The Brick and Mortar Survival Kit, Part 2 – Using computers to click with your customers
This is the second post in our Survival Kit Series, a collection of examples and advice on how to adapt your store to the rapidly changing retail landscape. We believe that technology can enhance the human element of the shopping experience, and are excited to share how retailers are using software to augment their business.
Have you ever felt guilty for spending too much time on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone? Have you tried limiting your online activity in order to seem more social, more “in sync” with humans around you? It seems that technology is often criticized for alienating us from one another. While there is certainly evidence for this, some businesses are actually using technology to bolster that irreplaceable human element in their customer service, promotional campaigns, and more. Clusier Habilleur, a bespoke menswear store, is a prime example of how data can be used to better understand a customer’s behavior.
Located at two central Montreal locations, Clusier offers quality custom-made suits and impeccable service. “Many of our clients are businessmen without a lot of time,” explains owner Pierre-Benoit Duhamel. “They don’t want to spend too long browsing the merchandise.”
Sales associates at Clusier can streamline the shopping experience by referencing data stored in the customer’s profile. Having previously noted a client’s size, desired fit, and favourite brands, staff can quickly walk them through potential options or even pre-select merchandise prior to their arrival. This data is collected through a combination of sales-savviness and LightSpeed’s automatic collection of a client’s purchase history.
Having this personal touch is an advantage that is difficult for competitors to duplicate. Taking note of customers’ style preferences, personal interests, and even favourite type of drink, enables the staff to build rapport. Along with customizing in-store service by using collected data to leverage their understanding of the client, retailers including Clusier tailor their marketing and promotional strategies using this information as well. All communications, such as mailers and e-mail blasts can be personalized using data collected in LightSpeed, adding much more impact to the message.
No matter how innovative the software, the passion of keen sales associates is undoubtedly the strongest driving edge behind successful brick-and-mortar stores. Retail technology alone is inert, but with the brainpower of smart retailers using it to its best abilities, it serves to showcase the human intelligence that allows us to bond with each other, and ultimately, make the sale.