We're heading to Salesforce Shopper First in Milan

We're heading to Salesforce Shopper First event in Milan. Our team will be showcasing the latest version of our App built on Salesforce with added social and POS features including:

ENHANCED CLIENTELING
Multiple social channel integration (WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger)
POS with Product Scan to build baskets
True global, multi-lingual, privacy compliant (including GDPR) customer capture
Customer Signature option, helping brands navigate the most strict compliance rules
“Quick find” customer profile by scanning unique customer QR code

NEW CUSTOMER APP WITH
Unified basket with POS and pay in app with Apple Pay!
Connect meaningfully with the brand by feeding back on recommendations, sharing preferences and receiving curated offers on personalised landing page
Create and share wish lists across channels so stylists can access and prepare for appointments

 

WHERE TORRE ALLIANZ 
Auditorium e 47° piano, CityLife Shopping District, Piazza Tre Torri 3, 20145 Milano

WHEN Wednesday 24th October 2018

If you're a retailer looking to truly understand your customer and give them consistently exceptional experiences, we look forward to welcoming you to Salesforce Shopper First. To organise a personalised demo in Milan, please get in touch.


See you at The Trampery for Retail Recharged

We look forward to welcoming you to our stand at Retail Recharged. The invite-only event will look at the Evolving Physical Experience and what role technology plays in supporting retail.

“We created Retail Recharged, as for too long the worlds of technology and retail have been disparate. We act as an enabler to create a meaningful dialogue. We are no ordinary event. We use our retail and technology backgrounds to filter the best emerging talent and put it into a pioneering and interactive format so it is attractive for busy retailers. Our exclusive, invite-only audience are also decision makers from retailers and retail brands. Unlike many conferences today, we believe quality really does beat quantity." Richard Hurtley, MD & Co-Founder, Rich Insight

WHERE The Trampery, 239 Old Street, London, EC1V 9EY
WHEN Wednesday 17th October 2018 13:00 - 20:00

If you're heading to the event and would like to learn more about how we can help you deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences, please contact us to book a demo.


Who's coming to TECH. Retail Week and World Retail Congress?

Who's coming to TECH. Retail Week and World Retail Congress?

Join us at this exciting event where we'll be showing our latest version of our shop floor engagement platform in the Discovery Mile at Tech.

WHAT Tech. brought to you by Retail Week and World Retail Congress is the most important two-day festival of digital retailing and the technology driving it. It is the only event where retailers, tech suppliers, start-ups, investors and analysts join forces to work out how they will not only survive the digital revolution but nail it. At Tech. we put the most disruptive thinkers under the spotlight - from the companies that are revolutionising their industries, to the tech firms creating the most innovative of products.

WHEN 12-13 September 2018

WHERE Printworks, Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7PJ

Tickets for Tech. 


Join us at Drapers Fashion Forum 2018

Join us at Drapers Fashion Forum 2018.

As retailers continue to adapt to the changing market and evolving consumer behaviour, it has become more and more apparent that increasing productivity in retail has commercial advantages. Retailers are now looking for new ways to further improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

Our CEO Cathy McCabe will be speaking on the STORE SHAKE UP panel discussion.  

In the session we get store specific and look at some of the key decisions that need to be made for the stores of the future. These include how many stores are too many and how to improve productivity of your stores? Store leadership and strategy are at the forefront of change but provide an opportunity to converge online and offline and to re-write the rules on in-store experience and overall store productivity.

Chaired by:
Keely Stocker, Editor, Drapers

Panellists:
Mary Homer, CEO, The White Company
Ben Barnett, CEO, TFG Brands London
Cathy McCabe, CEO, Proximity Insight
Caludia Nappo, Retail Director, LK Bennett
Roger Bannister, Business Development Director, Timico

We have partnered with Brissi to bring you our Proximity Insight x Brissi Lounge, where you are invited to relax and talk to our team to find out more about Mastering the Art of Clienteling.

If you're a retailer looking to boost your productivity and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences, join us! 

WHEN 11th October 2018
STORE SHAKE UP PANEL 10:00
WHERE County Hall, London SE1

Apply for a ticket to Drapers Fashion Forum 2018.


We're heading to DREAMFORCE 18, see you there!

We're heading to DREAMFORCE 18 in San Francisco, we hope to see you there!

