As social distance is becoming the new normal, retailers are looking at ways to adapt their business model. One important observation is the enormous growth of personal shopping services in consumer lifestyle goods. Chats with digital advisors, planning tools for private shopping in store and live video with instore sales agents. Discover why personal shopping is the new, exciting and very promising revenue channel for omni channel retailers in the post COVID-19 era.
1. Be there in person
As consumers are looking for purpose driven brands, it is extremely important to be there, in person. Personal shopping offers an opportunity to add faces to your brand in an online environment. Customers will relate to you on another level, a personal level. They will experience that the expertise of your people is part of the value you bring as a retailer. Your people will give an extra sparkle to your products and give the confirmation most consumers are looking for.
2. Limit the options
One dramatic pitfall of e-commerce is the enormous offer. Go to Zalando and find 1089 blue jeans in your size and fit. In general, consumers don’t like to be sourcing for hours to find the right product. More-over, most consumers don’t know exactly what they are looking for. Just keep putting more products in their face doesn’t improve the shopping experience nor does it increase conversion. You want to help them by showing a small amount of products that are relevant to the individual.
Personal Shopping enables the curation of products for individual customers in an online environment. This is why there is a bigger chance for consumers to find products that match their need, spend more and send less back.
3. Get the highly motivated of shoppers in store
As a maximum number of customers are allowed in your physical store, it is crucial to get the most ‘highly motivated’ ones in. Giving your customers the opportunity to plan their store visit with a Personal Shopper, will increase your store conversion dramatically.
4. From reactive to proactive
Similar to store conversion, you want to maximise the sales conversion from customer support. Every contact moment with a customer is a hidden gem and should be treated accordingly. This is not the time to be reactive. Store sales agents as well as customer support employees should be able to reach out pro-actively and help the customer in finding the right product. Commercial training of any person within your organisation that is in contact with a consumer, is the best investment you will ever make. Ideally, a customer support employee can directly place an order for the customer to further increase conversion.
5. Get those customer profiles in
As a new lockdown may be around the corner, the possibly to benefit from your existing customer base becomes super important. If done right, personal shopping not only increases the number of customers profiles in your database, but also reveals when customers will buy in future.
Like a subscription business model, this creates predictability in revenue.
6. Start up-selling and cross-selling sell like crazy
Why do the Average Order Values (AOV) of e-commerce orders stay below stores? The store offers much more opportunities to cross sell, up sell or sell a higher priced item. Personal Shopping offers you a way to do the same, but in an online environment.
7. Increase the flexibility of your stock
Personal shoppers work with the products that are on stock and push them. A big advantage of curated shopping is that you limit the options for your customers, adding a high degree of flexibility to your stock management.
Let’s say the customer wants ‘a blue shirt’. They don’t indicate the exact brand, fabric, style and color. So you can be flexible and send any blue shirt on stock that matches expectations.
8. Take the opportunity to become more sustainable
As the average order values of personal shopping orders are higher, it requires less environmental costs of transport and packaging to deliver the same amount of product. Another reason why personal shopping adds to your sustainability goals is that you can push more sustainable and high quality products. You can even start a ‘sustainable box concept’ — allowing the customer to find only sustainable products in their order.
This makes Personal shopping a crucial component in your post COVID-19 omni channel retail strategy. But it is not easy. A personalised shopping experiences is a big promise to the customer and adds a new level of complexity to your organisation. It requires the effort of different people or departments within your organisation, from Marketing, IT, Customer Experience and Retail. But if you are doing it right, it will be a fast growing revenue channel of your company.
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