Clienteling: Where Everybody Knows Your Name


Once upon a time, shopping was a personal experience. You would visit a new store, chat it up with the business owner, and leave feeling like you made a new friend. When you came to the shop again, you were greeted by name, asked about your day, and told about the sale on your favorite items. Fast forward several years, and the big box stores have taken over. Along with them came long lines and sales associates that don’t have time to help you, let alone remember your name and purchasing preferences.

It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that these bad practices are bad for business. That is why retailers are gravitating towards clienteling. Clienteling is a way for sales associates to provide one-to-one personalized service with data and user functionality available in a timely fashion. With this technology, retail staff can engage in-store consumers in an individualized way, turning browsers into buyers and most importantly, repeat customers. By having access to purchasing and product information, such as clothing size, style, purchase history, and other preferences, sales associates can make shopping more relationship based and provide a more positive experience.

This information is collected from customer input from mobile devices, in-store purchases, and online shopping. The data is compiled and distributed to sales associates on tablets and mobile applications, making this information available to help in-store recommendations that fit the shopper’s tastes and needs.

How can clienteling revolutionize your retail strategy? Below are four reasons:

  1. You have the ability to record, track, and analyze customer sales history – Having information on your clients, such as why they buy from your store and what they purchase, ultimately affects your inventory and your bottom line.
  2. Identify your best customers – You want to keep your best shoppers happy. Clienteling is specifically designed to predict what your buyers want, and provide a targeted focus on them so that you can enhance your relationship and build brand loyalty, even notifying them when items from their favorite designers arrive.
  3. Increase traffic – Giving your sales associates these tools will only make their jobs easier and skip the wasted time of forging a connection. Once clienteling shows promise, word will spread that visiting your store is a positive event, therefore, increasing traffic, increasing sales, and ultimately increasing your bottom line.
  4. More personalized shopping – Many consumers are tired of feeling like a number. By adapting their experience through clienteling data, brands can make a stronger case for loyalty and repeat business, while making the buyer feel like the business cares about their needs.

Remember, the perception of your customer service translates into the reality of your bottom line. There are hundreds of stores, thousands if you count the internet, that you compete directly with. Establishing a personal connection with your buyers and recognizing the importance of their in-store interactions will set you apart and show that your brand is committed to the shopping experience. 

By having access to purchasing and product information, such as clothing size, style, purchase history, and other preferences, sales associates can make shopping more relationship based and provide a more positive experience.