Before we jump to the strategies that can help you increase sales with clienteling, think about this. When launching a new retail business, or trying to increase the sales of an existing one, most owners and executives focus their strategies on how to find new clients. Finding new clients is important, but it’s not everything; and if you, as a manager or an entrepreneur, merely focus on that, you are making a mistake.
Retaining clients, and making them come back to your store is just as important as finding new ones, and maybe even more: did you know that selling a product to a new client is five times more expensive (in terms of time and resources) than selling to existing ones?
Having your clients come back to your store after the first time, and making them keep coming back is the number one strategy for increasing sales – also called customer retention in the retail world. Clienteling is the most effective strategy to increase your sales and retain your customers, whether you run a retail shop or e-commerce. But what is clienteling? And how do you apply its strategy to increase your sales?
Keep on reading to find out how to increase sales with clienteling.
What is clienteling in retail?
Clienteling is a term to define the strategies that retailers use, especially luxury retailers, to provide excellent shopping experiences for their clients. Clienteling, however, goes even deeper than this.
With clienteling you can customize the shopping experience for each of your clients. How is that possible? It all starts with data.
When a client comes and purchases in your store, they are providing a lot of information about themselves: what products they are buying, what payment method they prefer, what day of the week they come, even the hour of the day they prefer to shop. If you use more retail strategies you can also get to know their name, address, age range etc. and use this data to be able to create a list of all the products they may like to buy in your store.
What if you could just as well use this data to create a customized shopping experience for these clients? Clienteling is just this: collecting data at the base and being able to retrieve it just when you need it, to improve your clients’ shopping experience – whether in-store or online.
In this article, you’ll learn how to do that and the strategies that you can apply to increase your sales with clienteling.
How to start clienteling for my store?
How is it possible to retrieve useful data about your clients just when you need it – quickly and in the most efficient way?
Technology, and clienteling software in particular, comes in use. The first step to implementing clienteling strategies in your retail business is to provide yourself with a top rated clienteling software.
Software does a triple job: it collects data automatically and more efficiently than any other manual or digital tool you can utilize; it retrieves data instantly and when you need it; it stores data, meaning that all communication data- especially communication between the store and clients – is retained so that good relationships with clients can be maintained even when the store staff leaves or change.
Clienteling apps do a lot more than just displaying data though. The best ones have a slew of features optimized for retailers and for specific niches, such as luxury or fashion and lifestyle. Further down in this article, we’ll recommend a top-quality clienteling app that you can start using today to implement all the clienteling strategies we are going to teach you so that you can start increasing your sales today.
Best clienteling strategies to increase your sales
In this section, we’re discussing the best clienteling strategies. In other words, we are teaching you what to do once clients’ data becomes available to you thanks to clienteling apps. The clienteling software retrieves the data for you, but what should you do with that?
The main goal is to create a positive, outstanding, memorable shopping experience for your clients. This will lead to an increase in your sales. So, how do you do so?
Before we jump in, you might want to open this article titled “6 Ways to Improve Your Clienteling Strategy” in a new tab for reading later
Sending a Thank you message or card
When you know your clients’ addresses or email, you can send a thank you card after their sale. Clients will be positively impressed by a thank you card: the majority of the places where they shop don’t send them any, so you’ll make a positive impression and they’ll be more likely to come back to your store.
Furthermore, you can include additional information in your thank you card. However, always keep in mind that you need to give before you are ready to ask. Provide information about how the clients can replace their item, or how they can ask for assistance if they need it. Then, you can also invite them to check offers on products related to the one they’ve just bought.
And how do you remember to send a message or card? Simple: your clienteling app sends you a reminder based on the logic you’ve defined – say, 30 days after a purchase or 7 days before Christmas!
Make Post-purchase Callbacks
By making a post-purchase callback, you demonstrate to your customers that you value their needs and want to make sure they are satisfied with their purchase. If you are a luxury fashion boutique, you can reach out to a client to help them style an item they bought from you. Or if you are a jewelry shop, for example, other than selling jewels, you may also redesign, repair and resize them. When you do a repair, make sure to call back the client after a week or so. Ask them if everything is okay with their jewels, and invite them to come back to the store if they have any other issues.
You’re sure to stand out from your competitors!
Reach out to customers at the right time
Clienteling apps are useful to try to retain clients that have done a purchase in your store but haven’t yet come back the second time. After a certain time period after a client’s first purchase, say 3 months or 6 months (depending on the type of your business), you can reach out to them, informing them of new items in stock, personalized offers or upcoming events.
Always give a reason to clients to keep coming back.
Follow up with walk-in customers
Sometimes, clients come to your store and don’t buy anything. This happens especially if you sell expensive items like luxury handbags, rare art or jewelry, for example. Clients come to your store, get an idea about options and prices, and then go home and think about it.
While they think about it, of course, they are also visiting other brands and getting an idea about their prices and options, so it’s important that you use your clienteling strategies to beat the competition.
After some days from their visit, reach out to the clients that came but didn’t buy. This practice will give you an advantage in the competition. You can contact them in many ways: through texts, and phone calls, and you could also send pictures or videos of the items they were interested in.
Don’t forget to ask what is holding back the potential client from shopping with you. Once you know the blocker, find a solution and win their trust (and business).
Personalization is always key in clienteling, that’s why clienteling software is so important. When making offers and promotions, personalized ones are way more effective than general and standard ones.
