By Mario Toneguzzi
A team of experienced web business developers has launched an innovative customer relationship management software program to help retailers, particularly in the luxury space, improve the in-store experience for shoppers.
And Toronto-based Velvet Retail is seeking luxury retailers that are interested in piloting its product.
Velvet Retail integrates with retailers’ existing systems to pull in a wide variety of information including past purchases, email campaigns, loyalty data, and online visitor habits.
Sachin Siby, the company’s co-founder, says the information is used to build a buyer profile about each customer, providing information about their demographics and preferences. Velvet’s algorithms then leverage this data to automatically generate recommendations for other products in the catalog that a customer is likely to be interested in.
Data is used to maximize the quality of the customers’ in-store experience, says Siby.
The company started operations in August.
“The long-term strategy of the company is to improve customer experience for any customer that goes in-store,” says Siby. “There’s a lot of data available online and there’s nothing that bridges the gap between an online and offline shopping experience.
“So our idea is to go to retailers and say there’s a bunch of data that you have about the customers . . . that you can use to make the in-store experience for the customer way better.”
Siby says the company’s initial plan is to focus on luxury retailers.
“Our plans are to work with retailers on data most of them already have,” he says.
"Especially in the luxury retail space what happens is people do research online but prefer coming in-store to purchase products."
Velvet Retail says it believes that customer centricity is the most important pillar of a retail strategy. Using data to proactively understand a customer's wants when they walk into a store allows a retailer to provide them with the best customer experience.
For retailers, the in-store experience is a key part of their strategy in attracting and retaining customers.
Siby has worked for a few years in the marketing area. It was during this time that he thought about what leads to a good strategy and the idea for Velvet Retail was born.
Research by Boston Consulting Group shows sales growth for retailers implementing personalized shopping experiences has been six to eight per cent and Accenture estimates that this approach to retail will cause a 59 per cent increase in profitability rates by 2035.
An in-store sales representative has no idea what sort of products a customer is potentially interested in, says Siby
“Our plan is to export that data (to better equip sales people with information about the customer),” says Siby.
For more of today's news: Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: December 13, 2017