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07/08/2021

Vera Bradley Pushes Forward With Virtual & Appointment Services

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
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a room filled with furniture and a large window

Vera Bradley shared more details about the steps it’s taking to boost its in-person and virtual customer service and experience capabilities.

First launched during the pandemic, the retailer partnered with workforce management provider Reflexis Systems for its Appointments technology, which enables consumers to book time slots on the Vera Bradley website to shop in-store or virtually from home. They can also be able to schedule curbside pickup and join on-site queues for walk-in service.

As detailed to RIS News by Vera Bradley CIO Adam Fox earlier this year, the tech has enabled the company to meet the demands of consumers both during and after the health crisis as shopping comfort levels have fluctuated.

“As we were able to reopen stores during the pandemic, not all customers felt comfortable shopping with other customers,” said Fox. Not only did the appointment-based selling help the retailer offer safe and private shopping environments, but it also provided it with an added revenue stream.  

In addition to elevating the customer experience, the technology is designed to help stores stay in compliance with evolving state and municipal mandates throughout the pandemic. Booked appointments are automatically accounted for in labor forecasts and schedules, allowing retailers to designate the appropriate number of staff with customer demand.

Appointment data can also be integrated with a CRM or other third-party systems to further enhance customer-facing processes.

Both workforce management solutions and improving CX are top priorities for retailers in the new selling landscape. According to the RIS 2021 Retail Technology Study, more than 40% reported they will have up-to-date labor scheduling solutions in place within the next two years.

The RIS 2021 Store Experience Study, meanwhile, found that nearly two-thirds — 64% — reported “personalizing the customer experience” as a top priority for this year.

“Reflexis Appointments lets customers initiate and choose their shopping experience, and our stores have benefited from this customized approach,” said Kelly Brown, Vera Bradley VP of stores. “This helpful technology ensures we have the right employees in place to meet our customers’ needs, and feedback has shown shoppers plan to continue using this personalized approach in the future.”

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