First Name Basis: Clienteling – What It Is And Why It’s The Future Of Retailing

Today is your birthday. You wake up and start your morning off by checking to your email, only to find a personalized message from Company XYZ who you shopped with about a month ago. “Happy birthday, John! Please enjoy this 30% off coupon on us, and see below for a few select items we thought you in particular might like. Many happy returns from Company XYZ.”

You feel a wide range of emotions after reading the email: flattered that company XYZ remembered your birthday; special that company XYZ seems to actually know you with the accuracy of their product suggestions; excited because you now have a 30% off coupon in your possession, and so on. This is part of clienteling in the modern retail world.

Clienteling is a technique used by retail sales associates to establish long-term relationships with key customers based on data about their preferences, behaviors and purchases”                  - AgilOne, 2016

For example, if you send follow-up emails to customers after purchases are made, using their first name and inquiring about the specific item(s) they bought will go a lot further than a generic name and product references.

“85% of people are more likely to shop with a store that store utilizes personalization in some form.”- Think With Google, 2014

People want to feel special, and clienteling facilitates this feeling. If a customer believes that you actually know them, care for them and pay attention to their interests, they’ll begin to develop a sense of loyalty towards your store. This means that when it comes down to it, they will choose you over your competitors, every single time, because you took the time to get to know them.

See infographic below to better understand the flow of clienteling in relation to the Buyer’s Journey and how it plays an integral role in every step. Don’t let your store fall behind and get to know your customers today.


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Corbalis, Laura. “Clienteling: An AgilOne Hot Topic – AgilOne | Customer Cloud.” AgilOne Customer Cloud. AgilOne, 05 May 2016. Web. 07 July 2016.

Iposos Media CT, and Sterling Brands. “New Research Shows How Digital Connects Shoppers to Local Stores.” Think with Google. Google, 1 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. <https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-digital-connects-shoppers-to-local-stores.html>.

Jackie Loeffler

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