“How to Increase Retail Sales in 2022 With Virtual Queuing” by Steve Covate via Total Retail

“How to Increase Retail Sales in 2022 With Virtual Queuing” by Steve Covate via Total Retail

Photo Credit: Getty Images If the last two years have taught retailers anything, it might be that workforce trends can be just as unpredictable as consumer trends. The industry has always faced challenges in hiring and retaining talent, but the current labor shortage is nearly unprecedented. Workforce struggles paired with customers who are generally more finicky and impatient are forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink their strategies. Keeping employees happy has become almost as important as keeping customers happy — and the way people feel at work matters just as much as the wages you’re paying and the value you’re providing. Virtual queuing offers a way to improve the experience for workers and consumers alike. Changing the ways customers wait for service may seem like a minor adjustment, but the potential to increase efficiency, staff morale and, perhaps most importantly, sales is significant. In 2022, this potential can’t be overlooked. Related story: 3 Things to Consider for Omnichannel Success A Variety of Use Cases Virtual queuing is based on a simple idea: instead of standing in a physical line, customers check into a queue on their smartphones, then are notified when their turn comes up. Customers are free to do whatever they want — including shopping other parts of the store — while they “wait.” The wait itself becomes productive in that customers can ask questions and provide additional information to staff so that when they reach the front of the virtual queue, employees are better prepared to deliver outstanding service. Customers also can receive updates on estimated wait times and can even be sent virtual offers — e.g., digital coupons...
“Five Takeaways for Retailers from CES 2022” by Arick Wierson via The Robin report

“Five Takeaways for Retailers from CES 2022” by Arick Wierson via The Robin report

Well, that was interesting. When CES 2022 came to a close, one day ahead of schedule; attendees were dismissed early as “an additional safety measure” for minimizing the risks of Covid-19. (Apparently the brain trust at the Consumer Technology Association – the entity which produces the annual Las Vegas extravaganza – didn’t think that the risks of Covid-19 would be all that high on the first few days of the show.) The Show Must Go On Granted, show organizers were pretty much in a no-win situation. The pandemic had already forced the 2021 show to go completely online – an endeavor that was generally viewed by most long-term showgoers as something of a dud. I completely agree as I was involved in the production of several exhibitors’ “virtual CES showrooms” which amounted to producing a slickly produced half-hour magazine show that highlighted brands’ new products. It looked great, but CES is really the place you go because you want to touch and see the new tech up close. Retail executives as well as leaders at consumer brands should really be thinking now about how AR/VR can be leveraged to help position themselves for the day when the tech eventually matures, and adoption reaches the tipping point. But this year event organizers seemingly made a suicide pact and vowed to make sure the show would go on no matter how much incoming fire they took on– and boy was there pressure to cancel. It was undoubtedly all this pressure of high profile dropouts that compelled Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro to post a lengthy Christmas Eve rant/missive/justification for why the show was still...
“‘You Can’t Feel A Fact: The Analytical Sales Personality Style’ plus ‘Why Training On the Salesfloor Doesn’t Work (video)'” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

“‘You Can’t Feel A Fact: The Analytical Sales Personality Style’ plus ‘Why Training On the Salesfloor Doesn’t Work (video)'” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

When I was looking for a lawn spreader, I asked the sales clerk, “Why should I buy this one?” He quickly answered, “Because it makes sense.” At that moment he confirmed my suspicions that he had an Analytical personality style. I’ve previously shared my thoughts about the Amiable,  Expressive , and Driver personality styles. Today, with their sensible, fact-based approach, I’ll dive into some thoughts about the Analytical. It would be easy to dismiss the Analytical personality style as a bookworm, a techie, a person with too much information because then we would be thinking their depth of knowledge is somehow not relevant. But their focus on detail is what makes their sales ability an asset. No other personality style will delve into as much product knowledge and history as the Analytical. However, Analytical personalities are not necessarily the best fit for most stores. Sure, an antique dealer who is trying to get thousands of dollars for a vintage pair of eyeglasses really needs to be able to share all the reasons to justify the price. Or a luxury jeweler, or stained-glass craftsman, or even a plastic surgeon. Analyticals, like Amiables, tend to be introverted; they can share information as a defense mechanism. Consequently, the more nervous or under pressure they are, the more they will try to calm themselves by reciting facts about a product. The challenge is, only a third of the world really appreciates all that information. 63% or so of the population buys on feeling, not facts. You can’t feel details – most customers buy based on emotions. And for that reason, an untrained Analytical can be a liability for your sales...
“Let’s Talk Digital Growth in 2022” by Christine Russo of RCCA (newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Let’s Talk Digital Growth in 2022” by Christine Russo of RCCA (newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

