Sales assistants in stores need to be coached on how to collect data from customers, according to a representative from luxury retailer Furla.
With many retail firms now relying on loyalty schemes to ensure an ongoing relationship with shoppers, it is becoming increasingly vital for employees to understand how to deal with customers when collecting their personal data.
“It's important to train the sales associate because they not only have to create the desire to buy something or listen to requests, but they need to be able to propose questions in a trustful way as people are very wary when it comes to personal data," says the Furla representative.
Like many retailers, Furla has been working on delivering its services across multiple channels and, according to the firm's spokesperson, it believes it's important to provide a customer with a balanced approach across each channel.
“As a premium brand we offer our customers a high-quality service and our stores are very nice, providing customers with a luxury experience,” he says. “I strongly believe the bricks-and-mortar locations are very important and they need to be balanced with technology."
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The Furla representative points out that while online retailers such as Amazon are biased towards digital, they are now investing in bricks-and-mortar estate because face-to-face interaction is still important. The future of retail will include a combination of both approaches, he says.
“Bricks-and-mortar stores are very important because you engage the customer," says the spokesperson. "The customer can tell you what they want and what they like, as well ask for information. It’s very important to establish this kind of relationship."
But although retail will not survive without the essential mix of physical and online, the digital push is also important in ensuring everyone is engaged, says the Furla representative.
“We strongly believe that digital is the future – it is almost the only way to engage younger generation,” he says. "We are starting to work a lot more on Facebook, Instagram and all these kind of applications that are common among the younger generation.”
Investing in the customer journey
Furla has recently undergone a process to upgrade its in-store point-of-sale (POS) systems to improve the data management of customer journeys.
It was important for the chosen system to scale across Furla’s global business, and the firm chose to roll out Cegid across its almost 400 stores.
“Because we have different POS systems in different parts of the world, we needed to deploy Cegid to all of our stores to collect and analyse the data with a global vision,” says the Furla representative.
“We usually collect the name, last name and where they live, and we are able to link all of the information to previous purchases and the time these happened.”
Now the firm can access real-time sales data anywhere in the world, which has – in turn – changed Furla’s supply-chain strategy, allowing more efficient orders and re-direction of goods.
“Because the customer is the focus of our business, this is going to drive the organisation upstream,” says the firm's spokesperson.