The annual holiday season is on and we’re on the hunt for festive outfits and surprising gifts again. It’s high season for fashion retailers. At the same time, there is no shortage of staff to ring the tills, let alone to make the packaging of purchases shine. Yet at the same time, staff cannot be dragged along to ring cash registers, let alone wrap purchases perfectly. And that’s a shame, because this is where retailers miss out on well-deserved opportunities, especially outside of the holiday season. The moment of packaging is the last moment to keep your customers coming back for their purchases. It is high time to view the moment of packaging as a future moment of sale.
Expanding moments of contact in the age of digitization and the crown
The moments of contact with your customer are essential for your business strategy. We all recognize the business value of helping the customer find the right size or providing style advice in the dressing room. In the age of digitalization and the crown, these moments of contact are rarer and more fleeting. Making real contact to make your business strategy profitable is therefore becoming more and more of a challenge.
At the same time, some fashion retailers are embracing digitalization to improve the customer experience, even without human contact. For example, I recently bought sweaters from Uniqlo and was impressed with their auto-digital checkout. Thanks to the intelligent RFID technology of the checkout system, I didn’t have to unpack my grocery bag, but could just drop it – with all the clothes in it – at a loading dock. The pile of textile was scanned in seconds in an orderly amount on the screen. And after a quick wave of Apple Pay on my phone, the receipt unfolded. Hardly a robotic arm came out of the machine to wrap my purchases, otherwise this moment of convenience would be a Back to the Future scene. Despite the fact that no employee was involved, it was a very pleasant experience for me and gave me a quick exit from the crowded store. How different it was in a competitor’s store, where I found a cash register with an employee. This time it took longer at checkout, my clothes were stuffed more casually into the bag than I would have, and I was handed the mumbled version of “have a nice day.” Although this is an isolated and unfortunate example, I have often noticed that the very last moment of contact in the sales process is not used. Too bad, because with a manned checkout you can intelligently expand your arsenal of moments of contact.
From contact to contract: do it with the ‘r’ of retention
The trick is to see the moment of packaging as your step towards unforgettable customer loyalty. If the customer is watching passively anyway, you might as well give them a “show”. The Chanel shop-in-shop in Bijenkorf is a good example. We recently bought a special cream there for my mother-in-law as a birthday present. To begin with, a special gift box has been released. As the jar disappeared into the box, the saleswoman asked us what other products the birthday girl would like. Very generously, she took several samples and made a complete wrapping in the gift box: a real party wrapper. He was tied with a bow. And when we asked for an extra bag to safely carry this precious gift, another knot was placed around this bag. A Chanel bag never leaves the store without a knot. A week later, my mother-in-law was in seventh heaven with all of her presents. And she already wanted her own visit to Chanel. So other than the fact that we will be going back next time for a new performance to surprise someone else, Chanel has gained an additional client from my mother-in-law. It’s loyalty – or repeat visits – plus customer acquisition in a single instant.
With this, Chanel proves too well how to transform a moment of contact into a moment of contract (= customer loyalty) by adding the ‘r’ of loyalty marketing. And your packing moment is extremely well suited for that. The addition of a small gift and personal attention is not only surprising in the customer’s perception, but also serves as a compensation for the “wait”, a thank you for the purchase and an invitation for the customer. next time.
Start packing your customers yourself: tips
How can you do it on your own easily and on an affordable budget? Here are some tips to turn your packaging moment into a breathtaking moment in the customer experience:
- Leverage the talents of your current employees. Like at Issey Miyake’s store in Tokyo, where I watched in amazement as the employee artfully package a customer’s purchases along the clean lines the brand is known for. And as a final touch, a small piece of origami was added in the shape of a bird or a flower. Thus, the packaging has been very intelligently used as an unforgettable signature moment in the customer experience.
- Submit a solution after the fact for the product being sold. In Madrid, the saleswoman of a sweater store wrapped my purchase of fresh merino wool in a bag. Later, in my walk-in closet, it not only diffused the wonderful fragrance of the brand, but also mostly kept moths away from my purchase. This allowed me to enjoy it for a long time. Perfume is a powerful way to store your brand in the memory of the customer.
- Make every contact with your product a moment of happiness. Humor is the best promo, I’m sure they’ve thought about my favorite sock store. When packing my purchases, they ask me if I need a love bag for my socks. It’s a sock laundry bag that says, “Really separate from the socks! In this, your socks never get lost in the wash. At the same time, I also look back on my shopping visit with a smile every time I put them on. wash.
That way, with a surprising wrapping moment, you can still make a visit to your business even well outside the holiday season, a party to come back!
This is a contribution from Melvin van Tholl, Customer Experience Architect, BLOODY BELIEVERS. The creative-strategic agency that helps brands and companies develop disruptive solutions in their customer experience. He does this for companies in the Netherlands and abroad. In this series, he takes you into the wonderful world of the consumer, with lessons on how to make your business future-proof based on customer experience.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL, translated and edited in English by Kelly Press.