Both Video commerce and clienteling have grown in prominence in the last few years. With increased social distancing and the resulting reduced footfall, consumers are looking for new ways to discover products. Video commerce is a hugely powerful way to discover products.
What is clienteling?
Clienteling seeks to establish meaningful relationships between the retailer and the customer. This is achieved by empowering sales associates with real-time data, based on the customer profile which include:
- Past purchases
Often achieved using an in-store app, the retailer can aim to offer a truly personalised experience to the customer.
More from us
Video commerce is revolutionising retail
Live video commerce is the process of promoting products and services over live stream, direct to consumers, via one to one or one to many experiences.
We’re relying more and more on using video to help us discover and compare products we are looking to buy and retailers know it. Going live takes it a step closer to the experience of retail. Demonstrating a product over Video brings the customer closer to the in-store experience:
- Retailers can give advice on the product
- The product can be demonstrated live, be measured up, moved around
- You can show how customers can use the product better
- Customers can ask questions related to their needs and have those needs responded to in real-time
In the world of social distancing, video commerce gives retailers an opportunity to interact, to sell to customers at a distance.
Clienteling is great retail practice, both online and offline
Clienteling is the process of building a long term relationship with the customer. It allows you to recognise a customer, have a record of purchases, preferences, requirements and needs. Clienteling done well improves the customer experience.
This is super important both online and in retail. Customers who want to be recognised hope for a better experience than what they could hope for on the first visit.
Clienteling tools are almost native in an e-commerce experience. Personalisation, customer recognition and the ubiquitous email database ensures (when done well) the customer is remembered and catered to.
Clienteling tools are becoming increasingly important in the retail environment too. Large, faceless stores with huge staff turnover need a way to remember customers. Clienteling enables that.
What is the difference between customer service and clienteling?
Clienteling and customer service share a common goal. To identify the needs of the customer and deliver a solution, resulting in a closed sale. In short, customer service can help achieve KPIs, push promotions and increase the average value basket.
However, retailers utilising customer service as their only tool can encounter barriers. In 2019, Boston Retail Partners suggests 63% of retailers struggled to identify their customers before approaching the till. A further 20% were unable to identify them at all.
And that is the key difference. Customer service relies heavily on face-value information. Whereas clienteling can equip sales associates with powerful knowledge to enhance the customer journey.
Video commerce enables Remote clienteling
Video commerce provides a hugely rich customer experience when compared to a purely online experience. It’s highly interactive, engages the customer in ways that are infinitely closer to the in-store experience. This richness sets up the relationship, drives high NPS scores and ultimately improves the probability of the breakthrough sale.
Enter clienteling. Picture first a scenario where a customer has a hugely positive experience, their needs have been acknowledged, they have experienced the product (remotely) and the propensity to make the all-important first purchase is sky-high. Then the business forgets about them. The consumer comes back, virtual money in hand – and there is no record of the interaction.
Compare that to a scenario where clienteling tools are in place. The customer has a saved record of the products discussed over their live video shopping experience.
The customer has had follow-ups to check if they need further information, and they have the ability to book another video consultation with their expert when they are ready to talk again.
The expert (with permission) has a record of the items preselected in their last experience and is ready to pick up where they left off in the next video consultation.
Clienteling tools are hugely important when the customer experience has multiple steps. It allows continuity of experience, which can often be lacking in a digital customer experience. Video acts as a bridge between the retail experience and the digital experience and clienteling provide the memory, enabling a long term experience.
Furthermore video commerce adds impetus to other omnichannel experiences like:
- Click and collect
- Kerb side pickup
- Home delivery
L’Oréal’s Tap and Try and Signature Faces
The beauty industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, up to 85 per cent of beauty-product purchases were made instore. The market then saw around 30 per cent of its stores being closed.
Firstly, L’Oréal’s Tap and Try enables consumers to browse a number of beauty and care products on the website. Using AR technology, it can recommend products to which consumers can have a ‘virtual try-on’. Online ambassadors are available to help with choosing a product, enhancing the customer journey and empowering ambassadors with preferences and interests.
Secondly, in November 2020, an additional feature was added, ‘Signature Faces’, which integrates with platforms like Snapchat and Zoom and allows users to select predefined filters, escaping the ‘just got out of bed look’.
Those two examples demonstrate the mission to humanise the virtual shopping experience. Humans thrive on social interaction and this behaviour filters down to the shopping experience.
Video commerce and clienteling end to end
Video commerce and the live shopping experiences it enables provides a contactless customer journey in an end to end way.
- One to many video commerce impacts awareness and association to needs
- One to one video commerce helps identify specific needs to be responded to, speeding up consideration
- Virtual shared baskets improve conversion
- Clienteling keeps a record of the relationship for further video consultation or conversion
Confer With provides a comprehensive video commerce solution supported by clienteling
Confer With is a video commerce platform that integrates into your eCommerce ecosystem and customer management infrastructure. Get in touch to learn more about Confer With, see it live and learn and how video commerce can benefit your business.