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Retail Greatness Blog

Here’s One Reason You Should Manage...And Support...Your Retail Associates Effectively

It’s no secret. Retail stores are transforming or closing at an unprecedented pace. The entire shopping experience has been forever altered.

One of the major changes has been the adoption of technology, both ecommerce and in the store. Retailers recognize the importance of using technology to improve shopping experiences, provide greater convenience, streamline supply chains, simplify distribution, and execute merchandising tasks.

The other day I read a story about Walmart adding “inventory replenishment robots” to 50 locations. Moves like that will make a real impact on both the company and the people it employs. While they’re expected to improve productivity but not affect headcount, the truth is that at some point, robots and/or other automated technology will replace positions typically held by human beings.

Just look at the rise in self-checkout lanes these days.

Want Your Customers to Have Perfect Shopping Experiences? Try it. Test it. Tweak it. And Start All Over Again.

"Eat your own dog food." It's a term that I learned years ago that transformed our business; and it's something you need to do too. And I'm going to teach it to you now.

It means that unless you use your own products and services you have NO IDEA what your customer experience is like. And years ago when I started forcing our team to use our own tools to train and manage our own people, it was a real eye opener -- and caused us to completely redesign everything to make it something that I would take pleasure in using.

So as a retail executive, do you even know what your shoppers experience? In every store? In slow times and during the holiday rush? Have you tried it?

WELL YOU CAN'T. NOT PHYSICALLY, ANYWAY. BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY STORES AND TOO MANY VARIABLES TO SAMPLE.


Topics: 100% Retail Execution customer experience

The Brick & Mortar Survival Guide Now Available in the Kindle Store

I've always wanted to write a book, and started hundreds; but I never thought the first one I'd finish would be all about saving brick & mortar retail.

It came about because I'd been doing a lot of home improvement over the summer -- and visiting ALL KINDS of retail stores for the many projects that I'd taken on.

And a weird thing began to happen. I, who never ordered more than a few things from Amazon.com found myself gradually ordering more and more from Amazon as each trip to all of these various retail stores made it clear that the retail shopping expeirence is HORRIBLE.

They are out of stock on a HUGE number of products. MANY in-store associates are untrained, often rude, apathetic, and more often than not I found myself making MANY trips to the same store (because the associate who helped me didn't understand my problem and sold me a partial solution), or different stores (because it took several stores to find enough things in stock to complete one project.)

Gradually, I was being PUSHED to Amazon -- and if Amazon didn't have it -- searching out other online vendors.

And then it hit me.

Traditional Retail is dying.

Topics: 100% Retail Execution retail sales customer experience

2017 Holiday Hiring is More Expensive...So How Do You Optimize Temporary Store Associates?

The holidays are coming! How will this year’s forecast of higher spending affect your stores? A recent article in Chain Store Age revealed that retailers will be paying more for temporary help. But that isn’t stopping Target from hiring an anticipated 100K seasonal employees or keeping Macy’s from bringing 80K on board.

Topics: retail sales training perfect retail execution shopper experience

Training Regularly Will Help You Achieve Retail Sales Greatness!

As I've said, there are 7 steps to the retail sale. Can you list them by memory yet?

Unless you have a photographic memory – whether you can or cannot, there was a time when you’d been exposed to them and could not recite them.

Should you be able to recite them? Of course.

Why is that important? Because if you retrace the steps of billions of successful sales at retail (in other words, the 7 steps) you’re much more likely to be successful at retail sales!

Topics: retail sales retail sales greatness

If You're in Retail Your Primary Job is to Sell

We talk a lot about how selling is helping, and how we don’t shove products on people who don’t want or need them – and that’s true.

But, and this is a big but, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a responsibility to sell. If a retail sales company doesn’t make sales, it doesn’t remain in business very long – and as a retail sales associate you have been hired to ensure that those sales happen.

Topics: retail sales

Selling is a HUGE Part of Delivering a Great Customer Experience

Make no mistake: customer experience will make or break traditional brick and mortar retail.

Also make no mistake: traditional brick and mortar retail is losing that battle.

Ask anyone you know about their average shopping experience, and you’ll get a earful of just how bad it really is out there – and if you make your living in “bricks and sticks,” you should be horrified.

While we have a ton of material about shopping experience, right now we’re only going to talk about one component of shopping experience. And that’s how sales plays a huge role in the shopping experience.

What is the shopping experience, and why is it important to focus on sales as part of the shopping experience?

Topics: retail sales customer experience shopper experience

True Selling is Helping, and Not a Bad Thing

There’s an old saying that nobody likes to be sold, but everyone loves to buy. And all you need to think about to know that’s true is to remember the last time you bought something.

Sadly, over the years, people who didn’t understand that selling is helping people buy and not pushing things on them they don’t want to buy have caused damage to the profession in terms of telling people you’re in sales, and how people react when they know they’re talking to a salesperson.

The great news is you get the chance to change that every time you approach a customer in a store. You’re there to help them solve problems and make their life better – and 99% of the time they are not in the store unless they are specifically looking to solve problems and make their life better. What could be a better way to make a living?

Topics: retail sales

Shopper vs. Consumer...Who Are You Focused On?

It looks like a sad reality for the future in retailing: sales volume will get more challenging to sustain due to shrinking family size and consistently rising commodity prices as a result of globalization.

And let’s not forget the impact that giants like Amazon and others will have on the future of the retailing experience.

So we need to be clear: knowing the customer profile is CRITICAL to brick-and-mortar retailing success. But knowing who they are is one thing. Understanding how they behave is another. Your customers and their families occupy two distinct personas - consumers and shoppers -  and you want your stores focused on both.

Topics: retail greatness

The 7 Steps of the Retail Sale

Ok. I'm going to make this super simple for you.

As you already know, people have been selling things to other people for thousands of years. And over all those many years, those who became experts have figured out what it takes to be an expert – literally millions of times.

And what they all say is that there are seven, easy, steps that make up the retail sale. Learn them. Live them. Love them. And you too can become a master of retail sales, and achieve retail greatness!

Topics: retail sales skills

Sales People are Made, Not Born

If you're working in a retail store, whether you're a store employee, a vendor, a broker, etc. --basically if you are on the selling floor, one of the most important things you can do is sell.

Topics: retail sales

5 Costs That Midsize Retailers Can Trim Down While Lifting Operating Efficiency

One of the biggest areas to impact midsize retailers’ profitability is cost reduction; and the only way to do that is to challenge every expense.

Topics: 100% Retail Execution