Roberto Ramos, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Strat­egy and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions of The Do­neger Group

Images Retail - - COVER STORY -

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.

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