The face of retail is changing, with the need for omnichannel strategies and the consumer’s desire for experiential brick-and-mortar environments becoming more apparent. Under pressure to compete with online sales, the retail industry’s focus has been on the integration of awe-inspiring technology and a bit of smoke and magic mirrors on the sales floor to create a level of excitement. With all this focus on technology, somehow we have lost sight of the role of retail staffing. Retail talent is the face of our brands at brick and mortar. Regardless of how flashy the technology is, the foundation of retail is the people who staff the stores, forge relationships with consumers and make the sales happen.
“The top 20 percent of sales associates account for 80 percent of the sales,” Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute said. “They are critical to the business. And yet, there is another 80 percent of sales associates who are under-trained, under-utilized and under-performing. The high turnover in associates leads to customer turnover and massive amounts of lost potential and revenues.”
I predict we are going to see a new trend in retail technology and it’s going to happen on the back end of the retail equation. New start-ups like All Work are popping up with technology solutions for operational pain points. This trend will make the administration on the back end more efficient, so brands and retailers have more time to focus on the human capital on the front line that is crucial for success.
Read more about the person-to-person retail staffing trend happening in luxury retail at Luxury Daily.