MEET our Co-Founders, Kris Moyse and Matt Lacey, alongside CEO Cathy McCabe.

Checkout is so much more than a transactional process & provides an opportunity for a brand to really nurture customers. An opportunity that is rarely optimised as brands are still wedded to traditional POS & payment platforms. Proximity Insight puts the customer in control of their purchasing experience. Imagine a world where the customer can choose their promotions & rewards, where the customer can transact in app, scan & go, order ahead, purchase & pick up anywhere – where these interactions are all built on the Salesforce platform providing a uniquely personalised experience which puts the customer at the heart of the brand.

SEE a live demo of our app enabled by Salesforce Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud & Commerce Cloud driving a beautifully crafted, connected commerce experience.

WHEN 25th - 28th September 2018

WHERE Moscone Center, 747 Howard St, San Francisco, 94013 United States

Let us know if you're there too, or would like to book a demo hello@proximityinsight.com


Are you looking to deliver consistently exceptional experiences?

CRM has given us the ability to keep track of every customer interaction. By understanding our customers more intimately we can provide them with a better experience. Not just a better experience once, but consistently. Yet why is it that brands find it so difficult to provide a truly personalised experience?

We acknowledge that retailers using leading CRM systems such as Salesforce are able to gather information about past purchases, spending frequency, store and delivery preferences however, it is evident that brands often either fail to remember the reason why they are collecting this data or fail to use it in a relevant way. Which is to enable the R in CRM, the relationship.

Technology can help us to focus on the intimacy that takes place whilst these relationships are being formed but it’s up to us to push what CRM can do for our businesses. Data needs to be surfaced, analysed and used in a way that is meaningful to the retailer and the customer. By putting human interaction at the heart of communication between on and offline communication we cultivate authentic relationships. CRM informs the relationship but doesn’t drive it. It is up to the business and sales associates to capitalise on the opportunity that understanding data has presented. To remain relevant to our customers we need to leverage customer data in the right way. We also need to clear the obstacles that block us from delivering relevant communications.

By surfacing data into the hands of the sales associate through a shop floor app we offer a new level of customer intimacy. This is increasingly important as customers have many ways in which they interact with a brand. For example, it could be in-store in London, or NYC or online in France. Yet the same level of experience is desired by the customer. This experience should be consistently exceptional regardless of geography or which particular sales associate a customer comes into contact with. This is where well-utilised CRM comes into its own. It provides an accurate, global view of each individual customer. Cloud-based CRM systems enable us to use any connected device in any location. This mobilises a marketing force from head office to shop floor.

We also find that great brands recognise that relationships take time to nurture and need two-way interaction to develop. Through personalised communication and marketing outreach each customer interaction is always relevant. This ensures customers are happy and helps retailers to benefit from an increase of up to 25% increase in repeat purchase. In addition, improvements in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) can be achieved.

“By using behavioural data, such as mobile, desktop, app usage and cross-referencing that with the type of query and response we are able to build a comprehensive picture of how and when customers choose to interact. This depth of knowledge is impossible without CRM and clienteling and in our experience, it is augmented by human interaction”. Matt Lacey, co-founder Proximity Insight

To understand what customers want, we have to support them to be in control of their relationship. Without the choice of different ways to interact with us we will not be able to build a true picture of the preferred communication channel or purchase preference. Over time we build data and through analysis we build understanding. Clienteling platforms such as Proximity Insight leverage customer data to support valuable relationships. We need to make every interaction count to remain relevant.

So, looking forward it is important to consider that you need to find the right approach to communicate with your customer in a meaningful way and whilst you are working out your approach don’t forget to consider what communication will look like if the customer was in control of the relationship…….watch out for some interesting new product features from Proximity Insight in September 2018 which will truly shift the dynamic of customer relationships.


Taking the time to be inspired makes more business sense than you think

In the fashion industry we think a lot about the future. The future of fashion, the store of the future, what part will technology play in the future of customer experience, and so on. Running in parallel we are also looking to understand and define what is the meaning of real luxury.

In order to answer these questions, we are continually seeking out new ways to be inspired, learn and grow. As entrepreneurs and leaders, we often look to the present to show us a way forward for the future. With busy schedules it can be hard to take time out for personal growth and professional development. We are often so focused on productivity, Return On Investment (ROI) and “business as usual” that we fail to quantify how important it is to take time to be inspired. Perhaps we need to focus less on ROI and think more about how important the role of inspiration is in relation to leadership. 

