Apparel retailer Chico's FAS said it is arming sales associates at some of its Chico's, White House Black Market, Soma and Chico's Off the Rack stores with new digital engagement tools to help them provide customers with a more personalized shopping experience, according to a Chico's press release.
The company is working with Salesfloor to implement solutions that allow store associates to communicate more directly with customers via email, social media and SMS/messaging apps; shopping apps that store associates can use to provide online shoppers with curated looks live; and online storefronts where customers can shop store associates' websites with their own curated product recommendations.
The new tools have already been set up at some locations in the U.S., with further rollouts to come to 1,400 stores around the U.S. and Canada through the second quarter of 2019.
The partnership between Chico's and Salesfloor couldn't be more timely, as the role of the traditional brick-and-mortar store associate is definitely changing with the introduction of more technology associates can use to engage with and help shoppers.
Some companies enabling this change, like Zebra Technologies, for example, are bringing new types of mobile devices into retailers' aisles, while Salesfloor is bringing apps that can help associates communicate with customers in new ways. Saks Fifth Avenue has also used Salesfloor's apps in the past, and talked about its own experience back in 2017, noting that the apps helped increase employee engagement and retention, among other things.
Like Saks and other retailers, Chico's has started to see the value of equipping its store employees with more technology tools, but not just with the focus of giving shoppers better in-store experiences. More broadly, the aim is to help associates use multiple channels — email, text, social media and websites — to provide customers with flexible shopping experiences and more personalized support regardless of where those customers are.
Whether customers started shopping online or in physical stores, the changes at Chico's seem to be geared toward making store associates more helpful and accessible to customers, wherever they shop, and hopefully form a more personal bond with them as well.