Chico's Crafts the Store Associate of the Future
Chico's says it's making "strong progress and seeing positive results" from its omnichannel investments. It seems the retailer has found the answer to how to drive sales through these omnichannel programs: its associates.
The retailer recently launched its Client Book technology and connected the company's Endless Aisle to all its stores.
The new Client Book is an enhanced platform that provides digitized clienteling tools to store associates to personalize the customer experience. Chico's plans a full rollout to all stores in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
For More on Associate Technology
Learn more about how store associates should be empowered with digital tools that allow them to connect and create a relationship with customers across all channels at NRF 2019 on Sunday, January 13 at 4:00pm.
Ann Joyce, chief customer officer and EVP, Technology, and Laura Loughran, SVP, Omni Channel Sales, Chicos FAS will share insights in the session "Store Associate of the Future."
With Client Book, store associates can offer customers personalized online storefronts of curated product based on their attributes and prior purchase behavior, as well as the opportunity to work online with a personal stylist.
"Client Book is the next generation of our company's original customer book," CEO Shelley Broader. "This new technology provides innovative omnichannel applications for store associates. We can now offer our customers personalized online storefront and style board of customized, curated merchandise based on their attributes, their prior purchasing behavior. Customers also have the opportunity to interact online with a personal stylist, allowing us to digitize our most amazing personal service."
Chico's also noted its digital Endless Aisle, or shared inventory system, has been connected to all stores, enabling customers to purchase online and ship from store.
"The benefits are exceeding our expectations, with increasing demand and we are leveraging our data analytics to optimize shipments and moderate the associated incremental costs," said Broader.
Chico's is aligning buy online, ship from store to make sure the retailer is getting the most in sales out of it.
"That's been one of our key parts of our initiatives this year is how we do drive sales through these omnichannel programs and without a doubt, we are exceeding what we had planned for this year," noted CFO Todd Vogensen. "So that's a very positive sign for us as we go into next year."
Broader noted that, looking ahead in Chico's customer journey, with shared inventory, Chico's Locate Tool, which enables it to ship in-store orders directly to the customer, and personalized styling all in place, "we are now closing the loop with this last edition of buy online and pick up in-store."
"Both of those will be live early in the second quarter of 2019, driving and giving our customer the ability to shop wherever, whenever and however she chooses."
In addition, the company has initiated a leadership transition for the Chico's brand, begining a search to identify a new Chico's brand president. Diane Ellis is departing as the Chico's brand president, effective November 30, 2018. In the interim, the Chico's brand will be led by Broader.
"We are committed to improving the performance of our Chico's brand, and we believe this leadership transition and the merchandising and marketing changes underway are necessary to reinvigorate broad-based consumer excitement and growth for the brand," said Broader. "We appreciate Diane's dedicated service over the last two years and wish her the best."