It’s easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of new technologies and engagement touch points. While the latest gadgets may look great on the surface, they may not be appropriate for a retailer’s brand image, business goals or even their target audience.
With its associate-facing Apple Watch App, True Religion has somehow managed to have it all: Robust functionality, a powerful user interface and accessible back-end data to improve customer experiences. During Aptos’ inaugural ENGAGE user conference in Las Vegas, John Hazen, SVP of Direct to Consumer & Omnichannel for True Religion, took the stage to reveal the next phase of the brand’s Apple Watch experience: CRM and clienteling.
When it first launched in December 2015, the True Religion “Band” app was designed to integrate with Aptos Mobile Store Point of Sale and Aptos Enterprise Order Management. Hazen was even honored as an RTP Retail Innovator Award winner for driving this initiative and several other innovative projects within the brand.
[Watch a video interview with John Hazen.]
Created in partnership with Formula 3 Group, the app is designed to connect True Religion’s multi-tier business, which spans across a network of stores, outlets, e-Commerce sites and retail distributors. Store associates benefit from the app because they’re empowered to create a high-touch endless aisle experience that slows customers down, engages them and pulls them into the True Religion experience. The technology also ensures that employees get credit for in-store and endless aisle sales, something Hazen is particularly passionate about.
With the addition of Aptos CRM and Clienteling, the updated Band app provides associates with detailed customer information. Hazen noted that this “closet” of information shows product images, past purchases, average order value, lifetime value and social media feedback. Using this information, employees can facilitate a highly personalized experience that includes friendly interactions, relevant product recommendations and better service overall.
First, True Religion loyalty members must opt into the mobile app, which integrates with geofencing and in-store beacons. Whenever an opted-in customer walks into a store, associates are alerted via Apple Watch haptic response. They can then tap into the back-end system to uncover the shoppers’ personal information so they can begin the conversation.
Hazen notes that these capabilities represent the Holy Grail of insight and personalization. “With this new integration, we hope to empower sales associates with the customer information and tools they need to better serve customers, while elevating the customer experience and converting more sales.”
The improved clienteling experience also helps associates keep shoppers engaged after they leave a store. In a follow-up tour of a nearby True Religion store and demo of the technology, Hazen noted that the goal is to empower associates to identify their most loyal, high-value customers and communicate with them either after they make a purchase or to drive them to visit the store again.
The end goal, he stated, is to roll out text messaging, since it is more “immediate” and “direct to the consumer.”
True Religion’s tale of successful innovation reflected several core themes from ENGAGE: the critical role of the store, the extension of data across all departments and the need to rethink how internal teams communicate and collaborate.