First things first -- what is clienteling? Back in the day it was common to have a personal relationship with the local butcher, baker or what have you. You’d be greeted by first name when you walked in the door, and the person behind the counter would already be packaging your favorite cut of meat or loaf of bread. Nowadays, that type of service and those types of personal relationships between customers and brands are more the exception than the rule. At the most basic level, clienteling is the idea of treating customers like you’ve known them forever in order to establish long-lasting loyalty. Clienteling is about making your customers’ lives easier through customer service and a great experience.
I’m a marketer (for a company that makes software for other marketers), but I’m also a consumer. The two sides are intertwined. For better or for worse, I can’t turn the marketer off while I shop. The marketer side of me is always taking mental notes about customer engagement wins and missed opportunities and thinking about what is going on behind the scenes at a company to cause their customer experience to soar or flop. I shop a lot, so there are abundant examples to choose from. However, there’s one company that stands out from the pack time and time again: Shopbop. I wish other companies would take a page out of Shopbop’s customer engagement book. That’s why I’m putting my love story down on paper in an effort to help less fortunate brands find their happy ending.
If you live in a world of penny profit the way grocers do, you can't afford to discount to people willing to pay full price. You also need to drive in footsteps to buy product that is literally perishable.
Retail is not dead. Not even mostly dead as they said in The Princess Bride.
I have never been a big makeup person. Don’t get me wrong -- I need it and don’t ever go out without it, but I stick to the basics. I am an athlete, so that complicates the attention I choose to give to makeup. The surplus of options and brands Sephora offers is intimidating. Primer, powder, bronzer, and mascara is the combination and extent of the makeup I consistently purchase but unlike most people, I am a true loyalist. For me, Sephora is the best place to go because I know they will always have the brand I love: Laura Mercier. I am loyal to Sephora and buy all of my products at their stores or online. Here’s where I think they are delivering a great customer experience and opportunities for them to turn passive makeup purchasers into frequent shoppers.