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True Religion adds on CRM, beacons for next-generation Apple Watch clienteling

True Religion has integrated customer relationship management and clienteling capabilities into its Apple Watch application for store associates, delivering a holistic view of shopper history and loyalty program data when customers walk in the store.

Members of True Religion’s loyalty program can opt in to a mobile app that integrates with geo-fencing and in-store beacons to alert associates on the sales floor of their presence via a haptic response on the Apple Watch. As a result, store associates can offer more personalized in-store customer engagements by glancing at the insights that come up on their wrists.

“The iPad gets left around the store and there is this ‘lookup’ or ‘warmup’ period that adds too much friction to the consumer interactions,” said John Hazen, senior vice president of direct to consumer and omnichannel at True Religion. “With the watch, the store associate will always be notified in real time. A wearable doesn’t get left on a counter.

“The store associates knew what they wanted to see this added very quickly – the ability to sort by fit for example,” he said. “They use almost as a virtual mannequin catalog in some cases.”

Holistic shopper view
True Religion’s Band app was developed by Formula 3 Group and is now fully integrated with the Aptos CRM and Clienteling platform.

The app was introduced late in 2015 to bring the retailer’s full range of products into its stores, enabling associates to sift through sizes, styles and colors to find what a shopper might like and send the image to a monitor so the item can be inspected and purchased via an on-screen bar code (see story).

In the latest update to the app, its functionality has been extended to provide a holistic view of shopper history and loyalty program data by integrating with the retailer’s CRM platform.

Now, store associates can tap their Apple Watch to view a customer’s previous interactions on the Web or in a store, including buying patterns, sales history and suggested selling recommendations based on information gathered within Aptos CRM’s live, multi-channel customer database.

“Any amount of information you can arm the associate with to better help them create a connection with their customer is a difference maker in retail,” said Russ Ronchi, owner of Formula 3 Group LLC.

“Often a store associate has minutes, maybe seconds, to create a successful connection that results in a sale,” he said. “Having rich customer data on their wrist is a game changer.”

Recognizing loyal customers
The app includes product imagery so associates can see what customers have purchased in the past. The app is also integrated with social media to incorporate profile pictures so store associates can recognize customers and greet them by name.

Through integration with geo-fencing and beacon technology and the use of haptic touch, store associates can now immediately and unobtrusively know when a loyal customer walks into the store.

Additionally, associates can gain insight into what products are currently trending in a given category, location or across the store as well as filter items by price point.

The benefits of this approach include liberating associates from the point-of-sale so they can move throughout the store to cater to customers’ needs and bringing customer data out of the back office and putting it into the hands of store associates in an easy-to-access manner.

The next iteration of the app, due during the second quarter, will include tools for the associate to educate the customer by casting videos and still imagery to any screen in the store for answering common questions, such as what is the difference between skinny fit and straight leg pants.

Looking further ahead, True Religion is interested in adding an element of gamification to the app.

“We’ve played with the idea of gamification of in-store fulfillment, so stores have an opportunity to grab orders that they are able to fulfill,” Mr. Hazen said. “Again, the thing the Watch brings to the table is always-on notifications that won’t be missed.”