Even though the majority of sales over the last five years remain in-store, by 2017, over 60% of retail sales will involve the web: whether it’s to actually buy something; or for online research. This shows how dramatically consumers have changed their shopping habits over recent years … a development that’s still in its infancy!
At a time when consumer engagement is as much about digital as physical, in reality, the role of the point-of-sale has dramatically changed. To ensure its survival, it’s above all the store experience that retailers need to rethink.
You only have to walk along a high street on a Saturday afternoon to see that shopping remains a leisure activity. While online shopping is convenient, it doesn’t provide the same level of social interaction that human contact in a shop gives. Technology has become a vital tool in helping retailers collect information about their customers and products, but it’s rather redundant without the human talent to exploit it. It’s down to the sales staff, who, equipped with the right information and relevant tools, can offer customers an exceptional shopping experience. This expertise is really what makes a difference at the point-of-sale and is what customers are looking for.
In-store experience and brand loyalty
Studies show that customers who interact with good salespeople are more likely to return to a shop, or remain loyal to the brand. To ensure an ongoing experience with a brand, retailers need to rely on talented ambassadors in their stores. They have to embody the same values as the brand, know the products like the back of their hand and possess good interpersonal skills.
By equipping their salespeople with tablets and other mobile technologies, retailers arm them with the necessary tools to look up pertinent information about their customers and ensure a unique and personalized experience with the brand. If, for example, a customer wants to order something that’s not currently in stock, the salesperson can order it for them directly at the point-of-sale. Or, they might want to recommend complementary products; or even let customers pay for purchases from the changing room so they don’t have to wait at the till.
How to find the best candidates
One of the techniques used to recruit the best profiles of salespeople is based on a recent HR strategy called “Talent science.” The approach is to first identify the values installed in the DNA of the brand and how it wishes to attract clients. A preliminary study first establishes a suitable profile of a person likely to generate sales in the sector and provides a benchmark for assessing potential candidates.
But generating sales doesn’t solely rely on recruitment. It’s also about retailers taking the necessary steps to train their sales teams and equip them with information about their products. It’s something that has been particularly successful in retail and fashion, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction, as well as reduced turnover.
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