Customer loyalty programs are undeniably powerful, a surefire way to increase sales. But it’s tricky to get customers to part with personal information, even when the loyalty program comes with perks.
Many businesses choose the point of sale as the time to introduce customer loyalty programs, but in fact by this point most customers have made up their minds about what they want and just want to complete their transactions and leave the store as quickly as possible.
Could you be underestimating the importance of your fitting rooms? Did you know that your customers are at their most receptive to promotions, including customer loyalty programs, while in the fitting room?
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However, in the fitting room a customer has a reason to be receptive; the typically substantial discounts many customer loyalty programs offer them. This is important because in order for your customer loyalty programs to be effective, not only do they need to be compelling, but you need to offer them to your customers when they’re most receptive.
Customer Engagement Zones
There are several different “engagement zones” that customers experience as they complete their shopping experience. Understanding customers’ receptiveness at each stage can help you maximize your sales by offering what they want, when they want it.
Browsing – Will Resist Engagement
Customers who have just entered your store will typically resist engagement. They are browsers at this point and don’t want help from a sales associate. That is, not until they find clothing they might like to purchase.
Fitting Room – Ready for Engagement
When they do find clothing they like, customers are ready to engage with sales associates. Most of the time, they will make their way to the fitting room to try the clothing on and make their buying decisions. This is the point at which they are most open to upselling and cross-selling.
Cashwrap – Disengaged
Once customers have left the fitting room, they have for the most part made their decisions. They are ready to pay, leave, and move on with the rest of their day.
They are not generally receptive to upselling at this point, and this includes store credit and customer loyalty programs. In fact, offering such programs at this point will often just annoy them.
Fitting Room Engagement
So if customers are most receptive in the fitting room – while they are still in the process of making their buying decisions – it only makes sense to focus your efforts there.
Engagement with a Sales Associate
A good sales associate knows the importance of engaging with customers at the point of trying on clothes and will already be on a first name basis with customers as they assist them. This connection can make it much easier to get a customer to part with personal information.
In the fitting room there are also a number of potential reasons for a customer to share personal information. For example, the store associate could offer:
- to keep track of the customer’s sizes and preferences
- to email the customer when new items arrive or to inform them of special promotions
- if the fitting room is full, to text the customer when one becomes available
There must be a give and take. Customers will give up their info, but they’ve got to get something in return.
Discounts Can Help Your Customers Purchase More Try-On
Of course, customers make decisions in the fitting room based on how well the clothing fits and how it makes them feel. But another thing they’re doing is mental math to determine whether they can afford all the selections they would like to purchase.
So it’s easy to see why this is the best time for a sales associate to introduce the possibility of increasing the customer’s purchasing power with store credit (and the substantial first-purchase discount it comes with!).
Suddenly, the great-fitting pants that had been demoted to the reject pile because of their price tag can be purchased – along with the top that goes with them perfectly.
Giving your customers a reason to part with their personal info is the best way to get it, and the fitting room is the best place to offer that reason. It’s a win-win proposition.
From the moment your customers walk through the door to the time they leave your store, there’s no better time to engage and upsell them than at the fitting room. In the fitting room your customers –
- Need and want assistance, so it’s the perfect opportunity for engagement
- Want to be able to afford the clothing they like, so they are receptive to loyalty and credit
- Are in the process of making their buying decisions – not finish deciding and ready to leave – as they are at the cashwrap
So don’t underestimate the value of your fitting rooms. Make the experience all it can be for you and your customers, and you both go home happy.
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What experiences have you had with customer engagement at the fitting room? Please share your comments below!