Leverage Your Retail Associates To Make In-Store Shoppers More Loyal

Are your retail associates struggling with how to approach shoppers? There’s a widely held belief that customers don’t want to be approached unless they need assistance with a product. Rather than an opportunity to build rapport and make a connection, associates see the sales approach as a borderline-desperate attempt to make a sale. The reality is, once your associate has exhibited an ability to carefully listen to a customer’s issues and deliver a solution that will solve a problem, that customer will invariably become loyal to that associate and your store.

The myth of undesired customer engagement is being debunked. According to a survey conducted by Grail Research for Mindtree, appropriate training, coupled with increased interaction and automated technologies, leads to an increase in shopper value. The survey found that 43% of shoppers who interact with a retail associate are more likely to make a purchase, and their transactions have 81% more value compared to customers who don’t engage with a store associate.

Shoppers increasingly rely on interaction with sales associates to make purchasing decisions, especially with consumer electronics and home improvement. When customers get the right help, its leads to a significant growth in purchases and repeat in-store visits. Not surprisingly, shoppers are less likely to make a purchase if a store associate does not welcome them.

Here are some strategies to successfully boost shopper loyalty by leveraging the value of associate interactions.

Retail associates are valuable on the sales floor. As consumers increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets to navigate their shopping journey, some retailers assume having associates spread throughout the store is no longer an effective way to deliver a great customer experience. In an article for Forbes, Wendy Liebmann writes that even though consumers have technology at their fingertips, a significant number prefer personalized and engaged face-to-face service. To maximize this momentum, retailers should look at equipping sales associates with the knowledge and confidence they need to be successful on the sales floor.

The right training is key. Proper training ensures that sales associates are prepared to meet or exceed customer expectations. In many cases, that means incorporating new training methods, especially for associates who are products of the tech generation. Adopting technologies like personalized mobile training apps can help retailers achieve the results they seek.

Technology is paramount. Giving associates access to advanced technologies that help identify shoppers in need of assistance improves productivity and ensures customer needs are met in a timely fashion. In-store technologies should also match the right associate with each shopper. Making the retail associate an integral part of your customer engagement and omnichannel strategy, will help them deliver timely, accurate recommendations that allow shoppers to feel more confident in making a purchase.

The takeaway for retailers is simple: don’t underestimate the value of leveraging in-store retail associates when it comes to building shopper loyalty. Regardless of the technology they’re carrying with them, many consumers look forward to a shopping experience rooted in personalized associate interactions. The idea is to consistently create positive interactions with shoppers to increase sales and profits for retailers.

woman paying with a credit card at a retail sale with the text "Leverage Your Retail Associates to Make In-Store Shoppers More Loyal"

43% of shoppers who interact with a retail associate are more likely to make a purchase, and their transactions have 81% more value compared to customers who don’t engage with a store associate.