in hand with sales. The better an experience is, the more likely a customer is to return to a brand and purchase another product. So it will come as no surprise that businesses making full use of clienteling apps will benefit where sales are concerned.

As customers become increasingly engaged with a brand, they are more likely to return and buy new product ranges, and they may well refer friends too. This quickly results in a considerable uptick in sales, a trend which will continue as long as brands never turn their attention away from that all-important customer experience.

How to create lasting relationships with clienteling

There are many steps that can be taken to facilitate more personalised, better informed clienteling. The idea itself is, of course, hugely reliant on data. So it’s vital that companies capture the data that matters wherever possible. This information can then be filtered and used to inform insights that’ll make a difference to consumers, and that’s where top performing clienteling solutions come in.

Using the clienteling module, the Modern POS ensures store associates have a 360 view of customer data, right at their fingertips. Data no longer has to exist purely for marketing purposes - instead, it can be used to create much more meaningful interactions, contributing to improved sales, order values and customer loyalty. When done right, clienteling is an essential way for retailers to transform shoppers into true brand evangelists.

Clienteling with PredictSpring

Clienteling within the Modern POS allows enriched customer profiles to be viewed and added to after every interaction. Using personalization quizzes, store associates can build a full picture of customer preferences, allowing them to curate tailored product recommendations, shareable lookbooks and more.

Black book features make personalization even simpler, allowing associates to tap into CRM data to segment customers based, for example, on spending habits or product preferences. Stores can then compile customer lists which enable rapid communication of relevant and tailored promotions, loyalty offers and store event notifications through SMS, e-mail, messaging, and push notifications.

There are so many ways in which clienteling technology can improve customer experiences, and for brands the opportunities are there for the taking.

Find out more about clienteling solutions from PredictSpring to get started.

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