A new poll of retail sales associates suggests that their customer engagement and job satisfaction would improve if given the proper digital tools and technology.
The survey, conducted by Salesfloor, found that a quarter of salespeople feel they are not properly equipped to do their jobs, and that half believe they’re not reaching their full potential without digital sales tools.
Moreover, fully 72 percent of associates queried said they are more likely to stay with a retailer if given technology tools.
Some of the digital tools and retail tech cited by the study include: email; messaging services like Wechat, Facebook and WhatsApp; SMS; web storefront; social-media solutions; live chat; lookbooks; “magic mirror” fitting-room touchscreens; buy/reserve online, pick up in store; and buy in-store, ship from web.
Ninety percent of respondents said they have the tools to do their jobs well when retailers leverage new technology, compared with 49 percent whose companies don’t provide digital tools.
“Many retailers have been slow to leverage new technology for associates, and our study shows that when associates are equipped with the proper technology, they are happier, have a bigger impact on sales and stay with the company,” observed Oscar Sachs, Salesfloor CEO and cofounder.
They are also seven times more confident when going up against online-only competitors like Amazon and eBay, the survey showed.
“Reports on the demise of the retail industry are largely based on the increasing success of online retailers, but we found that for associates who are using technology, online competition isn’t nearly as big of a concern,” Sachs said. “When associates have the technology needed to expand their relationships with customers and drive sales, they are able to bridge the gap between stores and online which levels the playing field with online competitors.”
Salesfloor surveyed 254 North American retail associates across a variety of product categories, compensation models and store sizes for its “2017 Retail Associate Technology Study.”
The company, founded by Sachs and Ben Rodier in 2013, helps brick-and-mortar merchants recreate the online shopping experience in stores.