black leather sling bag on white textile

We are looking for unique gifts and festive outfits for the annual party season. This is the peak season for fashion retailers. There is always enough staff to keep the tills open and the packages sparkling. However, staff are not able to be drag along to ring the registers or wrap the purchases perfectly. This is a shame because it means that retailers are missing out on important opportunities, especially outside of the festive season. Your customers will be more likely to return to your store if they are packing at the final moment. The packing moment should be seen as a future sales opportunity.

black leather sling bag on white textile

In this age of digitalization, expanding contact moments is possible

Your sales strategy is based on the contact moments you have with your customer. All of us recognize the commercial value in helping customers find the right size or giving styling advice in the fitting rooms. These contact moments are becoming less and less valuable in this digital age. It is becoming increasingly difficult to make real contact with your prospects in order for you to achieve your sales goals.

Fashion retailers are also embracing digitization to enhance customer experience, even without human contact. Uniqlo’s self-scanning checkout impressed me. Smart RFID technology allowed me to simply drop my shopping bag – including all the clothes – into a loading dock. In seconds, the textile pile was converted into an orderly number on the screen. After a quick swipe with my Apple Pay, the receipt was rolled out. The machine only managed to pull out a tiny robotic arm to wrap my purchases. This would have been a scene straight from Back To The Future. This was a pleasant experience for me, despite the fact that there was no employee involved. It also allowed me to quickly leave the busy store. It was very different at a competitor’s shop, where I found an employee and a cash register. It took me longer to get my money, my clothes were packed more slowly into the bag than I would normally do, and I was given the muffled version of “have an enjoyable day.” This is a rare and unfortunate instance, but I am often surprised at how little time is spent on the last contact point in the sales process. This is a shame because manned checkouts can help you expand your contact opportunities.

brown gift box with pink ribbon

From Contact to Contract: Doing it with the “r” of retention

It is important to view the wrapping moment as a stage for customer loyalty. You might want to give the customer a show if he isn’t paying attention. This is best illustrated by the Chanel shop in-shop at Bijenkorf. As a gift for my mother-in law’s birthday, we bought a special cream from there. A special gift box was first brought out. The salesperson asked us to suggest other products for the birthday girl, while the jar was still in the box. She generously took several samples and put them all in the gift box. It was a complete party package. The bow was added to the gift box. We asked for an additional bag to transport the precious gift. A second bow was added around the bag. Chanel bags never leave the shop without a bow. My mother-in law was still in seventh heaven a week later, stuffed with all of her goodies. She was already begging for Chanel. Apart from the fact that we will be returning next time to perform a surprise performance for someone else, Chanel also gained a customer from my mother in law. This is retention, or repeat visits. It’s also customer acquisition in one moment.

Chanel has shown us how to convert a contact moment into customer retention by adding the “r” of retention marketing. Your wrapping moment is perfectly suited to this. A small gift with personal attention and a note of appreciation is not only a surprise to the customer but also acts as compensation, a thank-you for the purchase, and a invitation to return next time.

Tips for getting started packing clients:

How do you make this easy and within a budget? These are some ways to make your customer experience a memorable one.

person holding brown and blue box

  • Use the talents of your current employees. A small origami piece was also added to finish the package in the form of a bird, or flower. This wrapping was cleverly used to create a memorable moment in customer experience.
  • As an afterthought, pass along a solution. In Madrid, a saleswoman wrapped my fresh merino Wool purchase with a sachet. This sachet diffused the amazing home scent of the brand and kept moths away from the purchase. I was able to continue to use it for many years. The customer’s memory holds your brand’s scent well.
  • Every interaction with your product should be a happy one. I know they thought so at my favorite sock shop. They ask me if I want a love bag to hold my socks when I pack my purchases. This laundry bag is for socks and says “Getting separated really socks!” This ensures that your socks don’t get lost in the washing machine.

With a little bit of packing, you can still pay a visit to your company even if it is not Christmas.

This contribution is by Melvin van Tholl (Customer Experience Architect at BLOODY BELIEVERS). Creative-strategic agency that assists companies and brands in developing breakthrough customer experiences. This is done for both Dutch and international companies. This series will take you inside the world of the consumer and teach you lessons to make your company more future-proof.