The pandemic has changed the face of sales – how can sales change its face?
Remember how Saturdays used to be? You head to the mall for a bit of retail therapy, hit up your favourite shops, browsing for that thing that catches your eye. You swing past the food court, catch a movie – all with no masks in sight.
For post-Covid sales success, be led by these three key insights:
1 – A strong digital-first sales narrative
Post-Covid-shoppers expect more from online retail offerings, and from the service facets (like delivery) that support it.
There is a reason that online sales continue to increase year-on-year even as retailers re-open throughout the US and Europe – people like the model. You can research the thing you want online, find it stocked via Amazon, and get it delivered next day for free with an easy returns guarantee. Why wouldn’t you?
A user friendly, affordable, customer centric online store with a seamless customer service interface is a winning formula, especially for clothing, books, books, movies, and games, and consumer electronics.
That doesn’t mean the end of bricks and mortar stores. But according to Oberlo, 63 per cent of purchases start online. So even if your customers end up in store you need to start with digital – this includes B2B businesses.
2 – Don’t be a shop, be a service
A recent Forbes article quoting the book Come Back to Bed by US bedding retail experts Mark Quinn and Mark Kinsley, stated retailers need to think of their store as a service. Either you are at the affordable, trustworthy, low cost-end or you are at the higher cost, higher expertise, experiential end. Where you don’t want to be is in the middle.
If your business is set up for your convenience not your customer, if you’ve set the prices for what you need to earn without considering the market voice, if your message is anything other than ‘we are here to for you,’ then survival is going to be tough.
3 – Know thy customer
Thanks to the pandemic, loyalty is dead. Faced with the closure of favourite stores, disruption to distribution and suspension of usual services, consumers got creative. They played around with their shopping behaviours and loved it, with 65 per cent saying they will continue to shop in this way.
Customer loyalty relied on the consumer knowing you, trusting you, being tied to you; the new retail landscape requires you to know your customer, inside out, to meet their needs. You need data, big and small, you need good analytics, you need to really understand the minutiae of your conversion funnel. Use this information to drive your own value through uniqueness, create your own category. To make sales you need to really stand out from the crowd.
David Forman can help you understand your customers better and train your sales staff in the most up to date service model, plus identify any weaknesses that can improve. Visit https://davidforman.co.nz/sales-leakage/ for more.