We are pleased to announce that Christine Russo of RCCA is our newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Below you will find a little Q & A about Christine Russo, who is an outstanding retailer resource that is currently offering a remarkable deal for BRA Distinguished Retail Members. – Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association DW: Hello, Christine. Should our retail members call you Christine, Russo or something else? CR: Hi, Doug. I’m Christine, but most people call me Russo. DW: What do you like about Board Retailers Association? CR: I love the programs, resources and articles that Board Retailers Association curates for independent specialty retailers. DW: Why are you excited to be a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner? CR: I am excited to be involved because I help smaller businesses do big things. I am here to educate and inform and provide no-cost guidance and information. DW: Awesome. What does that mean for our Retail Members? CR: I can help to answer the following questions: How can my physical store compete with ecomm? How can I offer what the retail giants offer? How can I provide the same (or better) options to my customers? I scour retail technology solutions to find suitable solutions to help independent, small to medium brick and mortar physical retail. And I share the information. For Free. DW: So what would you say that your mission is as it relates to our Retail Members? CR: My mission is education and information. DW: Is it true that you are offering a special package for BRA Distinguished Retail Members that contains a 3 hour consulting package...
“December retail sales were strong, no matter what the clickbait headlines said” by Steve Dennis via Retail Wire

“December retail sales were strong, no matter what the clickbait headlines said” by Steve Dennis via Retail Wire

Photo: RetailWire Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion, is a summary of  Steve Dennis’ recent Forbes article. Steve is President & Founder of SageBerry Consulting and a senior Forbes Contributor. He is the author of Remarkable Retail: How to Win and Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption. The U.S. Commerce Department released its monthly retail sales report Friday morning and, within minutes, my social media feed lit up with gloom and doom takes on the alleged sorry state of shopping. Various outlets ran negative headlines suggesting sales in December had dropped precipitously. Much of the reporting focused on results coming in “below expectations.” There is so much wrong in all of this. As a senior executive at two Fortune 500 retailers and a consultant/analyst for 30 years, I’m hard pressed to name one person whom I respect who pays much attention to month-over-month numbers. What we focus on is the year-over-year numbers (and more recently, because of COVID, the so-called two-year stack). Depending on which definition of retail you prefer (some exclude auto, gasoline and/or restaurant revenues), sales were up between 14 and 19 percent year-over-year — much higher than average and a record for the month. Then there is this whole expectation thing. I, for one, fully expected December to be lower than November — and so did most other folks in retail I talk to. Why? It’s been obvious supply chain concerns and earlier retailer promotions pulled a lot of holiday sales into October and November. Oh, there’s also a little thing called the Omicron surge. To be sure, there are reasons for concern. Inflation, supply chain issues, labor shortages, likely higher...
“Managing Sales Behaviors to Improve Sales Performance” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

“Managing Sales Behaviors to Improve Sales Performance” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

What are sales behaviors? They are a series of actions comprised in a sales process, the way salespeople act and talk with shoppers. It is not as some have said your thought process; it is something specific other sales associates can see or hear you do. For example, an associate standing behind the counter talking trash about another customer so everyone can hear is bad sales behavior. Importance of behavioral sales training in retail What are bad sales behaviors? Things a salesperson does that result in the shopper not making a purchase and leaving the store.  For example, I went into a Hugo Boss boutique. I didn’t see any salesperson in the store. I found a shirt I wanted to try on and finally spotted a sales associate in a cubby. I assumed he was finishing a sale with a shopper. I tried to get his attention but couldn’t, so I just tried the shirt on right there on the sales floor. The woman left and I assumed the salesperson would come over. Nope. He just stood in the middle of the store looking out into the mall.  As I walked past him, he said not a word, just stared out into the mall. That was bad sales behavior. What are good sales behaviors? Engaging a stranger, discovering the shopper, and making a sale. For example, at the same mall several hours later, I passed a Rituals skincare boutique. It featured a large hydrangea tree in the center and as I stopped to look, a young woman encouraged me to come in. “No,” I said, “I’m tired and just want...