By Steve Ingram, Director – KIT.
As the retail sector continues to innovate and adapt to challenging times, the adoption of Clienteling software is helping the industry recover in the short term and evolve business models to prepare for the future. The impact of Clienteling software on the retail industry is causing ripples globally, so let’s take a look at the US. Let’s see how American retailers handle transformation in a world where even though online sales continue to skyrocket, consumers still prefer to visit the physical store.
The leading US retailers in 2021
It is essential to review the performance of US retail businesses to understand where the industry is today and why some have performed better than others. Each year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) publishes its Top 100 Retailers list based on sales ranking for the previous 12 months of trading. Some may expect to see Amazon top the list, considering the impact of COVID, but the online giant came in second with retail sales more than 60% less than Walmart.
Bricks and mortar stores needed to continue trading and work in tandem with relevant online offerings. Therefore, when it required new routes to market, Clienteling software helped support the introduction of channels such as Click & Collect or Buy Online, Pick Up In Store. NRF’s review of The Top 100 retailers describes those that invested in such routes to market (before the pandemic) were losing their investment. In the end, it paid dividends and also avoided the scramble to accommodate such channels.
It’s all about the real-time data
When introducing Clienteling software, the primary goal should be to improve the customer experience, which can be achieved by better understanding customer needs. Access to reliable real-time data will allow Store Associates to fully utilise Clienteling features such as Lookbook to group products to share with customers via their preferred communications channel.
At the same time, real-time data also provides the Store Associate with a 360-degree view of customer transaction history, online baskets and loyalty data. Check out a recent blog post by Treasure Data to discover how they think real-time data will power retail in 2021 and beyond.
Clienteling software & the omnichannel experience
The retail customer experience, with the help of technology such as Clienteling software, organically shifts and adjusts to meet the consumer’s ever-growing needs and demands, clearly demonstrated by the change in shopping trends during the past 12 – 18 months. In May 2020, according to research by Adobe, Buy Online, Pick Up In Store had grown by almost 200%, compared to the same period the previous year, with demand for Click & Collect increasing by over 60%. Highlighted in a report by talkdesk, retailers needed to adjust and create a blended journey – bringing online and offline together.
Customers have spent long periods at home and relied heavily on e-commerce while at the same time becoming savvier with the online retail experience, leading to increased expectations.
Clienteling software such as KIT will help any retail business meet and exceed these new customer expectations – it slots perfectly into any infrastructure and delivers instant benefits to Store Associates and customers. To understand why Clienteling is important – download the KIT Whitepaper.