In 1973, Diane von Furstenberg launched her fashion empire by introducing the world to the now-iconic wrap dress. Since then, this silhouette has become a staple for women around the world.
Today, DVF has a booming ecommerce business that serves more than 70 countries, is available in 45 shops worldwide, and has a flagship boutique in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. At the flagship, retail staff, known as personal stylists, offer bespoke clienteling services to known customers, walk-ins, and appointment shoppers alike.
To make its clienteling customer service possible, DVF switched its ecommerce site from Salesforce to Shopify Plus, and its retail technology to Shopify POS. With Shopify, DVF’s personal stylists can:
- Deliver a highly personalized clienteling experience to shoppers in-store
- Access comprehensive customer insights with unprecedented ease
- Move freely with clients through the store with Shopify POS Go
Challenge: Scattered customer data and manual workarounds
Clienteling—the practice of building long-term relationships with customers and providing individualized recommendations—is a hallmark of luxury fashion brands like Diane von Furstenberg. Unfortunately, the retail technology DVF used before switching to Shopify POS limited its personal stylists from delivering this elevated shopping experience.
“We weren’t able to deliver a personalized clienteling experience or access customer insights as easily as we wanted to,” says Joanna Puccio, Assistant Manager at Diane von Furstenberg’s New York City flagship store. “We couldn’t see our client’s online and store purchase history in the same place, which made it hard to cater our service to their preferences. We needed a holistic view of our customers to take our store’s clienteling service to new heights.”
As with many other retailers, the pandemic catalyzed DVF to look for new retail tech solutions. “We wanted to migrate to a unified system that helped us keep up with the pace at which commerce and customer behavior was changing around us,” she says.
With our previous commerce platform, customer data was siloed. That made it difficult for our stylists to offer the kind of bespoke service our clients expected. We needed to see the full scope of their interests, purchases, and preferences at a glance.
Solution: A holistic view of customers with Shopify
“I love that, with Shopify POS, I can dig into the items my customers have ordered online and bought at our store. That’s something we weren’t able to do as easily before,” Joanna says. “We had to build custom reports using data from two systems, but now I can click on the customer’s profile and see it all there. I can see what a client bought, returned, their typical sizing, color preferences, even notes our staff add to their profiles—Shopify makes it easy to view customer information.”
To enhance Shopify’s clienteling capabilities, DVF uses Endear, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform and clienteling app available in the Shopify App Store. “All the information stored in a customer’s profile on Shopify is available in Endear pretty much instantly. That makes it easy for our team to continue nurturing those relationships once the customer leaves our store,” Joanna says. “We can segment our customers by their shopping behavior or order history and proactively send them messages by text or email—whichever they prefer—to let them know when a product they’re interested in is back in stock, or when we have private pre-launch parties.”
DVF also adopted POS Go, Shopify’s all-in-one mobile point-of-sale terminal, to assist walk-in customers anywhere on the showroom floor. “One of our retail team’s main focuses is to ensure each client feels like they have a personal shopping assistant who can help them find what they need. Whether it’s for a work function, a special occasion, we’re here to help them,” Joanna says. “To make that happen, we use Shopify POS Go to check in-store shopping appointments, research our clients’ preferences and purchase history, or look up product availability.
“One of our favorite Shopify POS features is adding notes to a customer’s profile to store information like their favorite colors, ideal size, or a product they’re excited about from our new collection. Those qualitative insights really help us really make them feel like we’re their personal stylist the next time they shop with us.”
The best part about Shopify POS Go is it’s mobile, so our staff can carry it with them and stay with their clients on the showroom floor rather than going back and forth to our cash wrap. It blends into our customer experience and empowers our staff.
Results: An improved clienteling experience, unprecedented access to data, and improved staff efficiency
By running the entire business on Shopify, Diane von Furstenberg is able to deliver the clienteling experience its discerning customers expect.
“Before Shopify, we still tried to offer that clienteling experience, but we were missing the tools to ensure all staff could easily access customer information and deliver a great experience, regardless if they knew the customer or not,” Joanna says.
“If we weren’t using Shopify POS, I think our team would have a harder time building rapport with our customers and staying in touch with them. With Shopify, my staff can log customer information in one place and refer to it whenever they need. They can reach out to clients for things they’ll actually be interested in, which makes our customer experience feel so much more curated and personal.”
Beyond using Shopify to get to know customers, the DVF team now has easy access to data that can help them reach the right business decisions faster. “I love that Shopify makes essential data accessible, while also letting you go as deep as you want by building custom reports,” Joanna says.
“At the end of each week, I look at Shopify's sales by product report to see what our top-selling items are. I can see how shopping habits shift over time really easily, and that helps me prioritize what items to showcase in our window displays or request more units from our warehouse, for example.”
Thanks to Shopify’s intuitive design, DVF’s team could start using the system with virtually no training time. “For the most part, staff don’t need formal training. We just give them their login credentials and more tenured staff are there to support if they have questions,” Joanna says. “Shopify is intuitive to use, which I think empowers our staff and makes them feel confident using it every day.”
Shopify’s reports visualize data in a way that makes sense out of the box. We have client information at our fingertips, which helps us deliver a great client experience. The time we save with Shopify POS in our pocket adds up for big efficiency gains.
What’s next for DVF?
Diane von Furstenberg, the woman and the brand, is a pioneer. Innovation is top of mind as the iconic company approaches its 50th anniversary. One way DVF is staying ahead of the curve is by creating immersive pop-up experiences and selling in new markets with the help of POS Go.
“Using it at pop-ups is great, because I can do basically everything with one device—I can create or look up customer profiles, scan items to add them to carts, and transact with one thing,” Joanna says. “Now, instead of bringing a card reader, iPad, and bar code scanner, I can just bring POS Go and we’re all set—it consolidates everything we need to ring up sales at a pop-up into one device.”
DVF is also experimenting with using POS Go as a mobile checkout at its flagship. “Some days we get so busy that it’s really useful equipping each of our staff with a mobile checkout,” Joanna says. “We can end the customer experience on a high note rather than have them wait in line to pay.”
Equipped with Shopify, DVF can continue to delight and surprise clients for decades to come.
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