1/ The arrival of the personal shopper and the customer experience in retail:
Today, the customer experience plays a key role in the success of a company. You have to know how to be authentic, to surprise and to give emotion, the real vector of the customer experience. The consumer must feel unique and privileged. It is therefore quite natural that the position of personal shopper was created to help with the customer experience. Inspired by the United States, it was reserved for a wealthy clientele, exclusively in the luxury sector and department stores.
But what is the role of the personal shopper in the customer experience? :
The personal shopper, also known as a “shopping assistant”, is an advisory role in the service of individuals. Their role is to advise customers on the product that best suits them. They take into account their budget, their taste and their style. They can be both independent and, for the most part, employed in department stores with the aim of offering personalised shopping. Their advice is usually about clothes but more and more non-clothing shops are starting to offer this service.
It is above all a service offered by more and more retailers with the aim of providing a differentiated and personalised customer experience. It provides real added value in shops while humanising the shopping experience.
Given the evolution of society, what is the personal shopper today?
2/ The personal shopper today :
The personal shopper was once reserved for luxury or wealthy women travelling the globe from palace to palace. The personal shopper service was part of their daily life and they did not consider a shopping session otherwise.
The presence of personal shoppers is also present in the biggest stores such as Printemps or Galeries Lafayette, where certain privileged people offer this advantageous service.
However, nowadays, this profession is becoming more and more widespread. It is even being used in stores such as Go Sport, which (according to the Fashion Network article) uses it to “better advise consumers on highly technical products, depending on the discipline practiced.”
Brands are increasingly opting for a personalised approach, which accentuates the link between the brand and the customer. The expertise and professionalism of personal shoppers gives them a considerable advantage over their competitors because it avoids standardisation and brands have understood this. Listening to the customer, knowing how to give them time while providing them with sensations are all ways of creating a climate of trust.
However, we are in an era where everything is becoming digital. How does the personal shopper find his place in this new environment?
3/ The personal shopper in digital :
Confinement, social distancing, etc. have made e-commerce explode. All this has played a role in the acceleration of online shopping. The FEVAD figures speak for themselves: “Internet sales have reached 112 billion euros thanks to the accelerated digitalisation of retail trade“. An increase of 8.5% in just one year. Online sites have become the substitute for shops when they are closed.
Despite these new changes, customers are unanimous that the shopping experience must remain memorable. Increasingly solicited by a multitude of channels, “shoppers no longer wish to be considered as just another sale,” says the guest article. And this is not to be taken lightly. Indeed, according to Esteban Kolsky, “72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people.”
Customers are still looking for that unique experience, that personal exchange. They are still looking for advice to make the right decisions. Retailers must adapt to this new generation of online shoppers. The interest of the personal shopper is still really present, allowing to preserve this link between the brand and the customer.
“86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience” according to a PWC study.
But how to make the experience more human at a distance?
4/ The Retail VR solution for personal shoppers and customer experience :
The aim is to offer the customer an exceptional, memorable experience while immersing themselves in the brand’s universe, but from a distance. To add a human touch to the online shopping experience. Many constraints that Retail VR considered at length before finding THE solution: the custom creation of a virtual showroom that perfectly reproduces the best fitting room or the best store/showroom.
This solution enables the delivery of a fast and efficient distance selling service that meets the new demands of consumers. Each brand can personalise its showroom as it wishes, according to its expectations and its project. Like a real shop, the customer can walk around, view his selection, “add to basket”, and even interact with the personal shopper. This gives them a privileged and unique aspect, a differentiating experience.
As previously stated, the customer experience is essential in the evolution of a brand. It must be preserved and constantly renewed in order to continue to surprise and maintain this emotional bond.
Some examples of personal shopper and customer experience :
A few retailers have already launched “liveshopping” events, such as Galeries Lafayette Haussmann since 22 May. The little extra? Each customer has the possibility to indicate the pieces he wants to see with the help of a “wish list” device. However, the appointment remains less privileged than a real personalised showroom.
The Gucci brand has also taken the plunge, but only in Florence for the moment. The “Gucci live” allows customers to chat in real time with Gucci advisors. A “high-tech” shop has been specially designed to allow customers to make their purchases remotely. However, the cost of setting this up is still expensive.
In cosmetics, the “Khiels” brand offers video-conference consultations to carry out a skin diagnosis and thus benefit from a free and privileged moment with an expert in the field. However, you are not really immersed in the brand’s world.
The virtual showroom makes it possible to overcome these constraints by maintaining a physical link with the customer.
You too can offer unique shopping experiences in virtual reality! To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us: