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Looking for creative ways to engage and convert your retail customers, even when they’re not inside the four walls of your store? Everyone can attest that customer engagement is the secret sauce of retail success; but what exactly does it look like when you're not face-to-face with a customer, what tools are available to you, and how can you get started?
In this guide, we’ll discuss one of our favorite options: Lookbooks.
What are Lookbooks?
You may have heard the term thrown around before, but what is exactly a Lookbook?
A Lookbook is a customized set of product selections that can be used to market to an individual or group of customers in a visually appealing and engaging way. These product selections may have a seasonal theme, include a curated assortment of new offerings, or simply appeal to the tastes and preferences of recipients based on purchase history and previous customer engagement.
For our purposes, you can assume a Lookbook lives online and can be accessed through a specific URL. This also means customers can click through on any products that interest them and shop directly via the business’ e-commerce site.
Benefits of Lookbooks
Let’s unpack why you and your store teams should be using Lookbook to further personalize the customer experience.
To Optimize Downtime
There aren’t always customers in your store—this is the harsh reality of brick-and-mortar retail.
In addition to the lull in sales this creates, one of your greatest resources is also left under-utilized—your sales associates. Rather than simply having them straighten the backstock for the fourth time in a week, why not let them remotely market your small business and actively engage customers with virtual selling tools, like Lookbooks?
Drive sales, incentivize your workforce, and delight your customers with personalized selections. It’s a win all around.
To Conduct Relationship-Based Selling
Despite the ease and comfort with which consumers shop online and via mobile apps, there is always something to be said for a personal touch.
Whether in the form of a virtual, personal shopping experience or a targeted marketing campaign that focuses on your customer’s past purchases, Lookbooks open the door for many possibilities when it comes to relationship-based selling (like clienteling).
Customized content will catch your customers’ attention, nurture the relationship, and drive customer loyalty.
To Track Data
When you utilize Lookbook tools through a platform like Endear, you are also capturing valuable customer data about what messaging and product suggestions gain the most traction with your shoppers thanks to how the app tracks opens, clicks, and sales.
With this software solution, you can also reward your top-selling associates in real time and learn from their successes. This strategy allows you to iterate and shape your business processes and retail management strategies, while also helping you to establish stronger best practices for your team about how to interact with customers.
Lastly, this data can help you build up your retail CRM system and customer database—and by investing time into customer relationship management, you’ll ultimately better understand your shoppers.
To Drive Sales
Finally, let’s talk about the bottom line when it comes to Lookbooks.
They aren’t just fun to look at—they help you create a new and valuable revenue stream for your retail business. Lookbooks allow you to engage loyal customers in between trips, win back lapsed customers with personalized content, and solidify your standing with new customers, driving up both purchase frequency and spend per transaction.
Show the right customers the right products at the right time is the key, and Lookbooks allow you to deliver this truly personalized out-of-home shopping experience.
3 Examples of Retail Lookbooks
Now, let’s look at some industry examples of Lookbooks in action to inspire you even more.
When COVID disrupted the entire retail industry, Rhone, a premium athletic wear brand, took action—they launched a virtual concierge program with the help of Endear. Rhone sales associates utilized Lookbooks to facilitate one-to-one personal styling sessions with clients and create shoppable follow-ups. Using customer profiles built in Endear’s retail CRM solution, these associates were better equipped to serve customers remotely.
DTC shoe brand Margaux empowered their sales staff with Endear Lookbooks in order to follow up with clients after an in-store experience, sending them the styles they tried on in an easy-to-shop format or to make further suggestions based on their style and preferences. Margaux associates were then able to contribute to online sales and remarkable customer support.
ettitude, a sustainable lifestyle brand, used Endear Lookbooks as a follow-up tool for tourists and day shoppers at their pop-up. Whether customers didn’t want to carry their purchases with them, or they needed a bit more time to consider, Lookbooks allowed ettitude associates to circle back and remind customers of the products that caught their eye. This significantly contributed to customer retention.