How to Digitally Engage Store Associates

As shoppers’ digital intensity has grown over time, shoppers are no longer looking to store associates to sell them products. Chances are they already know a lot about the products they’re interested in before they walk in the store; what they’re looking for is feedback on products they’re already considering and fresh, exciting experiences. Retail salespeople now may find themselves at a loss for understanding how to communicate with knowledgeable shoppers.

From 2015 report on Navigating the New Digital Divide, Deloitte noted that “one in three customers still prefer to consult store associates for assistance when selecting and validating products.” They consider that empowering the store associate with digital information will help them stay relevant in the face of consumers’ desire for digital data. Here are four uses for digital in-store technologies that will engage and empower store associates on the front lines.

Tech That Makes It Unique to the Shopper

Shopper analytics and data should be critical to a store associate. If an associate can identify a shopper when she walks into the store, they should be able to a wealth of information about her and get a clearer view of who she is, what she likes, what’s she’s purchased before, what she’s already looked at and where she looked at it. This gives them the opportunity to tailor their service and the overall experience to her preferences and habits.

In IBM’s Shoppers Disrupted: Retailing Through the Noise survey, they explained that “consumers have come to expect superior experiences from all of the organizations with which they interact. Ultimately, they are consumers are looking for their shopping experiences to be seamless and personalized, regardless of touch point or technology used.”

Tech That Promotes Post-Visit Sales

Many shoppers browse in the store and then purchase later online. They go in the store to consider the product, they likely get additional information and feedback from a salesperson, but if they walk out without making a purchase, their data is lost. The same way digital marketers use retargeting to attract shoppers back to their site to purchase, retailers can use In-Store Remarketing to do the same for shoppers in the physical store. If a store associate works with a shopper who ultimately doesn’t make a purchase in-store, the associate can trigger remarketing of particular items to that customer.

Digital follow-ups are one of the best ways of re-engaging with store customers. Associates can send a message to shoppers to remind them of a collection they built, inform them of specific sales or deals that may be of interest, or answer any lingering questions. While it might not seem like much, having

Tech That Educates

On their first day on the job, store associates are typically trained in one of two ways: sat in front of a computer in the back to complete slow, boring training modules, or handed a giant handbook with more information than they could ever need.
A better, more engaging way to train your associates is to hand them a device that allows them to interact with and learn about each product as they walk around the store. This is great for both training new hires and keeping the entire team up to date on new products, changing product details, promotions, and other notifications.

According to RSR’s Empowering the Store Employee: Benchmark 2015, the top two operational challenges for retailers are keeping employees informed about marketing and promotional activities and maintaining processes and training in a high employee churn environment. In-store tech with a staff-facing education feature is an excellent way to keep learning and communications channels wide open.

Tech That Incentivizes Store Employees

In commission-based sales, the drive to sell and provide excellent customer experiences can be significantly affected when customers don’t purchase from that associate at that moment, even if the transaction occurs digitally afterward. CloudTags’ Connected Commissions changes that.

Associates in our Connected Stores have unique smart badges assigned to them. By tapping their badge on the device of the customer they are helping, we are able to track the downstream sales that occur online after the customer leaves the store, and attribute credit back to the sales associate. In addition to traditional commission on store and online sales, connected store staff get paid for emails and product leads.

This keeps associates focused on creating value for the customer in the store and less worried about making a sale at that very moment. This leads to happier customers and more confident associates.

For retailers to take advantage of all opportunities to interact with a customer seamlessly along their journey, the store associate must be digitally enabled to access and collect shopper data, communicate with the customer at multiple checkpoints, and make the sale at any point along the way. It’s important to prepare for associates for the omnichannel world and empower them to be a great remarketing tool to drive sales.