What are the issues facing retail training managers today?
What are some of the potential solutions that can be employed?
These are just two of the questions that YUDU’s new white paper, The future of brick and mortar: How product knowledge and customer service training can help make physical retailers more profitable, aims to answer. This paper takes a granular look at issues like high staff turnover and a lack of product knowledge and, drawing upon extensive existing industry research, assesses their financial impact upon the industry as a whole.
One of the key take-aways is the fact many retail staff aren’t well equipped, in terms of product knowledge, to be selling more complex goods like electronic consumer goods. Not only does this empirically result in lost revenue from customers who would prefer to deal with online retailers, it also means physical retail stores are missing a beat when it comes to distinguishing themselves from these same online retailers.
One of the conclusions of our research is that physical retail stores can in fact significantly improve conversion rates from their in-store traffic, if they invest in well-trained staff who understand the product catalog they’re selling, and that customers do in fact appreciate this personal touch above the impersonal and functional nature of e-commerce. From the paper:
“In the case of physical retail environments, retailers, in addition to making the brick-and-mortar experience more online friendly, must become more effective at delivering things digital environments simply cannot do as well by design. Very obviously, one of these things is face-to-face sales advice from an experienced and well-trained salesperson.
There is a small but emerging body of evidence to suggest that overall conversion rates in the retail space can increase if retailers adopt these sorts of measures, commonly known as “omni-channel strategies.” As we shall see, new methods of retail staff training will play a huge part in this. Finally, and more broadly, it’s always worth bearing in mind the innate advantages that physical retail spaces offer. As two illustrative examples show, we know from research that securing complementary purchases is much easier in a physical retail environment (some 20% of customers surveyed in one study purchased complementary products in-store compared to only 7% online) and that physical retail environments and retail staff give more of a sense of imparting a company’s brand philosophy to customers in-store than they receive online. This only serves to further underscore the necessity of retail staff training in a period of flux.”
 US Retail Benchmarks 2015, Euclid Analytics, August 2015.
 Retail Matters: Combating the ‘Showrooming’ Effect, Beyond the Box, 2013.
If you’d like to learn more, and to download the white paper in full, click here.