In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Source

Awakening our consciousness and transcending the ordinary may seem like quite out there things to be doing in the name of leadership, but it really is all connected. Now more than ever we need to look at the whole picture and think holistically to cultivate future growth.

As leaders we need to be inspired and also inspire others. We cannot afford to ignore how important our own personal and professional development is for our teams. The relationship between personal growth and corporate professional development (CPD) has increasingly blurred lines. Attending a group meditation session paid for by employer rather than employee may seem an abstract use of work time but incrementally it can make a huge difference. If we invest in ourselves we ultimately invest in our company. After all a company’s employees are what makes the company, and also makes the company attractive to work for. Cathy McCabe, Proximity Insight CEO - who was previously at Burberry - has experienced first-hand the benefits of a holistic approach to developing teams. 

“Burberry were renowned for their emphasis on wellbeing and invested significantly in employee benefits such as free lunches, healthy treats, summer Fridays and insightful speakers. Many start-ups, including Proximity Insight, look to provide similar benefits and flexible ways of working in order to invest in talent and ensure the wellbeing of employees. This approach has many benefits and also helps to amplify a brands value set.” Cathy McCabe, Proximity Insight CEO 

Apart from attending yoga or meditation sessions on company time how can we find inspiration in a more formalised way? The answer is through well curated events such as Decoded Future that we recently attended in London, and FashionTech Berlin. Learning from other people’s stories we can take their experience as inspiration. Their journey can connect our own experiences and by making that connection we can work out how to solve problems we face. It also gives us comfort that we are not alone in trying to make sense of the future. 

Putting on, being a sponsor for, speaking at, or attending an event feels as if it’s had even more emphasis placed on it since the rise of digital communications and social media. Attending business events is not a new concept, but what has changed is that the audience is no longer contained within the room. Thanks to technology we are able to stream live and directly connect with people all over the world in real-time. The business opportunities that arise from being able to speak to a huge audience and potential customer base is extremely exciting, but what is also interesting is how much emphasis is being placed on being seen to be someone who is knowledgeable or a visionary. 

Education and gaining knowledge is - and always has been - a sign of wealth. We don’t always seek to just have wealth in a monetary sense but also have mental wealth. As we increase our knowledge and elevate ourselves, we operate higher up Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. At this point we also question what is important to us, and we begin to question what is our definition of luxury. If we consider knowledge and having the time to pursue knowledge is a luxury, we can use this idea to form the basis of an approach to customer experience for example. We can also use it to convey a story about a product. 

Having the knowledge to make a beautiful handbag and honouring the time it has taken to learn a craft is real luxury. The craftsman is the true definition of luxury. As a consumer understanding and appreciating craftsmanship is luxury. Elevated by craftsmanship a product is able in a physical way to embody knowledge and time, and consequently luxury. Buying an expensive handbag has always been a status symbol, but now it’s not about how much it cost, it’s about knowing everything about it that gives the owner status. Arguably those seeking elevated ideals of luxury might not buy an expensive handbag from a traditional brand. They might prefer to seek out companies who are producing small scale with transparency whilst supporting craftsmen. Furthermore they may also look to companies who are sharing profits equally amongst all employees, companies who are essentially operating with the same ideals as the consumer. Company and consumer objectives then become one. We buy more than just a product, we form a shared experience over time. 

Brands are increasingly driven to produce more content and can look to knowledge sharing as a key part of a marketing strategy. We live in an era where Content is King and knowledge is wealth. By connecting with our audience, consumer and employees on a deep level we create long lasting bonds. To do this we may just need to take a step back and look at what we value. 

We can all benefit from taking a little bit of time to be inspired, but if you are struggling to step away from that important meeting or piece of work, just remember, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest". Benjamin Franklin

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The phrase Content is King was coined by Bill Gates 3rd January 1996


London Tech Week - where creativity, talent and innovation come together

With London Tech Week starting today we ask, what does it take to be a leading technology company?

Being at the forefront of innovation requires a company to respect, embrace and develop all elements of their business. From company strategy to product development and investment in talent and people.

Companies like Proximity Insight typically start organically by identifying a problem that needs to be solved and a gap in the market. A team develops from friendship and core competencies. What we don’t often discuss is our experience, on a human level.

