Roberto Ramos, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Communications of The Doneger Group
says there are five key ways in which retail can amplify its ability to connect emotionally with consumers and maintain a dynamic, friendly and productive relationship. 1. Put HR and talent management at the heart of brand planning. Advocacy begins from within, so think of your employees as your most important brand asset. Hire based on affinity with your brand values and the ability of the talent to bring those values to life. 2. Create lifestyle experts. Make sure you are training lifestyle experts that can get consumers excited about the industry, trends and products you're selling. Look at what brands like Best Buy have done to leverage their staff's friendly expertise into an engagement asset. Make the idea of a a personal shopper the norm not an anomaly. 3. Rethink sales incentives. Most salesperson-to-consumer interactions seem rushed and forced. Put new key performance indicators in place that incentivise customer satisfaction, quality time spent with customers, insights gathered, solutions provided, and smiles triggered. Good results on those fronts will result in stronger sales. 4. Leverage technology to amplify the human factor. While it's challenging to deliver every consumer interaction in person, try to embed other forms of interaction with as much of the human touch as possible. Leverage consumer-centric platforms such as messaging services to communicate with consumers directly, in answering their needs and inspiring them to feel positively about your brand. 5. Turn the store into a social. human-centric environment. A way of making shopping less transactional, and therefore less prone to promotional/competitive pressures is by turning stores into destinations filled with familiar faces. An inspired sales staff should interact in an environment that is more inviting. Think less clutter, more welcome areas.