You could make an offer for your client’s birthday or you can make a promotion on specific products that you know they are interested in. General offers seem cheap and loyal customers can smell these from a distance. Personalized offers on the other hand feel nice to loyal customers.
A new way of enhancing your relationship with your clients is by providing the possibility of booking an appointment. Let’s take the example of the jewelry shop again. Clients in jewelry shops don’t take decisions in one minute, they need some time. However, they might not have the time to get in the shop, wait for their turn, watch all the options, think about it, and finally buy.
By providing them with the opportunity of making an appointment, where they can specify what kind of item they are searching for, you can optimize their time in your store. You are also enhancing their experience, making them feel like they are taken care of and are receiving special treatment.
At the same time, if you can provide your sales associates with access to a client’s wishlists from your app or website, you can make the appointment experience more personal for the client.
With the pandemic, online shopping grew exponentially. Now, we’re witnessing another change: the line between physical and online shopping is becoming thinner and thinner. It is common for clients to try an item inside the store, go home, think about it and then order it online. Or, the other way round, they check the items online before coming to your store and buying them.
With clienteling apps, you can provide omnichannel shopping experiences: your clients can be in your store and pay from an app, they can be reached via email, they can pay cash and receive the invoice automatically via email, and much more.
Best Clienteling App: StyleSend
As promised, we’re also providing a recommendation about the best clienteling platform. One that allows you to perform all the strategies we’ve described easily and efficiently. StyleSend is a clienteling app for luxury retail and comes with a lot of specific features designed for businesses that want to provide a premium, consistent and personal shopping experience to their customers.
With StyleSend, you can perform all the strategies we’ve discussed above aimed at increasing your sales. The following are a few of StyleSend’s features that could be useful to you.
Clienteling is the art of forming a strong personal relationship with each customer. When store associates engage with customers across channels, through individually targeted remote messaging and curated in-store experiences, it helps retailers, especially luxury lifestyle retailers, in the following ways:
Offers data insights
As we’ve seen, if you want to run a successful clienteling program, you need access to data, and this data needs to be accessible in the quickest and most efficient way. This is StyleSend’s main forte: it gathers data and is able to provide the information you need, exactly when you need it. Customer data and product data are available to view in an easy to read user interface (UI) on native iOS and Android mobile apps for clienteling.
You can use StyleSend’s insights also to see forecasts and make decisions, to boost your sales and growth.
Serves omnichannel needs
Even though StyleSend is a luxury retail clienteling app, it doesn’t cut out all the rest of the selling channels. As we’ve mentioned, the line between virtual and physical shopping is becoming thinner and thinner for customers, and it should be the same for you as a retail business.
With StyleSend, you can collect data from all your selling channels in one place, and use it in every context.
Allows Checkout Anywhere
Checkout anywhere is a feature that allows customers to check out from their smartphone wherever they are, inside the store, or online. Send shoppable looks to customers who are sitting at home. If they like the items, they can make the purchase right then. Remove the friction from inspiration to purchase.
Acts as a secret assistant
StyleSend’s secret assistance is a feature that creates customer segments with the ability to broadcast messages (including directly through WhatsApp Business API). These segments are useful to execute clienteling strategies where you need to personalize the customer’s experience according to their behavior, preferences and choices.
Records the customer’s journey
StyleSends provides a visual view that describes the customer journey with your brand: their previous purchases, store visits, interactions, important dates, and wish lists. You can use this data to set up and perform all your clienteling strategies.
Provides Whatsapp Business API integration
StyleSend features a built-in Whatsapp chat tab that runs on Whatsapp Business API integration. Communication, this way, is made easier and once more you have everything you need in one place to optimize your time (and money). This feature is built with multi-agent (associate) routing for enterprises. Furthermore, all your communication data remains yours, even when a sales associate leaves.
Has a user-friendly interface
StyleSend provides a clear and user-friendly interface (UI) with native mobile apps available on the AppStore and the Android Play Store. The apps are designed keeping in mind the behavior of store associates and, regarding UX, is inspired by widely popular apps like Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp and iMessage. It may sound obvious, but the clienteling app and web interface should be intuitive to use so that the learning curve is not steep for users.
Offers easy integrations
Last but not least, StyleSend can be set up quickly. It provides an easy-to-use no-code integration that small or medium businesses can use to set up their clienteling app.
For Shopify business, here is a link to the StyleSend Clienteling App on the Shopify app store.
In case your business uses Salesforce, Oracle, Woocommerce, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress or any of the other popular CRMs, StyleSend provides for smooth integration and set up.
There are many great clienteling apps available for retailers to choose from based on their needs and pricing. Here is an article with a list of the top clienteling apps in the market. You may want to compare StyleSend vs Tulip or StyleSend vs Endear HQ or StyleSend vs Mercaux. Some of the other top clienteling tools apart from StyleSend, Tulip, Endear and Mercaux are Salesfloor, RedAnt, PredictSpring, Salesforce, Scandit, Alpha, Lexer and Blueconic.
Clienteling is extremely effective in increasing your sales. In this article, you’ve just learned how to increase your sale with clienteling: you’ve learned some of the best effective strategies, and the tools you need to put them into practice.
Once you’ve set up your clienteling app, you’ll find out new ways of using data, omnichannel and other features to create new clienteling strategies customized to your store’s specific needs.
You can schedule a demo with our product experts to know more about building your clienteling strategy.
If you’re confused whether your business needs a clienteling solution, then you might want to read this article on whether investing in a clienteling app is worth it for a retail business.
Some of the images used are from Unsplash – we love you!