Brands spend millions on top of the notch technology to achieve the best return on Omnichannel efforts invested, but it is all useless without the proper coaching to the store associates.
Today I share the real case of a Fashion brand and how its Omnichannel efforts vanished in a few minutes.
During the weekend, late afternoon, I enjoyed some window shopping on the most crowded street of my city and walked by a famous brand store. The shop window was quite poor. Only 20% of the available space was used and the rest was dirty. My impulse was to walk ahead toward the next shop window. But then, being close to the end of the year, I thought that maybe they were just updating their shop window and decided to give them a second chance.
I entered and said hello to the store associate who was focused on some kind of mobile app and did not even reply. I walked for about 5 minutes in the store and nobody got close or in touch with me. While walking I have seen two sweaters and a pair of shoes I liked very much. I took few pictures and left the store.
I know this brand is pushing hard to be innovative on products and on customer experience, but sometimes the greatest innovation is the simplest.
And here is the most valuable lesson:
The real challenge for brands is the channel consistency.
Twenty years ago we were used to explain how the home page of the brand website was like the shop window. It is amazing how now we reverse the statement. Now we have to explain to store associates that their shop window is like the home page of a website. No users will get in if they do not see something catchy or if they are not properly invited in.
Three things I am constantly pushing when I coach retail associates:
See yourself as a brand associates and not a store associates.
What you do in the store affects the brand and consumers’ perception of it. Omnichannel is already in Consumers’ minds. They expect their shopping experience to be the best and you must be on top of it. You are not there to sell a product: you are there to get a customer
One for all, All for one.
Use all the channels even when you work specifically in one of them. Find online what you do not have in stores, show your digital world in your shop window, create micro-moments for your walk-ins that they can share. Brand should identify how and when brand associates will do that and train them.
To be loyal, first you need to have a relationship.
Do not make your loyalty program the reason to get a relationship. It is the contrary. First establish a relationship, talk and listen to your walk-ins, learn what they want, what are they looking for, what is their style. Stay close and be ready to help. When you have the relationship, then it is time to ask for a commitment.