A WINNING COMBO: CURATED COLLECTIONS & VIRTUAL SELLING
January 6, 2021
The powerful combination of curated collections paired with the convenience of your very own virtual stylist will forever change how consumers shop.
The reality is people have changed how they live, work, and shop, and many of these newly formed habits are here to stay. For retailers, many of those nice-to-have capabilities like curbside pickup, self-checkout, and appointment-driven shopping have quickly shifted to become must-have experiences. And not only have retailers responded at breakneck speed to provide safer and smarter ways to shop, but they’ve also adopted technology to create new shopping channels and revenue streams.
One such technology is clienteling, which has evolved dramatically in the last several years. Initially, clienteling was adopted by sales people as an effective method to establish long-term relationships with key customers based on details about their preferences, behaviors, and purchases. Much of this was managed manually and kept locally in a literal “black book”.
With digitalization and automation, retailers now have the ability to capture omnichannel customer data. Clienteling solutions like Veras Affinity help retailers connect online and offline data with store initiatives and empower their associates with a 360-degree view of the customer. But with in-store foot traffic greatly reduced, Veras Affinity clienteling is helping retailers stay connected even at a distance with AI-driven recommendations and complete collections curated by a savvy virtual shopper.
Veras Affinity Remote Selling & Style Builder
Remote or virtual selling is an effective tool, often doubling customer engagement and employee productivity at lower costs. Like ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores, remote selling is evolving into a dynamic channel of its own. Remote selling helps associates actively connect with shoppers that aren’t going into the store and connect with new shoppers that may not typically shop with you online. Ultimately, it’s about elevating your sales experience with meaningful data and a digitally engaged audience.
For most retailers, your employees often are your best customers and brand ambassadors. According to ExpertVoice, 86 percent of sales associates say the best reward for giving a recommendation is sharing their passion and expertise for customer satisfaction — not a commission.
With Style Builder, you can put your sales associates’ passion to work by using their input into product recommendations to improve the AI/ML engine behind it. Veras Style Builder’s curated collections paired with remote selling offers the next-generation of clienteling. It allows users to build and sell styles several ways.
Complete looks. Create or view product options to complete a look centered around a common theme. Multiple products from different categories are selected to form a complete vision for this look with rich product images and details.
Complementary collections. Find items that go well together based on the shopper’s preferences and build a full collection around it. This creates an opportunity to find new items for the customer to complete their personal collection.
Similar products. Easily find product recommendations that can be substituted for one another and with the ability to personalize recommendations. Associates use their store knowledge and direct interaction with the customer to fine tune the selections to enhance the AI.
Style Builder can be used across a number of retail verticals to deliver high-touch, one-on-one experiences with the convenience and safety of the client shopping from home. For home goods stores, associates can create room collections based on different styles or room décor. Flooring retailers may have their design consultants present complete looks that are trending and share directly with customers.
And for retailers that have in-store events like DIY or tasting events, Style Builder with Remote Selling brings that experience to the customer to not only drive revenue, but to keep your brand top of mind.
AI Still Needs Human Input
Veras Affinity’s AI/ML algorithms combine sales associate feedback with multiple customer data streams, including online and in-store purchases, social media, customer support activity, and more to provide a highly personalized experience.
On top of algorithmic recommendations, Veras Style Builder still relies on humans to train and fine-tune the machine learning models. Even with the most successful AI, the human touch is critical in all the ways it’s being adopted today. Without it, every word, recommendation, or output has a fairly logical yet just-missed-the-mark effect that lacks authenticity.
That’s why Style Builder applies a model in which human and algorithmic curators coexist to help one another. Together, Affinity’s AI learns and gets smarter from the store associate’s inputs — and gets better at executing over time. This is especially true when getting structured feedback from the field for new items that don’t yet have significant customer purchase history behind them. Leveraging store staff to get input on new products can help set meaningful recommendations in place quickly.