How much does retail employee talent matter
Working in retail can bring fond memories for someone and trigger nightmares and sweaty palms for others. It could be argued that retail staff talent is never considered. At least it wasn’t considered important enough to invest in. The rationale behind this was due to relatively high staff turnover rates. Therefore, investing in staff training usually yielded a low return on investment. Companies believe staff talent was due to customer views on retail experience and their priorities. The fact that staff service was simply not huge driver for winning customers. So, time and resources were not invested on employee development. So, what has changed since then? Evolving retail role The landscape has transformed tremendously in the last decade in the retail sector. One of the major reasons is being the online shopping. A steady increase in industry standards, technology and store innovation have meant that expectations of customers have risen dramatically and consistently with time. Due to these factors, customers have a different outlook and comparable retailers to past decades. Customers trends to appear to point to increase in the importance of supporting local businesses, which means that customers are still holding higher expectations than ever, the individual aspects which make up their overall expectations have shifted and altered. Now that brick-and-mortar retailers are adapting their role, as they battle with both changing customer preferences, expectations and the rapid growth of online shopping. The role of retailers has transformed into offering something different rather than translation of an online store. So the real question is how do stores differentiate themselves from the competition. Stand out from the crowd Offer something to replicate within an online realm, appears to be key to success for the brick and mortar retailer. There are three ways with which modern retailers can achieve this with retail Epos, personalized advice, excellent service after sales and support and product knowledge in their stores. So, all these three can be achieved through talented, trained and skilled employees. There are some key factors which will make their in store shopping experience better are: • Staff must have a good knowledge on the product • Ease of checkout • Checking of online stock or in store stock quickly • Check and order an extended range of products on screen in the store • Real time and personalized offers designed specifically for them A well trained and knowledgeable employee base will meet the above standards. A well trained staff work as a slick and effective unit, efficient on checkouts, understand current promotions and anything which will benefit a customer visiting their store. The employee is the heart beat of the retail experience. A store is no better than a hollow husk without retail epos, where customers can visit to physically feel a product, or get a quick purchase if they are nearby. As the rise in next day delivery or may be on same day, and more online stores offering a try and buy policy, even these points are becoming somewhat less exclusive to the physical store. Customer choice is always right Clearly employee talent is vital for the success of modern retailer. Customers around UK were asked what would increase their preference of choosing a local retailer. Astonishingly the answers were related to store employees. After care and service, helpful store personnel, personalized service and boosting local employment. One method which ensures is through mobile phones which ensure that customers have a ubiquitous link to the online world means only a few seconds away from an online purchase. Customers who do not use mobile smart phones prefer to speak directly to a store employee. Once again, customers are looking to interact directly with person, again a level of insight to purchase that cannot gain online. It is clear again that a customer is looking for the extra care and service which can be given only by a trained employee. Retailers looking to find a way to differentiate and stand out, in a world where competition is fierce and the online world is always growing. There is one conclusion which all of its data and research points to retail talent does matter.