The Ultimate Guide To Luxury Clienteling
Luxury brands are seeking to rethink how to re-engage with their clients to maintain their high level of personalized and first-class experience in this modern retail landscape. As our physical and digital worlds continue to blend, consumers are craving authentic and exclusive experiences beyond the products and services they buy more than ever.
The Definition of Luxury is Changing
The definition of luxury is being expanded by changing consumer behavior. For modern consumers, the new definition of luxury revolves around values of responsibility, conscious consumption, and sustainability over the traditional definition of luxury, which typically means the highest quality, most expensive, or most well-known product or experience.
“It was exactly as billed, and it was a lovely, personalized experience,” says Vandana Radhakrishnan, an expert in Bain’s private equity and retail practices. “That, to me, was luxury. It was an intimate experience. She knew who I was and what I needed, and got me in and out of there in a way that was exactly what I wanted.”
The partner at Bain & Company had ordered Warby Parker glasses online and was impressed with the retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores’ leverage of sales associates and adoption of technology. Each sales associate had an iPad that could easily track online purchases.
When Radhakrishnan arrived at the store, a sales associate looked up her order on her iPad, said the adjustment for her glasses would take about 5 minutes, and suggested a nice coffee shop for her to visit during her wait.
Radhakrishnan adds that she wouldn’t expect an experience “even close to that” in a traditional high-end brand store.
These days, luxury goes beyond pre-determined and objective categories. Luxury is defined by the consumer, and their experience matters the most.
“It’s important to note that, across all generations, experience matters most,” says Milton Pedraza, Luxury Institute CEO. “The product needs to be good, but the experience has to be great.” Luxury today “has to provide an emotional connection, and really make people feel special,” Pedraza says.
Personalization is Key
In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in what clients expect in their shopping and luxury clienteling experience. Though consumers still value the traditional concepts of luxury, they are doing so through the perspective of a new set of aspirations and lifestyles that prioritizes experiences that are exclusive to them. Customers want shopping experiences that save them time, provide solutions curated to their specific needs, and engagement from people they trust.
In this hyperconnected and global market, it is not enough for brands to offer high-quality products and services, they also need to offer an elevated customer experience that fulfills their need and wants, and connects with them in an authentic and emotional way.
As consumers continue to spend more time online and our retail landscape continues to change, brands should think about how to serve customers in personalized, relevant ways through all store touchpoints.
How to foster life-long customer relationships
The luxury industry has set a standard for clienteling in-store and as our physical and digital worlds continue to blend, luxury brands are looking for ways to leverage new technologies to elevate their clienteling services and clients’ experiences.
With digital clienteling platforms, store associates have the ability to interact and engage with clients across all online and offline channels and create fully personalized one-to-one customer experiences. They have visibility into their clients’ shopping history and preferences, and they can directly reach out to their clients via live chat or text message to let them know about exclusive offers, new products, and restocks that they might be interested in.
“Having a go-to sales associate or personal stylist not only keeps clients in the loop about upcoming promotions, product drops, and restocks, but also helps them navigate specific needs and special interests in a way that casual shopping lacks — from wardrobe building to milestone shopping for family and friends.”
In today’s modern retail landscape, luxury brands are being challenged to re-think how to engage with their digitally-native shoppers. For good reasons, luxury brands were slow to embrace e-commerce due to fears that it would affect their luxurious brand perception. With digital clienteling, luxury brands can scale their in-store experience digitally and preserve their brand story and reputation.
“The rapport built through clienteling makes shopping accessible, entertaining, and convenient. Great customer service turns into a great customer experience which turns a first-time shopper into a life-long client,” explains Suzanne Tran, Retail Communications Strategist at Heyday
With BSPK and our global network of sales advisors, brands can better engage with their customers and build lifelong relationships and loyalty by delivering real-time, meaningful, and personalized messages across the right touch points at the right time. More than just selling a brand, our highly coveted network of independent sales advisors deliver high-touch personalized experiences with stories beyond the products and services they sell.
We’ve identified 3 key areas that we believe should form the foundation of successful one-to-one client relationships:
1. Leverage the power of storytelling to build an emotional connection
Walk into any high-end or luxury store, and the store associate will be able to tell you about the brand’s story, and product line, and give you personalized recommendations based on your needs and preferences. The most successful sales advisors are experts in their field, industry, and competition, and know how to cultivate one-to-one loyal customer relationships that nurture over time. By enabling your salespeople to give 1:1 conversations online and offline, anywhere and anytime, they have the opportunity to leverage storytelling to engage with customers and better connect with their needs.
2. Connect online to offline seamlessly
In a world where the customer’s shopping experience mostly revolves around being online, it is imperative that brands offer an omnichannel retail experience that is connected and meet the needs of their customers. A key part of a successful omnichannel retail strategy is meeting customers where they are and delivering timely and helpful recommendations that help them feel more confident in making purchases. As brands look to keep pace with the digital and retail evolution, they must begin to leverage their sales advisors and technologies to ensure a connected and engaging customer experience.
3. Emphasize Exclusivity
In a digital-first world, brands need to recreate the feeling of exclusivity online by leveraging the power of emotions into the experience. Many key factors that set luxury shopping experiences apart are limited editions, exclusive collections, new stock availability notifications, personalized recommendations, and many more.
To learn more about how to foster great customer relationships with our innovative clienteling platform, schedule a free demo today.