As you may already know, The Retail Contrarians firmly believe that retailers should use a systematic approach to engaging and selling customers. Canadian research company Verde Group along with the Baker Retailing Initiative at the Wharton Business School has a study He Shops, She Shops: Gender Differences in the Retail Shopping Experience that proves why it is important that employees be comfortable using such an approach to engage and sell their customers.
The study found that men and women shoppers from 18 to 40 years old are far more attuned to employee insincerity than their older counterparts. They are roughly twice as likely to decide that a sales associate seemed “phony” and was simply trying to make a sale.
While some might use this data to show why you don’t have a systematic approach, we disagree. Without a standard approach there’s no way a retail staff can maximize all of their customer opportunities. Our own shopping experience proves this day in and day out.
What this study does show is that we have to hire people who are comfortable learning to work with customers within a structured approach. It also reminds us that our approach shouldn’t be so rigid or scripted that employees can’t be themselves. It’s definitely a balancing act, but one worth doing.
There are a lot of other interesting elements in this study. If you’d like to download the executive overview from Verde Group, or you’d like to purchase the study you can do so at https://www.verdegroup.ca/report_teaser.htm.
Thanks to Mike Buckley at the Mine Your Own Business blog for first writing about this study.