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How Store Associates Drive Your Omnichannel Strate

How Store Associates Drive Your Omnichannel Strategy and Boost Sales – Barry Cohen

  • 14 Dec 2016
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Your customers are buying experiences. Your retail associates are your most important touch point in delivering the experience.

Your customers are buying your brand and everything you stand for. You have invested heavily in your merchandising and your overall brand image. Your social media, web sites, and promotional strategies are active 24/7 stimulating demand and moving consumers along their purchase journey.

bcohen_ image blog

The physical store is still a critical step in the purchase journey.

According to the PwC Total Retail Survey, 2016, within the clothing and footwear category, 36% of buyers prefer to do their research for a product in the store. 53% of survey respondents prefer to complete their purchase in the store.

Once a shopper crosses your lease line, it’s up to your Associates and your sales leaders to deliver on the promise…to deliver the experience you envision.

Clearly many consumers still desire a physical interaction with a product – and better interactions with Associates lead to more transactions, larger sales and a better overall customer experience – whether the transaction is completed in the store or online after returning from the store.

The challenge for retail is creating a store environment in which shoppers who prefer to buy in-store are converted to purchasing customers. The opportunity to drive personalized brand engagement is maximized in the store. A new research study by insights firm iModerate indicated that 74% of all respondents said it is important for brands to have a physical location rather than solely selling online. “One of brick-and-mortar’s greatest advantages over other channels is that there’s an opportunity for shoppers to interact with products, and that gives them the confidence they need to make a purchase,” said iModerate CMO Adam Rossow.

Ensure you have your highest performing, best qualified Associates and sales floor leaders on the store floor at your peak times.

Don’t leave this to guess work or manually intense processes (that are never properly executed). Track Associate performance objectively. Watch your metrics in real time. Think ‘Moneyball’ for retail. Call the right ‘sales’ plays with the right Associates and watch your KPIs move in the right direction. Drive the sales behavior on the store floor that is most appropriate for your goal – increasing conversion, building transaction value, etc.

In PwC’s Total Retail Survey, 2016, 40% of survey respondents indicated that Sales Associates with deep product knowledge would make the in-store shopping experience better.

PWC Survey Results

Source: PwC, Total Retail Survey, 2016

Your web content delivers the same product description every time a shopper looks up a product on your site. Yes, product recommendations can be tailored somewhat based on customer profiles (if they have logged in) and shopper trends (other customer also bought…). The quality of the in-store experience that your Associates deliver has a substantial and easily measurable impact on your store sales. When a customer enters your store, she has passed other stores and chose to enter yours. Your Associates have the opportunity to engage her, discuss the merchandise she would love to have, show her new merchandise, and build the sale as well as ongoing loyalty.

Don’t miss opportunities for conversion.

About the Author

Barry leads sales for StoreForce, a global provider of Performance Based Scheduling and the Essential Toolkit for Retail Sales Leaders – serving Specialty Retail exclusively. He is also an executive advisor with Boardroom Advisory Group, an invitation-only platform of industry experts helping customers achieve business growth goals.

 

Article originally posted April 11, 2016 on Barry’s LinkedIn Post.

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