The importance of sales associates for brands and retailers cannot be overstated. They are the continuity of the effort that is needed to succeed by giving the best in-store customer experience possible and generating sales.
Sales associates are incredibly important to brands but they are the hardest employees to reach, train and incentivize. Plus, labor shortages have been an issue over the last few years, especially in the retail industry. About 63% of retailers operate with a frontline employee deficit in early 2023.
Moreover, the percentage of part-time employees in the retail industry is almost double that of non-retail employees, and the same goes for the percentage of 16- to 24-year-old employees. These numbers are the representation of younger people taking part-time jobs while in school for a few months or a few years and then leaving the industry.
Frontline employees are also looking for better working conditions. Wages are at the center of the issue, but employees also want to feel recognized and empowered.
All this leads to a constant reshuffle in the workforce.
Though there is a high turnover amongst part-time employees, they still need proper training. They will be in the store about 15 hours a week but they will meet most retail customers during the peak weekend hours. At the moment, 62% of new employees receive less than 10 hours of training. This is clearly felt by shoppers, as 80% of them feel like they know more about the product than sales associates.
About Frontline Employees
Frontline employees are a group of people that are passionate about their industries. They are passionate about their favorite brands. They proudly wear their products and advocate for them in and out of the store.
They truly want to learn. Whenever a new order arrives in-store, they’re eager to read the tags to know what these new products are all about.
They really want to give good customer service and the best advice possible, which is one of the reasons they are so eager to learn. They want to find the perfect product for the specific needs of their every client.
Brands and retailers need to take advantage of these characteristics.
We have now established who the frontline employees are. We have also determined some of the biggest issues that the industry is facing:
1. Compensations and income.
2. Lack of training.
3. Employees feeling like they are not recognized.
Now, let’s talk about solutions.
The good thing about the current context is that a crisis produces change. Changes can be brought about by different technologies or platforms and great adoption rates by users.
ENDVR is such a platform.
First of all, it enables brands to reach frontline employees on their phones, regularly and in a scalable way, helping brands to build a relationship with them. On ENDVR, relationships are built through missions.
Missions can take the form of sales contests, learning modules, surveys, merchandising requests, and much more. Sales associates are rewarded upon completion of the mission. Brands decide what type of reward they want to associate with each mission: cash, discounts, free products or prizes.
The reward aspect has a great impact on sales associates’ income. Associates can easily make a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a yearly basis with their efforts on ENDVR.
“Being able to get free products or money, that’s an awesome incentive to use the app and to sell that brand’s products.” – Sales associate using ENDVR
The lack of training can be totally eliminated through ENDVR. The platform enables brands to reach associates with frequent bite-size learning modules. Over are the days where in-store visits were the only way to pass on information. This was especially bad since part-time employees working evenings and weekends never got these flash clinics given by brand reps.
Regarding the need for more recognition, store managers that have employees using ENDVR embrace this. One said: “Whenever we have someone winning a prize or any contest, we make a big deal out of it. Recognition is a big thing for employees.”
Columbia sent two ENDVR users on an all-inclusive private ski clinic for them and a friend at Whistler Blackcomb last winter. Now if that doesn’t make someone feel empowered and recognized, nothing will!
“Not being on ENDVR would be my loss. It’s a win-win situation.” – Sales associate using ENDVR
Click here to visit ENDVR’s website and learn more about the platform.