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Retail Clienteling: Samsung Solutions for Extraordinary Customer Experiences

10 Dec 2015 by Howard M Cohen

Great retailers get to know their customers well. This enables them to deliver an extraordinary level of personal service.

As a service provider, you do the same thing. You learn as much as you can about your customers’ needs and preferences, and you leverage that knowledge to help you serve them better.

Retail challenges     

The most pressing problem for retailers is the margin crunch caused by real-time price comparisons — whether customers are researching online first or price matching in store.

Volume is another big challenge for retailers. Most merchants meet dozens, or even hundreds of new customers every day. It would be impossible for most anyone to remember useful information about all of those customers and have it at their fingertips the next time the customer visited the store — unless they have digital help.

While most modern retailers are optimistic about digital and omnichannel solutions in store and on mobile, they come with challenges, too: 

  • Customers come to the store armed with both information and reviews from other customers. This gives them deeper insight into products. According to Retailing Today, “81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store, up 20% from last year, and spend an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase. While consumers carefully consider before they buy, 41% of random, major-purchase shoppers say they are more open to making a large purchase than they were a year ago.”
  • Customers have other buying options. They can order online without leaving the comfort of their own home. In fact, 41 million people (39.8%) shopped online on Thanksgiving Day and 75.3 million (73.1%) shopped online on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving Weekend Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
  • Some customers have taken to “showrooming.” They come to the retail store to see a product “live, in person.” After they’ve taken a considerable amount of the sales reps’ time, they go home and order online. This is fine if the store and online site are owned by the same company.

Retail advantages

Innovative retailers have realized customers are willing to buy from them if the shopping and buying experience is extraordinary. This means providing creature comforts, entertainment and refreshments, and easily-accessed information in the retail space. For instance, many retailers are offering value-added services in store, such as Sephora’s makeup application or William Sonoma’s cooking classes.

Perhaps most important is the personal attention and recognition from the retail sales representative who has obtained and retained extensive information about the customer’s needs, preferences, expectations and more. The retail sales representative who uses this information to identify desirable product choices leading to extraordinary outcomes builds an unassailable relationship with the customer.

For instance, nearly 40% of millennials will use their devices to make purchases, even when they are inside stores this holiday season, according to Dynatrace's 2015 mobile consumer survey. On the other hand, a new report by WealthEngine and Forbes Insights found traditional in-person experiences are still essential for reaching baby boomers.

The ability to wield all of this information about all of these customers is attainable by any retailer, as long as they learn how to use the same tools as their digital competition. And that’s where a technology partner can help. Meeting the needs of every shopper requires a tech provider that both understands retail solutions and buying trends.

The clienteling advantage

According to Capgemini, “Clienteling is a tablet-based capability specifically designed to manage personal customer engagement in a way that drives traffic to retail outlets, helps store associates sell more and provides an exceptional in-store shopping experience, encouraging customers to come back for more. This application empowers your sales executives to provide exceptional customer service and an extraordinary shopping experience. It helps you build closer customer relationships and witness increased sales, improves customer retention, provides a single unified customer view and empowers store employees to provide personal service to customers.”

Samsung solutions for retail clienteling

Effective in-store retailing requires careful attention in all directions. 

  • Customer-facing solutions like Digital Signage have evolved. Using bright, full-HD Samsung panels along with Samsung MagicInfo software, retailers can feature stunning Video Walls.
  • Customers can inform themselves, accessing deeper product information using their smartphones to read QR codes, or connecting to near-field-communication (NFC) chips by simply touching their mobile devices to them.
  • Interactive experiences incorporate Samsung tablets that customers can use to select informational video from much larger displays nearby.

Retail-staff-facing solutions identify customers and deliver all available information about them. Savvy staff uses this information to greet customers by name, ask about their family members, remember their sizes and preferred styles, and more.

Enhanced outreach

The same customer data is aggregated and used to target new product and special event promotion at highly qualified target customers. This ability to reach out and engage brings more customers into the store for experiences that are truly relevant to them. This targeted marketing happens at the sales rep level, as well as in the store and corporate level.

Forming a complete circle, clienteling solutions from Samsung capture point-of-sales (POS) information to gauge the effectiveness of campaigns, continue building more experiential intelligence about customers, and enable the retailer to provide an extraordinary experience even when the customer is not in the store.

When the customer is in the store, Samsung clienteling solutions enable key processes such as customer information collection, POS checkout and invoicing.

The opportunity for IT service providers

A 2015 special report from Boston Retail Partners predicts that, “Nearly 300% more retailers plan to deploy mobile POS in the next two years. Customer-facing mobile devices will offer personalized customer service leveraging mobile devices to enhance the shopping experience.”

Partnering with Samsung and Insight, smart IT service providers will increase their revenue significantly by enabling retailers to take the fullest advantage of clienteling. To learn more, contact Insight today