Product is shaped by experience. The experiences of retailers, customers and teams leading the development. We are all shaped by our experiences and ultimately that translates into business strategy, mission and core values, marketing aims and requirements for product development.

Working closely with partners gives insights to their pain points and their desire to find a way to provide their customers with the best shopping experience possible.

"Retailers today are able to gain a forensic understanding of their customers: where and when they purchase, how they are being communicated to and spending trends. This is the basis to really deliver an amazing, joined up brand experience.” Kris Moyse, Co-founder Proximity Insight

Creating a product centred around multiple genuine experiences enables all use cases to be considered and also supports buy-in from all stakeholders. There is a real need for all levels and areas of the business to be included from the beginning of implementing a new technology system.

The CIO and sales associates have common goals, they want the best technology product available to be responsive and secure. Building on an established platform has huge benefits.

“The platform used is a major consideration when rolling out a product within a business, and in retail in particular when you're dealing with customer information you want to know anything you use is tried, tested and secure as well as scalable: that's exactly why we chose to build on the Salesforce Lightning platform.” Matt Lacey, Co-founder Proximity Insight

Using creative talents to innovate and build upon a trusted platform such at Salesforce has enabled Proximity Insight to offer the best solution to their clients. Benefiting from the scale of an established company and the agility and creativity of a start-up they have produced a leading clienteling application.

Technology has the ability to support both personal and company growth. When we are empowered to use our experiences and talents we can change our own destiny and that of the company we work for. Proximity Insight is one of the few London based technology companies to have a female CEO, Cathy McCabe, who has unrivalled experience of leading tech-enabled change for fashion retailers, including digital pioneers Burberry.

“I've never really thought of myself as a technologist, just someone who has a passion for technology and what it can do to enable a new way of thinking or experience. If you want to succeed then "Always step up to the table, take on board a role that takes you out of your comfort zone and keep on learning”. Cathy McCabe, CEO Proximity Insight

Tech London Advocates, Women In Tech state a 34% higher ROI for women-led tech companies. These are the kind of results that Proximity Insight has started to see for themselves. Having a female CEO of a tech firm is fantastic for the business and for a true understanding of the environment in which platforms are embedded into. Cathy McCabe has worked hard to be a leader in retail and tech, and it’s this that makes her a driving force not only for Proximity Insight but for the the technology industry in London and beyond.

London Tech Week promotes creativity, talent and innovation coming together, and this is exactly what creates the foundations for a successful business. Our experiences create a robust solution and understanding of each other. At the end of the day a partnership and success is about the people, not just the tech.


Is there a role for tradition in the store of the future?

The traditional fashion business model has seen fundamental changes over the past decade, because of the digital revolution. It is now, more than ever before, convenient and easier to shop anytime, anyplace and the choice of products and services continues to grow. Brands now have greater and quicker exposure to markets that previously would have taken years to enter which makes the market even more competitive.

Furthermore, the UK high street continues to see unprecedented levels of closures. Marks & Spencer recently revealed plans to close a total of 100 shops by 2022. Other UK high street retailers have planned closures: Mothercare 50 stores, New Look 60, and House of Fraser 31 stores.

It is no wonder that retailers are looking at new ways to make their stores relevant to customers.

The in-store experience is of great importance and tradition plays a key role, particularly getting back to the basics for exceptional service. A traditional retail experience relies on a direct, face-to-face connection with the customer, who are 60% more likely to return to the same store because they value that connection with the retailer and importantly the sales associate. Unfortunately, those brands that have been slow to change their in-store experience are typically the brands that we now see closing stores. 

A retail transformation is being seen across the whole fashion industry, at luxury and high street level. Brands are looking to connect with old and new customers in a more relevant, meaningful way. 

Gucci chief executive Marco Bizzarri said shoppers are equally bored by traditional stores and bland websites. “The younger generation isn't interested in the retail experience because the retail experience is not interesting." In Gucci’s new SoHo, New York store, “connectors” (store associates) are hired for their ability to tell Gucci’s story. The brand story and how it is told, and by whom is becoming increasingly important.

Zara’s new Westfield Stratford store is ‘designed with pioneering technology to transform the customer shopping experience at its heart. 

