The retail landscape is ever-evolving, and the role of the retail employee is also changing to keep up with the times. Although many traditional selling techniques – such as greeting customers with a smile, following through with store best practices, and delivering outstanding customer care – still apply to the modern retail employee, other aspects of employee’s daily duties have changed significantly in the past few years. With the advent of omnichannel shopping comes the need for retail employees to step up their game and engage with consumers both on and off the sales floor – truly meeting the realities of how consumers shop.
Let’s take a look at techniques to transform your existing retail associates into revenue-building rockstars – ultimately helping them reach your store goals and sales expectations along the way!
Arm Employees with Tech
The days of “no cellphones on the sales floor” are over for many retail businesses. Omnichannel shopping has taken the retail world by storm and as a result, technology plays an important role for retail employees and customers alike. Today’s retail associates often need internet access in order to do their jobs effectively, yet 1 in 4retail employees report that they don’t have access to the necessary tech they need to do their jobs. Customer expectations are evolving and in order for your retail associates to be able to meet these expectations, it’s important that stores provide them access to the tech they need to do their jobs effectively.
Whether your employees need to use their smartphone to post on social media for your store, use a tablet to update customer information, or refer to a computer to manage inventory, the reality is tech is a must for today’s modern sales associates. Investing in tech for your employees can help create a seamless shopping experience for your customers – as well as give your associates more control in staying connected with consumers. One way to do this is to introduce a sales program specifically connecting traditional brick and mortar associates with customers via tech, such as the mobile app Salesfloor – which is designing uniquely for retail store associates. Not only can this increase the opportunity for employees to strengthen their sales, it also allows retailers to have more control over employee / customer communication. Explore more about Salesfloor here.
Enable Social Commerce
Social media can be an important selling tool for retail employees. Not convinced? Business Insiderreports that, “the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016.” With social commerce generating this impressive and increasing amount of revenue for retailers, it should come as no surprise that boosting your company’s social media accounts should be a goal for your employees to ensure successful retail performance in 2018-2019 and beyond.
As merchants, it’s often easy to dismiss social media as an after-thought. When you take control over it, you can also reap the benefits. To help, create daily social media goals for your employees to meet…adhering to a schedule that makes sense for inventory arrivals, store promotions and more. Social media management tool such as Hootsuiteor Buffercan help, but don’t overlook the value of real-time engagement as well, such as using the “story” section of Instagram and Facebook. This is a smart strategy to stay at the top of your followers social feeds – helping to keep your store top of mind.
Increase Motivation with Contests
Giving employees attainable goals is an essential component in building an engaged and motivated retail workforce. There are a few different barometers you can put in place for measuring employee performance beyond the obvious sales goals – the catch, however, is to make sure your employees are well aware of them. They may include:
- Identifying CRM as part of employee responsibility
- Using social media data to identify top performing efforts among employees
- Setting daily productivity checklists, such as merchandising updates, and more.
When determining which goals are the right goals for your retail employees, consider what factors have historically influenced your bottom line and build your goals around that. For instance, if calling customers to follow-up on recent purchases normally results in increased traffic and repeat sales for your store, then set an employee goal for phone call follow-ups. Just make sure that the goals that you give your employees are always clearly communicated and achievable – as well as monitored and tracked.
Finally, when store associates are armed with tech, knowledge and incentives, they will be better equipped to support your customers. Collectively, these efforts will have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line as well, which is winning scenario all around!
Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this July 29-August 1, 2018 in Las Vegas.
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, RetailMinded.com