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Providing a personal touch with clienteling and Apple in retail

Since retail began, savvy proprietors have been paying attention to their customers’ buying habits to anticipate their needs. They understood that the key to boosting sales wasn’t just getting products in front of customers, but getting the right products in front of the right customers. This is the process of clienteling, and with the help of Apple technology, you can build strong customer relationships and foster trust and loyalty.


Clienteling is all about the personal customer experience. It’s centred on both customer service and customer knowledge – very simply, it is the process of building a relationship with your key customers, keeping note of their buying preferences and behaviours. And while it won’t necessarily be appropriate for all retailers – large supermarket chains would struggle to achieve clienteling for their thousands of weekly grocery shoppers, for example – it can be an invaluable tool to those looking to boost customer trust and loyalty by providing a personal, boutique experience.


The modern, personalised experience

The process has moved on from the times of keeping a little black book of customers in your back pocket in order to provide a personalised experience. As with the rest of the shopping experience, emerging and evolving technologies mean that customers expect more from the retailers vying for their attention. But thankfully, that same technology is available to you too. When properly utilised, Apple devices can bring about digital transformation to help you provide a unique, one-to-one personal shopping experience for your customers every time and anywhere.

With Apple technology, understanding and reacting to how customers have purchased before has become automated. Store associates can use iPad on the shop floor to view customers’ purchase history, what they’ve viewed, their style and size – all with just the swipe of a screen. They can then initiate a conversation with a customer based on these details. For example, if a customer bought a particular handbag last season, the associate can get in touch to let them know when the latest line is launched.


How are retailers taking advantage of clienteling?

Luxury retailers are utilising modern clienteling with iOS devices to provide bespoke, boutique shopping experiences for their customers. By investing in the best hardware and software, businesses can drive digital transformation and quickly reap the benefits of clienteling.

Indigo, Canada’s largest book, gift and speciality toy retailer, has digitally transformed their in-store buying and checkout experience with clienteling. With over 100,000 product SKUs, shoppers may struggle to find exactly what they’re looking for… and if they can’t find what they’re after in a short amount of time, the store may risk losing the sale. Plus, with 83% of shoppers believing that they’re more knowledgeable about product than store associates, thanks to information available online, Indigo knew they needed to step up their game when it came to equipping employees with the right tools and information.

By providing store associates with iPads, if a customer walks in looking to pick up an item they’ve ordered online, the associate has the right mobile tools available to check the customer’s recent purchase history there on the shop floor. Empowered with iOS devices, Indigo’s front-of-house employees are able to do their job confidently and efficiently, while adding value to the customer journey. The goal for Indigo is to turn every customer from a one-time transaction into a brand advocate, which is made possible by digital transformation with Apple, and clienteling.

Men’s clothing company Bonobos uses ‘Guides’ as a key part of their business strategy, utilising clienteling to not just enhance but fully guide the customer journey. 65% of shoppers say they are more likely to shop at a retailer that knows their purchase history, and Bonobos’ Guides have access to every customer’s history and shopping preferences. Visitors can book a one hour, one-to-one session with a Guide and try as many or as few products as they like, and the Guide – armed with all the right information on an iPad– is able to suggest and find the right products to assist the customer more effectively.

Since implementing this bespoke, personalised experience for their customers, Bonobos saw higher satisfaction scores and a 12% increase in average order value. What’s more, store data is now fed into a central database to further understand the customer, the associate, and the business as a whole.


What we recommend – Tulip Retail

We already know that iOS devices are top of the class when it comes to bringing about digital transformation in retail spaces, with hardware and software that’s made for each other, built-in security and privacy, iBeacon and GPS tools. It’s also the best platform for industry apps – which is where Tulip Retail comes in.

The Tulip Retail app arms store associates with valuable customer insights, allowing them to provide a bespoke experience both in store and after. Staff are able to send personalised messages to key customers, delivering a one-to-one experience every time. Tulip Retail can be deployed across iPad, iPhone and Apple TV to help retailers provide the best possible customer experience, and thanks to their close relationship with Apple, you can be confidence that any changes alongside iOS updates will be quick and easy.

The Tulip Retail app allows you to:

Access customer information. Create a rich customer profile that includes personal preferences and order history, plus online activity such as wish lists and browsing history. This will allow you to quickly gauge the kind of products your customer might be looking for next, and anticipate their needs.

Build relationships with your top customers. Keep a client book for your VIP customers to take notes, and track birthdays and anniversaries so you can send personalised messages and build a rapport. You can also capture communication preferences for tailored follow-ups.

Continue the in-store conversation. Interact with customers after they leave the store with personal SMS/text messages. Templates are available to make sure you say just the right thing, and you can include attachments to further engage shoppers. These communications are monitored and recorded, so valuable history can be passed along to future associates.

And of course, if you’re looking for advice on how to get started, the kit you’ll need to deploy, or even help with a custom sales app, we’re on hand to help you out!


Want to find out more about our solutions for retail?Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and events, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.


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