Focusing on ease of transaction Zara integrate physical stores and online through automated order collection points (serviced by a concealed area able to handle 2,400 orders simultaneously), self-checkout and mobile payment systems support by staff with iPads. 

In addition the customer experience is enhanced by interactive mirrors equipped with RFID which can detect the garment a customer is holding, enabling customers to see what a complete outfit will look like in the mirror. 

Having used the self checkout at Westfield London and being asked by security to return to a till point after the security alarm went off due to the tags on accessories (which you can’t see or take off), I’m yet to be convinced by the efficiency for all transactions. However one thing that is clear is that it’s a step in the right direction, giving the customer the option of the type of experience they want. Implementing technology in the right way as we know is not as easy as pressing a button, and everyone needs to be on board with the change. 

Connecting with store associates through human emotion, shared experiences and passion for a brand and it’s product must be supported by head office. Companies who are looking to remain relevant need to invest in their teams and the tools that the teams use to offer the best in-store experience possible. 

I recently attended a FashMash Event where Farfetch MD of Store of the Future, Sandrine Deveaux, discussed her team’s approach to keeping retail exciting. A big part of it for Farfetch is empowering their ‘Instore Influencers’ (store associates) with knowledge. They view the role of the Instore Influencer as a totally new profession. A profession that needs to be nurtured, invested in and supported. The store associate has the ability to not only connect with the customer but influence the sale. If they have the right information about the product, the knowledge of how the garment was made, the story of the collection, how the designer translated their experiences and research into the collection, that might just make the difference between making a sale or not. 

Valuing store associates is not a new concept. Traditional retailers know their customers intimately. Store associates often have a black book with preferences, phone numbers and past purchase history all noted. They genuinely care about their customer, and are often rewarded through sales commission. However, what is new, is the scale of new retail. 

Retailers and brands have easier access to increased global reach because of the digital revolution. Which means to serve a customer, who may live in many countries, buying online and in physical stores, the need for ‘The Store of The Future’ has arisen. Creating a seamless, single view of a particular customer has become something that store associates worldwide need to manage. The black book has to be digital, on brand, and accessible to all from head office to in-store teams. 

The key to the success of these tools is having the traditional drivers for relationship management at the core. It’s not about capturing data for the sake of customer capture metrics. It’s about using that information to cultivate a relationship, globally, on and offline. 

Image credit gucci.com

07.06.18 Article amended to update House of Fraser store closure figures to 31 following announcement.


Christina Abbott at RBTE

Developing a relationship with a customer goes way beyond making the sale

As we reflect on our experience at Europe’s leading technology event for the retail industry, RBTE, we came away feeling more than ever that in a super tech enabled, hyper connected world we need to ensure we don’t lose focus of our most valuable asset, our people.

Supporting shop floor staff to give exceptional customer service is one of the best steps you can take to connect with your customers. Using technology to nurture relationships, not solely to drive sales, is key to building long-lasting loyalty. Your people are your brand ambassadors and your best advocate.

"Know how rewarding developing a relationship with a client is, it goes way beyond making a sale".

Serving Royal Family members, high profile business leaders and VIP’s for over 30 years, personal stylist, Christina Abbott joined us at RBTE to share how rewarding developing a relationship with a client is, and how it goes way beyond making a sale.

“Going that extra mile and surprising clients, remembering their purchases, the things they said, it’s very special to connect with a client in a way that is personal and unique to them, underlying that the relationship with them is of value."

The perception of value is what keeps people coming back to a specific retailer. You can buy the same pair of shoes from several multi brand retailers, so why do customers keep returning to one specific retailer, it’s because they value their service. 

Our purchases are emotional, they are connected to our moods, social status and aspirations. When we discuss our purchase with shop floor staff we’re not always looking for a swift transaction, but emotional engagement, a vote of confidence, validation in choosing well.

"These relationships are about building trust, being discreet, being a guardian of the client relationship and only selling a product that is right for the client. The days of pressure selling are over. Clients don’t want to be sold to, they want to be known, they want a relationship, to feel they matter.” 

As a tech company, our mission is to nurture these trusted relationships by providing the smartest tools for retailer's shop floor teams. Relationships are our key focus, how we enable them, how we support them, to build long lasting customer relationships. It’s great to be a retail tech innovator, but it’s also great to be able to support relationships that have been built on years of service history. To innovate in the future you have to respect your past and make the most of how digital can transform experience in the real world.