What if you could transform your customers’ in-store experiences so they are engaging, relevant and inspiring? Many of the technologies and products on display at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show next week will be designed to address this topic, which is critical in helping retailers bridge the gap between bricks and clicks.
 
And it’s a substantial gap. A large number of today’s store interactions are uninspired and uninformed, compared with the experiences customers get in the digital world. Many store visits don’t lead to sales and do not build a relationship between the retailer and the customer. Many customers have different in-store experiences, compared with their digital interactions with the same retailer. In fact, more than half of shoppers surveyed in Capgemini’s “Digital Shopper Relevancy” study said that most retailers are not consistent in the way they present themselves across channels.
 
At the same time, technology developments provide enormous opportunities for retailers to change this – for example, via mobile location-specific services, integration of many relevant data sources and enablement of consumer communities. Among the most promising approaches to help retailers improve the in-store dialogue with customers is clienteling.
 
Clienteling is a capability to manage personal customer engagement in a way that drives traffic to your store, provides an exceptional in-store shopping experience and keeps your customers coming back for more. Clienteling brings together in-store and digital customer engagement, helping to generate more sales and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. These benefits derive from three key ingredients:
 
1. A single unified customer view: At the heart is a 360-degree view of your customers. This allows your employees to view recent customer interactions, as well as past purchases, personal preferences, loyalty and social media interactions.
 
2. Empowerment of store employees to provide personal service: Clienteling provides your employees with the right tools to deliver a differentiated, more intimate level of customer service.
 
3. Connection with other customers and communities: Clienteling also enables customers to serve themselves using tools such as smartphones or in-store digital signage or kiosks on their own terms to connect with the broader customer community, thereby creating brand advocates and evangelists.
 
Approaches like clienteling can help improve the in-store dialogue with customers while also addressing growing issues like showrooming by creating differentiated moments of truth, the critical points when shoppers make their choices.

This contribution is by Kees Jacobs
Digital Proposition Lead
Capgemini Digital Customer Experience