By measuring customer experiences and understanding emotions, one Brazilian retailer is beating large competitors and maintaining brand relevance.

If you’ve ever spent time in Rio, you’ve probably seen a lot of well-dressed men on the street. That’s because most Cariocas, the residents of the party capital of the world, like to look impeccable.

A Hassle-Free Shopping Experience at Impecável

Impecável, a traditional family retailer for menswear, is a favorite one-stop shop for men in Rio de Janeiro who want a hassle-free shopping experience, or for the women in their lives.

Established in 1961 when the bossa nova was at the height of its popularity and the city was in a period of socioeconomic transformation, Impecável has a long tradition of not just surviving but thriving in times of change.

“The market has changed completely since those days,” says Rafael Sampaio, second-generation CEO of the company. He goes on to explain that since the arrival of smartphones, getting people to come into a store is a larger challenge. “In the past, people simply had to go the store. Now, they have to want to go.”

Sampaio knows that today’s consumers are well informed and know what they want. Impecável caters to the lower middle-class segment of the Brazilian market whose purchasing power has increased substantially in the past decade.

According to a recent study by a Brazilian marketing agency, a more stable economy and better job opportunities mean this segment can now afford to acquire a variety of consumer goods that were previously beyond their reach. Referred to as “Class C,” this segment includes 49 percent of Brazilian households and represents 31 percent of potential consumption. The option to buy using zero-interest installment plans also helps these consumers spend more than ever before.

“We can’t afford to lose a single one of our 63,000 customers,” says Sampaio. “That’s why it’s crucial for us to understand our shoppers and provide each and every one of them with a flawless experience.” To achieve that mission, Sampaio decided to implement Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics), which help enterprises better understand the beliefs, emotions, and intentions of their customers.

“We know that Class C consumers are loyal to their brands, so our challenge is to keep our brand relevant to them,” he explains. Instead of trying to fight against big competitors like global brands, online giants, and sleek malls, Sampaio and his team decided to pursue a different strategy.

Rather than aiming to be the largest, the company strives to be the best in its category. The way to do that is to maintain a strong local presence. Like a neighborhood mom-and-pop shop or a corner kiosk, Impecável knows its customers intimately. The company knows what they want to wear to work, to church, and to the soccer stadium. It knows customers expect to be greeted upon entering the store, and that they want a variety of quality choices at the best price possible. Most of all, they expect a flawless checkout experience.

After implementing Experience Management solutions from SAP, the company experienced a 25 percent drop in customer complaints. Customer feedback is collected via short surveys after a purchase. The data is analyzed and shared throughout the organization on multiple view dashboards for executives, sales managers, individual salespeople, and cashiers.

“We’re actually more focused on positive feedback,” Sampaio explains. “Praise is addictive. Employees who are repeatedly praised strive even harder to perform well.”

Sampaio wonders how he ever did business before implementing the solutions. “Before we got this tool, we had no idea how our customers and employees were feeling. Were they happy, frustrated, or indifferent? It was like doing business with your eyes closed.”

Sampaio is convinced that it is not a question of whether or not a company needs an experience management tool; it’s a matter of reaching that “aha” moment when you ask yourself why you haven’t implemented it yet.

Embracing SAP Business One

When it came to automating key business functions in financials, operations, and human resources, Impecável opted to implement SAP Business One, business management software for small and midsize enterprises. Sampaio says he was pleasantly surprised at the speed and ease of the implementation and the approachability of the SAP team.

“I never thought such a big company like SAP would be so easy to do business with,” says Impecável’s top executive, whose main objective from day one was to be able to turn data into actionable items to stay ahead of competitors. “With SAP, we can evaluate the performance of each of our stores and make any necessary changes such as more training for employees or changing our range of products.”

Despite being a small local player, this customer-centric attitude keeps Impecável consistently at the top of the list of preferred retailers in Rio.

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