Brands face an uphill battle to get retail associates to sell their products in stores. Not only are you fighting for prime shelf space, but you’re also in a dogfight for the attention of the retail employee.
You may think you are doing enough by supplying retailers with product decks and spec sheets, however you need to understand that the typical LMS solutions that retailers use to train their store staff follows a "fire and forget" model. Retail employees take a course, complete a quiz, and it is assumed they have learned the material well enough to use on the sales floor. But it has been proven over and over that sales people learn better and are more motivated through ongoing and active engagement.
LMS solutions that focus on training in a rote-memory way fail to motivate or inspire retail employees to sell your products. Brands need to do more than simply supply retailers with training materials. You need to provide incentives, excitement, and other motivation. Without active retail engagement, brands have a difficult time connecting with retail employees. With a 59% annual turnover rate in retail, you need to constantly and creatively engage the retail channel with active engagement tactics.
Brand reps have typically served this function. For brands that can afford to have a field force, brand ambassadors meet with retail employees personally in-store, befriend them, give them discounts or gift cards, and woo them to sell their products. This is active engagement that resonates better with retail employees than boring 'ol LMS courses.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has disrupted brand field force activities, which is why brands are providing active engagement more through social media, sales promotions and contests, and a pivot to mobile-based training.
You can harness the power of social media as a tool for active engagement. Brands that are connected with retail employees on social can influence them by posting stories featuring products and generally interacting with them in creative ways to stay top of mind. In this way, brand ambassadors themselves can connect with retail employees too.
To encourage this type of active engagement as a brand, you can run a campaign to make a concerted effort to increase social followers. As part of your campaign, you can highlight an incentive to follow your brand on social.
Sales Promotions & Contests
Utilizing sales contests and promotions actively engages retail employees. Your reps can carry out contests or you can achieve this through the social or mobile connections you have to retail employees. Contests and promotions are all about providing a fun outlet for employees, whilst encouraging them to learn some information about your company or products, thereby increasing how often employees recommend your brand to customers.
Mobile Training for Active Engagement
Using mobile training is a powerful way to actively engage with retail employees. A huge benefit from a brand’s point of view is being able to engage employees when store visit restrictions are on due to events such as COVID. Giving retail employees a way to reach out for support builds strong brand loyalty.
Additionally, as the brand–and with the right mobile-based platform–you can offer continual incentives, training exercises, and information seminars/webinars to motivate retail employees to actively engage them. This arms retail employees with product knowledge and confidence about your products.
When done correctly, active retail engagement is far more beneficial than traditional training. It allows brands to create a relationship with the retail employee and provide training beyond features and benefits of products -- it gives employees more insight and a better connection into your brand's history, mission statement, and more.
Active Retail Engagement via SellPro
SellPro enables active engagement via mobile through gamification and rewards. We show retail employees "what's in it for them" by combining tactics to entice associates to engage with our training app frequently to earn awards. The repetition and frequency of employees logging onto the SellPro app to participate in games and contests results in them retaining more facts and feature details about your products than ever before.
To understand how SellPro delivers active engagement, please review our Logitech case study. During the height of COVID lockdowns, we enabled Logitech to drive brand advocacy, product knowledge, and sales at the store-level.
Logitech was delighted with the results, which included a:
- 93% lift in Logitech's brand recommendation rate
- 84% improvement in retail employee product knowledge
- 115% increase in unique users engaged with Logitech's content
- 122% growth in users trained on Logitech's products and solutions
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