It’s a simple fact that many retailers ignore at their peril! Seventy per cent of consumers will walk out of a store if they don’t have access to knowledgeable salespeople¹.
Salespeople are the real untapped resource. Where once we may have preferred to be left alone in a store, consumers increasingly demand that sales staff are ready and willing to help. However, they must know their stuff. Australians, for instance, want retailers to be consultants, not just cashiers. They expect retail salespeople to provide them with honest and expert guidance in their quest to make the right purchase decision. They don’t want pushy or ignorant sales assistants who they see as wasting their time. As one respondent in an ACRS study put it: ‘A pushy salesperson can put me off to the extent that I’d rather go to another store even if it was more effort. The best salespeople are like good waiters – they know when to make suggestions and when to assist you in making a decision.’
Receiving personal face-to-face guidance gives shoppers confidence in their buying decisions. Effective sales associates become the face of a brand at the local store level and can be a valuable asset in high-value purchase situations. A Deloitte study found that there was a 9 per cent increase in conversion when sales associates were present².
Retailers that employ experienced salespeople with strong product knowledge will gain a competitive advantage. The three priorities for salespeople in today’s highly competitive retail environment: providing assistance at point of sale, purchase selection assistance and specialised product knowledge.
¹Axsium Group. (2012). Focusing your Workforce on the Moment of Truth
²Activation Research, the Australian Consumer, Retail, and Services (ACRS), 2015, Brand Activation Implementing the Real Drivers and Profits
³Gomez, L., & Fritsch, L. (2011). The Next Evolution: Store 3.0™ Deloitte