Appointment scheduling in retail has been around for awhile, but given the accelerated digital transformation and exponential growth of online shopping, there are many new and unique ways retailers can use appointments to drive sales and success.
Appointment scheduling software is enabling retailers of all kinds to exceed their customers’ expectations. With the pandemic changing consumer behavior, there is even more opportunity to deliver the kinds of personalized experiences that your customers will keep coming back for! Let’s explore various retail appointment types - both in-person and remote options - that you can implement through an online scheduling solution to increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.
Personal shopping consultation
Personal shopping consultations are truly one of the best ways to give consumers the personalization they are looking for. The benefits are undeniable, given the fact it can help shoppers save time and keep on budget. Not to mention, giving them the human-to-human connection they crave. In a recent study, 47% of consumers confirm that human contact is an important part of the shopping experience. Additionally:
71% of consumers feel frustrated when the shopping experience is impersonal
91% of shoppers are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them
80% of frequent shoppers only shop with brands that personalize the experience
If your staff has the proper time to prepare for personal shopping consultations with critical insights from your appointment scheduling software, they can give the best recommendations to enhance the customer experience and boost sales. And while many consumers have enjoyed the safety and convenience of remote shopping consultations, there will always be consumers who prefer in-person interactions and in-store shopping.
Remote personal shopping consultation
During COVID-19, people were looking for ways to connect with their favorite brands - safely. That’s why digital shopping and services like remote appointments became a crucial way for consumers to engage with their favorite retailers during the pandemic. For now, remote personal shopping consultations give your customers the benefit of meeting with your team without the health risks. Just as many other new behaviors though, customers have become accustomed to these new services and will continue to expect them post-pandemic. In the future, providing remote shopping consultations will empower your customers to interact with your staff on their terms - meeting when and where they want to.
The additional benefit of providing remote consultations is the ability to share more products quickly and easily on the fly. By having the proper insights to what your customers want to see and review during the appointment, your staff can continue to suggest new products during the virtual appointment and direct them to purchase online. Your staff can also easily follow up with an email communication and a recording of the appointment to further engage the customer and focus on upsell opportunities.
Remote appointment and curbside pickup
We know consumers love the convenience and immediacy of curbside pickup - so why not pair it with a personalized, remote appointment? By giving your customers the opportunity to connect with a staff member who can tailor their experience with customized product recommendations, being able to pick up their order that was customized to their wants and needs that same day will be the cherry on top.
This option gives customers the opportunity to shop with your retail store from the comfort of their home or wherever they choose, and the instant satisfaction of getting their order in a matter of hours - not days.
Of course this type of appointment and curbside service is dependent on what you have in stock at the store(s) near your customers, so ensure this is taken into consideration when implementing an appointment service like this. You’ll want to ensure your staff has up-to-date product information when preparing for the appointment and making additional product recommendations.
In-store services could be a variety of services that your store offers. From technical repairs to beauty makeover consultations, your stores can provide an array of services that your customers want and need. These services are a great way to utilize your appointment scheduling software and provide the types of one-to-one and one-of-a-kind experiences your customers are looking for. Perhaps you offer a free service via appointment to get your customers in the store, and then use it as an opportunity to cross-sell paid services and associated products.
The options are endless no matter what types of products or services you sell!
Niche appointment types
One way to build stronger customer relationships and improve customer loyalty is by looking to a specific niche of your customer base who would be well-suited for appointments. By focusing on a niche, you can truly customize the appointment to your customer and bring a level of personalization that will keep them coming back for more.
For example, offering remote appointments to expectant mothers during COVID-19. Expectant mothers will have the opportunity to ask questions about the products they are purchasing for their growing family while feeling safe. As another example, offering beauty guru appointments that share makeup trends and seasonal products for makeup fanatics. You could also offer beauty appointments for different levels of comfortability with makeup, giving each customer the option to select an appointment type most suited for them.
This is a great way to pinpoint a customer base that you can nurture through appointments while building stronger relationships and increasing revenue.
These are just a few of the ways retailers can use appointment scheduling software to maximize ROI and success. If you are interested in learning more about how top retailers use appointments to improve the customer and staff experience, increase revenue, and drive customer loyalty, then check out the following:
About the author
The JRNI team is made up of product, customer, and technical experts who are focused on driving personalized experiences - for our customers, and for theirs. The JRNI blog enables us to dive into how retail and financial organizations can use personalized experiences to grow profitability, build stronger customer relationships, and drive customer loyalty.
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