“The future is unknown—it’s evolving and changing. The customer intelligence we’re able to capture through the Chat with Chico’s community helps us stay on top of our female shopper so that we’re making sure that we can meet her needs and that we’re with her as she’s changing.”

—Ivy Boehm
Senior Director, Consumer Insights, Chico’s

Chico’s started out 30 years ago with a single store on Florida’s Sanibel Island. As the company grew into a leading women’s retailer with over 700 locations in multiple countries, it needed a customer intelligence platform to help it keep in touch with customers’ wants and needs.

Challenge:

  • When Chico’s was a smaller organization with only a couple hundred store locations, it could capture customer feedback in real-time and in stores, making it easier to stay in touch with the female shopper. As the retailer expanded, Chico’s needed a solution that would help it continue to stay close to its customers. That’s when Chico’s sought out Vision Critical.
  • In recent years, the community has been fundamental to Chico’s in helping better understand the post-recession and tech-savvy female customer. Following the downturn, the Chico’s customer is less frivolous, more thoughtful and mindful of her spending habits. And, with the many technology options available today, she is much more likely to buy online through her computer or mobile phone.

Solution:

  • In 2008, Chico’s launched the Chat with Chico’s Vision Critical Insight Community in order to stay closely connected and engaged with the customer.
  • Being in tune with its customers is central to who Chico’s is, which it can do with its 14,000 members who continuously provide feedback and insight on how the retailer can improve products, marketing efforts and store design.
  • Since creating Chat with Chico’s, Chico’s has been able to maintain a close relationship with customers, ensuring the shopper is pleased and keeps coming back.

Results:

  • The Chat with Chico’s community enables Chico’s to be current in the wants and needs of customers over time, and it is a significant driver for the business when it comes to decisions concerning marketing, clothing, the stores and customer experience.
  • Most recently, Chico’s, known for carrying the best pants, sent three pairs of pants with subtle differences to select community members, asking them to wear the different pants for a couple of weeks, answer some questions and upload photos via their mobile devices. After compiling written and visual feedback, Chico’s identified the style that would eventually impact design.
  • In another example, Chico’s used its community in a more innovative way by tying member feedback with transactional database information. This way, Chico’s has been able to make correlations between customer insight and purchase history (i.e. what the spend has been like, how long they’ve been a customer, what they last bought, etc.), which has helped Chico’s not ask questions it already knew answers to and dive deeper into the customer experience.