How much do you rely on digital devices when you consider purchasing a new product?
From clothes, to cars, to homes, the internet has turned the tables in consumer’s favor in terms of providing extensive product knowledge. According to Forbes, 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even contacts a supplier. But the digital assistance doesn’t stop there; Retail Touch Points states that 90% of consumers use their smartphones even while inside a retail store in order to price compare or do further research on what they will buy.
More often than not, when a customer walks into a store they’ve already done most of their homework, and are looking for permission to buy. In other cases, they’ve narrowed their choices down to a few options, and need some expert guidance on what will work best for them and their unique needs. To give that level of service, you need employees who not only know your products inside and out, but also how to sell them.
Introducing: The “Evolved” Product Knowledge Clinic
Long, resource-intensive product clinics may not be the most efficient way for a retailer to equip their staff with the right information to win them a sale in a time-sensitive situation. High frequency, low intensity style learning is a more effective way to teach staff -- in a world where product life cycles are moving quicker than ever, so is employee turnover. The “evolved” product knowledge clinic will not just better serve your employees and your bottom line, it will also help measure your success. It combines easily accessible product knowledge with information that will help sale associates support the consumer in making purchasing decisions.
It’s Not “Goodbye Product Knowledge Clinics” -- it’s “See You Later”
As a retailer, you might be reading this lamenting the opportunity for relationship building that “old school” product knowledge clinics provided. We’re not saying you should ditch product knowledge clinics altogether; instead, you should stop putting all of your eggs in one basket: expecting sales associates to learn about your products just once per season simply doesn’t fit the speed of retail anymore. Due to the high cost of bringing all employees to a clinic, the old way of conducting product clinics are becoming less viable.
With the majority of retail workers prefering to receive information on mobile phones anyway, retailers who embrace technology as a communication and training method will be better set up for success. As product knowledge accessibility increases online -- technology serves to build these connections quickly amongst sales associates within a retailer to maintain the pace. Considering that customers are better informed than ever, it's crucial to have a better educated frontline who knows the product they’re selling -- and how best to sell it.
Furthermore, with the right training app, corporate managers can capture actionable data that demonstrates how successful each of their locations have been at disseminating and understanding product knowledge. With that in hand,they are capable of making information-based decisions that will have a positive impact on their bottom line.
So -- what’s next? When can we start empowering our sales associates?
Tools to empower, rather than replace sales associates are key. NewKnow is an integrative learning solution that allows frequent, engaging communication between brands, retailers and the floor. Don’t say goodbye to the Product Knowledge Clinic, start innovating.