The biggest thing in marketing for retail in 2022 is not Tik Tok (well, unless you mainly sell LED light strips), but personalization. While the idea of catering to your customers on a 1-on-1 basis has been trending up over the years, it seems coming out of the pandemic, both brands and shoppers have come to the realization that having a more intimate relationship makes for better retail experiences on both sides.
In fact, back in 2018 research already showed that 80% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase when their experience was personalized. Today, with the high level of online competition, the death of 3rd party tracking, the rise of “stories” on social media that feels “lo-fi” and personal, and the looming recession threatening to stifle spending, retail brands have to work harder than ever to create real and personal relationships with their customers in the midst of a changing landscape.
And that’s why more and more retailers are turning to the solution of clienteling, especially in preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season, to foster that all-important personalized relationship that will drive transactions.
Clienteling lays the groundwork for Black Friday
Come Black Friday, your customers will be inundated with sales and promotions and discounts, and all sorts of marketing messages. The reason your retail brand should be clienteling starting now is to create that personalized relationship that will cut through that noise.
Take loyalty programs as a simple example of creating this foundation. According to a PYMNTS survey, “77% of consumers with retail subscriptions buy more products from the brands they have relationships with.” A preexisting relationship has a huge ROI. And while loyalty programs are a great channel for any brand to have, they are not even that personalized.
Clienteling, in short, uses the robust and multifaceted data collected in your CRM to provide custom, intimate shopping experiences for your customers. Instead of simply rewarding previous transactions, clienteling is more akin to having a relationship with a great personal shopper. They know what each customer likes, the fit, the color, the seasonal trend, and more to curate great offerings that lead to the right product match.
So if your customer has this sort of relationship with your brand, come the busy shopping season, they will be much more motivated to respond to your promotions.
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Easy clienteling strategies to enact right now
Let’s start with some table stakes. While most retailers may be using a CRM solution, many on the market today do not have clienteling as a core focus. A platform like Salesforce, for example, has transactions at the core of the product. That’s great for conversions, but not for nurturing a long-term, personal relationship.
Investing in a CRM that automates your clienteling is half the battle, especially a solution that can track activities across all of your channels both online and in-store. Omnichannel retail is key to getting a holistic view of each of your customers, and once you do have such a CRM in place, your team can leverage all this data to provide the right clienteling experience.
Get their digits
Modern marketing lives and dies on SMS. While email is a powerful marketing tool, its open rate hovers around 30% at best. But SMS open rates are nearly 100%. That’s because SMS has a sentiment of being more personal, prompting users to read each and every one.
Should you worry about annoying your customers with text messages? Well, of course. Your strategy should be judicious and always convey good content. But you should also know that over half of the customers would like to receive promotions via text.
This means your brand should strive to collect as many phone numbers as possible from your clients. Doing so makes clienteling easier and more effective, as your messages will be read more often.
An effective way to collect phone numbers is by launching a keyword campaign:
Provide an irresistible promotion that requires customers to text. It’s also a great way to start a 1-on-1 SMS conversation with each client, which can be facilitated by your clienteling CRM.
Start impressing them with curated marketing
Once your CRM starts collecting your customer’s data, now is the time to start earning their trust with curated marketing messages. Note the word curated, as in products intelligently chosen with their interests in mind, not just shotgun promotions of whatever is on sale that week.
By analyzing the products they have purchased online, simply browsed online, what they have purchased in-store, and what they responded to on social media (yes, that’s why omnichannel is so important!) your CRM can easily curate the right products to include in these personalized messages.
A CRM like Endear can collect these curated products in a visually-striking lookbook (we call them Shoppable Stories) that can be embedded into both email and SMS messages. This method has higher transaction rates, and is an overall better experience for the customer.
And because this curated marketing is embedded within a conversation, be sure to prompt your customer to provide feedback. “Hi Emily, if these products aren’t quite your style, just text back to let us know and we’ll switch it up and send you a few more to check out. All still with the 15% discount applied.” This type of engagement with your customer is exactly what you want to start today, to establish trust come Black Friday.
Incentivize in-store visits
Retail brands know well that no matter how great the virtual experience is, there’s nothing like truly building a relationship by assisting your customers in person. Again, your CRM can help you bring them into your stores so you can elevate that clienteling experience.
By using smart segmentation within your CRM, your team can market to tight groups of your customers with the perfect promotion to get them into your store. For example, your CRM can help you create an SMS campaign focused on shoppers who last purchased lipstick in person two months ago. This group is due to buy a replacement and you already know they don’t mind coming in. Target them with an SMS campaign: “Hi Bianca, it might be time to replace that lipstick! Come on in for a 15% discount on your favorite shade, and a bonus gift as well!”
Once they are there in person, your team can continue the clienteling experience to further cement the relationship.
These simple clienteling strategies are just a small sampling of what your brand can do today to lay the groundwork for an excellent Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Interested in the best clienteling CRM on the market today? Contact Endear for a free demo of our platform today!