July 6

Where Have All the Salespeople Gone?


In recent times, the prevailing trend in retail stores points towards a drastic reduction in active selling, irrespective of the global pandemic’s implications on social distancing norms.

The dynamics of human interaction have shifted significantly compared to the early 2000s, with traditional selling steps such as customer greeting, need identification, and more becoming increasingly obsolete.

With the pandemic under control, one might ponder if the retail industry would regain its erstwhile charm and reinstate the joy of customer interaction.

This question, though intriguing, lacks a definitive answer.

Statistical reports from 2020 reveal a concerning fact – retail traffic declined by nearly 50% compared to 2019.

This drastic shift necessitates doubling the productivity of other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from a numerical standpoint.

This, undoubtedly, is easier said than done.

Historically, certain retail roles have been more customer-centric, like cashiers and servers. The model, however, varies extensively across retail businesses.

The self-service model, predominant in superstores, warehouse clubs, discount stores, and ‘brands for less’ stores, seldom requires sales associates to actively engage with customers.

For businesses relying on merchandise placement, visual effects, and brand image for suggestive selling, doubling productivity is a formidable challenge.

While promotional offers can drive multiple unit sales, they cannot replace the significant impact of human interaction, especially when purchasing decisions involve high-stake items like apparel, electronics, appliances, and gifts.

The magic lies in human service. Picture the retail industry a few years back – people sold goods, aided by sophisticated systems, promotions, signage, and advertising.

Today, the task is to amplify this service, not through average employees, but well-groomed, informed, and trained sales associates.

These associates, backed by robust management, can drive impressive results.

Planning for recovery, then, entails transforming every employee into a revenue generator.

To fast-track improvements in KPIs, harness profit multipliers, devise a productivity plan, and identify requisite resources, businesses can consider availing the Ultimate Retail Success Collection.

This extensive resource provides a comprehensive array of training materials to support your team.

The challenge of mandated minimum wage increases further complicates the situation. If sales cannot cover this additional expense, profitability will likely suffer.

The discussion around merit-based wages versus mandated wages, however, is a topic for another time.

To navigate these challenges, the Ultimate Retail Success Collection offers an exhaustive range of resources, including books, tools, access to consultants, online and offline marketing solutions, leadership solutions, coaching, reports, checklists, and more.

Additionally, DMSRetail’s consulting program can provide assistance in formulating a productivity plan and providing comprehensive retail solutions.

Click Here for Ultimate Retail Success Collection

Click Here for Retail Consulting from DMSRetail


Where are the salespeople in retail stores?

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