When your brand is available at thousands of retail locations across the nation, it can be hard to know what’s happening at the store level. That’s why it’s so important for brands to have a close connection to the sales associates that interact with customers every day. Here at Landing, we’re lucky to welcome two retail experts to our Los Angeles team: Melanie Amperano and Janette Medina, both of whom have worked as retail managers at Ulta and Sephora. We sat down with Melanie and Janette to ask them what sales associates want brands of all sizes to understand about the retail environment.
Customers Often Aren’t Using Products Correctly
When customers return products in store, sales associates hear firsthand what led to the return. While both Melanie and Janette agree that customers often return skincare products because they aren’t seeing results fast enough, they also believe that customers often aren’t using the products correctly to begin with. Plus, as Janette put it, “The client typically is not using other products that will complement the product they’re using.”
The onus is on brands to make sure products clearly educate the customer on proper usage, but sales associates can help if given the right tools. Melanie shared, “I wish brands set up their visual displays to demonstrate the order in which products should be applied so sales associates could better speak to correct application.“ This would reduce returns and help associates cross-sell additional products that magnify results.
Training On the Sales Floor Works Better Than Training In a Conference Room
When the sales floor is busy, pulling associates away for training is a no-go and usually less productive for learning than assisting in a sale. As Melanie shared, “Assisting a guest and showing the associate how to sell your product is usually more effective than just downloading information.” Janette agrees that this kind of training “helps associates focus on the key selling points in a quick and efficient manner.”
Your Display Looks Bad Because Of Poor Operational Coordination
Have you ever walked into one of your retail locations and gasped at the sight of your display? Janette says this is more common than not. “I would love brands to know that 90% of the time graphics and displays are never sent correctly to stores, forcing the Operations Team to piecemeal things together.” To guarantee that your display looks professional, ensure that your shelf strips and display pieces arrive around the same time, are clearly labeled, and come with comprehensive instructions for staff. Janette says it’s not an impossible task. “Fenty has made it incredibly easy for associates to update fixtures and keep them stocked, which is why their displays always look polished.”
The Best Training Is Visual, Tactile and Straight to the Point
Sales associates are trained on hundreds of brands. So what separates memorable training from forgettable training? Melanie and Janette both said that getting straight to the point should be your top priority. As Melanie shared, “Good training for me covers these questions: What is it? Why do I need it? How do I use it? Who is it for?” Sales associates appreciate bluntness–saying a product is for everyone and everything makes it forgettable. Janette added, “Great training for me is visual. Videos are good, but demos are more effective. With the product in hand, we are able to physically see and feel the difference it will make.”
Get in touch with our team to see a demo of the tool, plus be the first to learn about our new Training App: a rewards-based education app that incentivizes associates to learn about your brand.