Merging the digital and offline world!
Creating qualitative relationships is all about empathy. A connection that ensures involvement and loyalty from the customer. For retailers, achieving this relationship is generally complex because instore and online channels often act as separate sales & service channels. In many cases, happens because the technological infrastructure is not designed to make a personal and empathetic connection possible. Due to the use of many different tools, interfaces and separate or even no data sources, a central overview is often missing. We have heard before that all touchpoints with the customer must have the same personal approach, especially now that the Holidays are just around the corner. But how exactly do you bring these worlds together? And which tools do you use?
Where “Digital Innovations in Retail – Part 1” mainly focused on the importance of integration of social channels and the conversion of social service into sales through social commerce, this part will emphasize the importance of digitization of physical stores. This is especially relevant since we arre nearing the busiest time of the year. A season in which a peak and a major boost in turnover is expected. However, since last year, everything is different. Shops that are too crowded should be avoided, and the expectations of consumer that do visit are high. To meet both challenges, we recommend taking advantage of at least two recent digital innovations: 1) scheduling appointments of store visits, 2) Personalizing the customer experience in the store by using data.
1. Plan visits and spread out the peak in stores
To prevent people from entering too crowded stores, feeling unsafe or even having to wait in line at the door, the store visit can be streamlined by scheduling appointments and ‘shopping experiences’. By making use of an innovative solution such as the Salesforce Lightning Scheduler, appointments are placed directly in the CRM of the organization, linked to existing customers or new accounts. In this manner, physical visits are linked to the digital power of data. Several retailers, such as the largest cosmetics retailer in the Netherlands, are already using this Salesforce application, which can even be completely tailored to the look & feel of the brand and integrated into their website.
In short, why should you use a planning tool for streamlining visits to your stores?
- By spreading store visits, personal attention is easier to achieve;
- Customer has the opportunity to provide a reason for the visit in advance;
- It enables the customer to avoid the biggest peak;
- Customer data is real-time synchronized and up-to-date due to the integration with the CRM of the company;
- Instore employees have the right information available during the appointment in order to give personal, relevant advice;
- When combined with marketing (cloud), even more relevant customer journeys are being created.
Some advantages of the implementation of Lightning Scheduler for retailers and the deep integration in Service Cloud:
- Fully integrated with Salesforce, which means that you can even connect Marketing Cloud, Customer Service, Instore and many more channels;
- Scalable, as it is developed on a Salesforce out-of-the-box solution
- Customizable for every customer, based on the specific wishes and needs.
2. Make instore shopping personal with data
Ok, the customer visit is planned on the most relevant moment and the personal shopping experience can take place. How do you ensure that the personal attention is also relevant and spot-on, without a lot of time and energy into researching the order history and preferences of this single customer? Clienteling is one of the most smartest solutions for this problem. This unique VANEIGENS application ensures that store employees have access to customer data in the Salesforce Platform on their smart devices.
To effectively apply clienteling, you need a tool that collects and connects customer data, such as purchase history, preferences, behavior and response data. By making this data available on site, all data is available that enables proactive service and full support for the customer. Via our VANEIGENS Clienteling App, sales employees in the stores provide a targeted service and build a long-term relationship. This App can also be expanded with other functionalities and services, such as real-time stock management and your own loyalty program. Read all about our own VANEIGENS Clienteling solution in a previously written article.
Connecting the digital and physical world
In order to offer the best possible customer experience and to increase loyalty, digital innovations such as Clienteling and Scheduler offer seamless solutions. These innovations are all about connecting the power of digital business with the delivery of personal service that we know from the physical stores. So make sure you’re on time for the Holiday season or the January Sale and optimize your customer service, marketing and sales from one and the same vision.
Would you like to know more about the added value of VANEIGENS for your organization in respect to CRM, personal communication, customer experiences and instore data enablement? Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or directly make an appointment via our website.
Jelle is co-founder at VANEIGENS and has a long history with Salesforce products and services, at companies like Accenture, KPN and SuitSupply. As CTO he concentrates on innovation and developing unique and disruptive solutions for clients.