Clienteling is a marketing strategy based on building consumer loyalty. It's a tactic being increasingly deployed by companies, similar to the relationship that local retailers have with their customers.

A few years ago, marketing strategies were mainly focused on price and products. Today, with changing consumer habits and online sales in particular, the trend has evolved. Consumers are more demanding, and their expectations have become more refined.

Companies have therefore had to modify their strategies to put the consumer back at the heart of everything they do.

The aim of clienteling is to improve customer relations by offering more personalized experiences.

Companies are moving from "one-to-few" (with strategies aimed at a target group) to "one-to-one" (responding to the specific needs of a particular customer).

This strategy aims to restore buyers' confidence, in particular by relying on competent, attentive sales staff.

Many customers come to the store having already researched product information, so they may be more knowledgeable than some salespeople. But when it comes to customer care, salespeople play a vital role in the shopping experience.

In order to improve and personalize customer relations, particularly at the point of sale, sales associates are taking on the role of advisors. They not only have better knowledge of their products, but also data on their customers.

Thanks to customer information, purchase history, preferred products, interests, and loyalty data, they’re able to offer products and services in line with customer expectations.

In short, clienteling is based on three fundamental factors:

  • better customer knowledge (habits, desires, preferred products, interests, customer life cycle, etc.);
  • better training for sales staff, who can provide customers with real advice and helpful service; and
  • a more personalized, close relationship with the salesperson.

All this with the goal of developing a lasting relationship with customers and building loyalty.

The notion of "clienteling" is therefore not new to the retail world, but it has been revived in the wake of many retailers' attempts to digitalize their points of sale.

In reality, customers are looking for human contact, personalized advice, and tailor-made support. In stores, they expect to benefit from advice and information they couldn't find online.

The omnichannel strategy plays an important role in the implementation of clienteling.

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