As the luxury market is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive, personal shopping, with its ability of fostering engaged customer relationships, is helping in boosting client loyalty as well as increasing conversion rates. This is an important weapon in the retailer's fight for share of wallet. However, in some respects, luxury personal shopping services are preaching to be converted where you have to only book an appointment if you were already planning to spend. The people that might be attracted to these services will typically be the most loyal and high-spending customers. In the last few years, these services have trickled down from the luxury sector to the mass market, where brand loyalty has become harder to come by and the average customer spend is also not high.
Shopping can be a harrowing and an expensive affair, if you are not sure about choosing the right places and the right clothes for you. A smart shopping experience might only guide you on what is right for you. However, in personal shopping, an Image Consultant or a personal shopper accompanies you after a pre-shopping analysis and also takes you to the right places that sell what you need. The Image Consultant is equipped with the deep knowledge to evaluate your physical and psychological characteristics, values & traits and recommend you the best styles, colors, fabrics, patterns and accessories which suit you. Also you would be taken to the right places to make your choices under the guidance of the consultant, which would save your money, time and effort.
Ideally Personal Shopping services are best availed when the consultant evaluates your life style, personal style, body shape and color characteristics. For example if you can spend more, then the personal shopper will recommend you to buy Birkin bag. This would give you the best advantage, as the Consultant would have evaluated all aspects about your physical and psychological traits and values in detail and can give comprehensive recommendations in return.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Firstly, it is all about increasing exposure to the product. During a personal shopping appointment, a customer is introduced to more products that they would otherwise consider based upon the requirements. For example if a client is looking for a dress, the personal shopper may also attempt to cross-sell them shoes, bag and jewelry to match. Personal shoppers do the leg-work to find the product which is based on the client’s budget, tastes and the occasion for which they may be shopping. This is because every class of people cannot afford Louis Vuitton bag.
Inside the changing room, when the clothes come off and the barriers come down, the personal shopper can even become salesperson and a trusted second opinion. While there is usually no obligation to buy, in some stores personal shoppers work on commission whereby walking out empty handed after attentive one-on-one service is a difficult move for a client to pull off.
PROS AND CONS OF STARTING A PERSONAL SHOPPING BUSINESS
· It does not require a lot of money to start a business.
· There is no need for any inventory. You just need a deep knowledge about everything your customer wants.
· While some of the personal shopper works on commission base, likewise, it allows you to get paid to shop.
· It helps in building rewarding relationships with your clients who trust you blindly to take good decisions on their behalf. If a customer is expecting you to recommend some quality branded products, and you make them purchase Louis Vuitton bag. This way the customer might get happy, that you know what he wants. This builds trust relationship.
· It can be difficult to have enough clients to make a living. However, the most ideal location for a personal shopper business is in or near a large or metro city.
· It is not recession-proof. So, in a tough economy, a personal shopper might be an extravagant expense that many families would cut.
· It may be very difficult to convince people to pay you so that you can shop for them.
· Picky clients can be very difficult to please as well as handle. If you want them to buy Birkin bag, but they want to try some other brand product, which might not match their traits. This might create confusion.
· You may be asked to work in unusual hours or put in a lot of time even in holidays too.