The way people shop has completely changed over the past five years. A large part of this change in behavior has been driven by online access to information. Shoppers now have easy access to more product information than ever before. Yet as the modern buying experience has changed dramatically, the in-store experience at most retailers has remained frozen in time. In particular, most sales associates do not have tools at their disposal that might allow them to keep up with the information-empowered shoppers they now serve.
The result is shoppers are increasingly frustrated that sales associates don’t have access to the information needed to serve them while associates are left wondering why they can’t get at any more information than they could a decade ago. Technology is finally making it possible to enable sales associates to deliver the type of breakthrough customer service that shoppers expect.
Some retailers have already deployed mobile devices to their sales associates and many others are contemplating a similar move. Doing so helps sales associates take care of customers more effectively. In our experience in working with retailers, we find the greatest return comes from focusing on projects and capabilities that give associates access to deep information that can help them answer questions more effectively, make better product recommendations, and transact sales quickly and easily. In our work with retailers we have seen a 20% to 50% uplift in sales when shoppers are assisted by an associate with a tablet and access to product information alone.
For retailers looking to leverage the power of mobile technology to enhance customer service, there are four main areas where our experience with clients suggest retailers have the greatest opportunity. They include:
While online access to product information has changed the way that customers buy, mobile technology is finally giving retailers a way to take the information assets they have access to and use them to transform their in-store experience for customers. Sales associates represent an untapped sales asset for most retailers that technology can transform into a source of customer delight.
April Dunford is COO of Tulip Retail (http://tulip.io), a provider of store associate tablet solutions designed to give retailers’ store associates a customer service advantage.