A little knowledge goes a long way

 In Marketing, Retail

retail2I have recently started working with a new retail client, and this coupled with the fact that it’s Christmas shopping season has meant that I’ve been paying particular attention recently to some of my own experiences at the point of sale.

I’ve always been a firm proponent of the power of personal selling but this was brilliantly demonstrated in a visit I made to Space NK last week. I had been mulling over purchasing some new skincare products for my husband for Christmas. Following the classic customer journey, I had checked out the website, identified my preferred option, read the customer reviews and decided to visit the shop to try a sample and perhaps get a little more personal advice. In other words, the online marketing had done its job and I was primed and ready to purchase.

The first person I asked for help, however, nearly ensured that I left without bothering. She was vague, didn’t manage to muster any enthusiasm for the product, and when I asked why it was more expensive than other ranges, muttered something about vitamin e. She then wandered off with no attempt to close the sale and that was very nearly that.

A second assistant then approached me and asked if she could help. I told her what I’d been looking at and she very deftly spotted what I needed and delivered it – reassurance. She told me who was behind the range, why they had developed it and what a great product it was. She told me a story. Marketing theory abounds with the power of storytelling, and every now and again it is very neatly demonstrated to you. Without being pushy or condescending, I was left in no doubt that this was absolutely worth parting with my hard earned cash for.

Now more than ever, physical retail outlets have to offer something extra. With a lot of products it’s less hassle, and often cheaper, to buy online. Why should people come to your shop to buy? What can your staff deliver that makes you worthy of people’s custom? And how will you go about ensuring that they are equipped to deliver it?


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