Why don’t all luxury sales associates do this?

Zornitza Stefanova, Founder and CEO, BSPK.

 

What is luxury, if not feeling special and valued by accessing a truly personalized service? Hence, do luxury stores still have the right tools, adapted to the mobile, global and increasingly millennial shopper of the current day and age?

Nothing is less certain for Zornitza Stefanova, founder and CEO of BSPK, who, with solid experience as an investor and entrepreneur in mobile technology in Silicon Valley, firmly believes in transforming the future of luxury shopping through mobile client engagement paired with human touch.

In the heart of San Francisco, surrounded by the best digital talent, Zornitza Stefanova has created a unique mobile and social platform for luxury sales engagement. This platform is built to deliver the best possible luxury experience for clients while empowering the luxury sales associate in the store.

“Human capital is the driver of business performance”, says Zornitza. “Yet, for luxury houses, sales associates are the ultimate embodiment of underutilized human capital. They are a direct link to the customer, but they are not equipped with modern sales tools to engage and delight the client”.

I sit down with Zornitza Stefanova to discuss the main advantages her company, called BSPK, offers a luxury brand.

 

 

 

 

► How did you come up with the idea of BSPK?

Zornitza Stefanova: BSPK started with a great luxury shopping experience. I am an expert in how to build easy-to-use, engaging mobile experiences. In my daily life — whether I am at a restaurant or in a luxury store, or at the airport checking in for a flight — I always think about the user experience. What makes it engaging? What makes it useful? Would I, or others, want to come back to engage that same service provider again?

 

 

I was inspired to start BSPK when I realized that a sales associate who had helped me at a luxury store in Las Vegas multiplied my engagement with the brand very significantly through simple picture messaging. My question at the time was, why don’t all sales associates do this? Furthermore, when this sales associate left that store, no one reached out to me, and they lost me as a customer. Over the subsequent months, as I researched my startup idea, I found out that many luxury shoppers have had a similar experience.

Hence the mission of BSPK: to enrich and improve the luxury shopping experience by providing a next-generation messaging platform for luxury retail. Let’s face it: luxury clients have a lot of choices these days. They have moved to using social media and mobile messaging in their daily life, while luxury stores still sell in old ways, with printed client lists or pen and paper. To provide better service to clients, luxury houses must adapt to this new environment.

My team and I are happy about the opportunity to bring luxury houses and their clients together while improving the performance of luxury sales associates. I envision impacting the industry in a way such that technology can become integral to client engagement and improved sales performance while also providing a human touch.

This is important because whether clients shop in the store or online, in luxury, a trusted relationship empowers the client’s long-term engagement. Similarly, a memorable shopping experience with guidance and help from a trusted brand associate is a key differentiator, and also, a driver of why people want to engage with luxury. Our goal is create value throughout the entire client engagement and relationship-building process.

 

 

 

 

► How does it work?

BSPK is a next-generation messaging platform for in-store luxury associates to engage and communicate visually with clients. It improves the luxury shopping experience while also building client loyalty. Sales associates use an innovative mobile app in the store that includes universal chat and a visual library of collection images.

 

 

“Sales associates use an innovative mobile app in the store that includes universal chat »

 

It is easy to use, with just the right amount of data to enable any associate can engage with it and be immediately productive. For luxury sales associates, the experience is empowering. BPSK give sales associates the means to develop a personalized connection to the client and to provide service that is timely, informed and with the right suggestions.

 

New client. « The right amount of data to enable any associate can engage with it and be immediately productive« .

 

For clients, the benefit is a delightful, personalized shopping experience. I think a lot of people want more of that… Luxury is about feeling special. And when the store and the store associate make the shopper feel special, the person is much more likely to buy. I am sure of this, as it has been confirmed in my conversations with many luxury shoppers, sales associates and store managers I have interviewed since we started BSPK.

For luxury houses, our solution offers the opportunity to own the client relationship, while leveraging the skills and expertise of store associates. Having control of the client relationship is critical for the privacy and safety of the client. This is a growing concern in the industry based on my conversations with luxury executives. We are very focused on that.

Having control is also important for the unmet business potential of client feedback and satisfaction. The better the knowledge of the client, the more opportunity to innovate – from product development to in-store experience to e-commerce.

 

A visual library of collection images.

 

 

► What are the most used features?

The most used functionality is the two-way personalized chat. The luxury retailer’s collection is ingested into the mobile sales app directly from the luxury retailer’s existing e-commerce website. It is visual and accurate, allowing relevant and personalized client engagement without a difficulty or inconvenience.

“Store associates can converse with clients in the store, while building a list of preferences, a digital wish list as well as a human description of the client”

Another powerful feature is the curated brand merchandizing feed. This is a stream of collection images to facilitate the job of sales associates making suggestions for clients. Because clients are able to offer feedback, associates learn about the collection items shoppers like. There is nothing like this in the market, and it is a unique approach to building a loyal clientele while providing individualized service.

An important point is also that BSPK is hosted in the cloud. Because of this, we are free to develop the best features that can transform and improve the luxury shopping experience for a global and mobile clientele. I know that we are on the right track, when I see how sales associates work and where luxury executives are willing to invest.

 

► How can a French retailer start to implement BSPK?

There is really no need for implementation. Many retailers have been frustrated in the past by expensive, time-consuming integration. We wanted to avoid this from the beginning. With BSPK, our goal is to provide immediate value through a solution hosted in the cloud that is easily customizable. A luxury retailer only needs to export the client list into our cloud (or we can help them do this) and provide the preferences about team roles and client engagement. The first retail store from a large brand can be up and running in a week; adding more stores is turn-key.

I am surprised when retailers tell me they plan to spend 18 months or more and millions of dollars on integration projects. In this day and age, with the right technology and approach, this should not be necessary.

 

► You are based in San Francisco. How do you personally keep up with all the digital innovations?

Being part of Silicon Valley provides me with access to the right information. I have developed and launched innovative products for the past 15 years. I also travel extensively overseas and, being born a European, have a global perspective on the intersection of business and technology innovation. I am also connected to many technology experts and entrepreneurs, and interact frequently with friends and former classmates from Wharton and Stanford .

In terms of newsletters or websites, I visit Techcrunch, ventureBeat, Business InsiderAngelist, etc.

TO FOLLOW BSPK

 

 

 

Customer Insight repère les innovations en Digital, Mobile et Retail aux Etats-Unis, et aide les entreprises françaises à transposer avec succès ces stratégies ayant fait leur preuve aux U.S. Parlons-en sur Linkedin

 

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