Do I need to employ store-based sales staff in a digital age?

Do I need to employ store-based sales staff in a digital age?

21-Jun-2013
Do I still need to employ store-based sales staff in a digital age?



Last month Argos boss John Walden questioned whether there was a need for store-based sales staff in an increasingly digital world. Tony Heyworth, international marketing director at real-time customer engagement provider LivePerson, believes there is.

“While mobile internet has undoubtedly provided a platform for accessing information that once only the store assistant would be able to provide, the service provided by having physical support in a store is more than just the sharing of information. Imagine if we walked into a store and weren’t greeted with a smile and a hello,” he says.


For Heyworth, the question of whether sales people are still needed comes down to if the additional value they add is cost effective and enhances sales.


Digitally enabling stores doesn’t mean eliminating sales staff, instead it can make assistants more cost effective to deploy, according to Heyworth. He says software is available that enables retailers to have customers’ queries answered by a centralised pool of knowledgeable staff.


“Not only are these expert salespeople still employed, but to greater effect as they have the skills required to offer services both online and within the physical store environment as required,” he says.


“The question is not whether you still need store-based salespeople, but how retailers can maximise the benefits of the digital world in conjunction with the store environment to better service customers, cut costs and ultimately, increase sales,” Heyworth adds.

For the original article from Retail Week click here.