Clarins has also set up worldwide consultations, inviting all its beauty experts to offer free telephone consultations. In 15-minute sessions, the experts focused on delivering their advice live. Whether for pre-sales or sales assistance, the objective of retaining the richness of the advice so dear to the brand was fully achieved. The magic worked, sometimes in the intimacy of the bathrooms, and authentic relationships were created. This is evidenced by the massive arrival of loyal customers in-store since the reopenings.
“More and more retailers are looking to increase customer value and enhance brand relevance by bringing the personal features of the in-store shopping experience directly into the customer’s home,” says Scott Clarke, VP, consumer products industry lead at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient. He says that “research has shown that despite the convenience of e-commerce, consumers still value the human touch at critical points along the shopping journey.”
Various brands such as Cuup, Credo, Clarins, Chanel have been trying to incorporate this human touch in their sales process offering video calls between in-store employees and shoppers at home.
Today this is solved by a haphazard mix of do-it-yourself solutions: Whatsapp, facetime, phone calls. Some brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Panerai, and Temperley London have been using the customer support platform Hero, to let in-store salesclerks chat with online customers through a video chat hosted on the brands’ website. Sellers can then guide consumers to specific pages on the site to support their recommendations.
Gucci has been leading the way with the launch of Gucci Live, a video service that lets staff communicate with shoppers on their mobiles or laptops. Gucci 9 in Florence has developed a faux luxury store with cameras and TV-style lighting for the new “remote clienteling”. Through this service, Gucci aims at providing customers around the world with a direct connection to the Gucci community in a seamless, accessible, and personalized experience.