The internet has been around for two decades, but fast fashion retail and traditional apparel brands are only recently making strides in digital sales. As the industry struggles to make greater leaps to find the right balance between digital and the brick-and-mortar experience, retail sales training remains crucial to meet multichannel consumer demands.
Given that 94% of total retail sales are still generated in brick & mortar stores, sales associates play a key role impacting overall sales. With the right training floor staff will be more effective at increasing ATV.
To maximise the ROI on training investments sales leaders and trainers need to know the right metrics and identify ways to improve results.
Fashion retail sales is not dying
It's a fact that long-standing fashion retailers and department stores like Macy's, BCBG, J.Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap are closing stores. At the same time the numbers show the impact of retail sales on the worldwide economy. The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars and accounts for 2% of the world's GDP.
The retail sales sector in the EU, US, and UK spend 390 billion euros, 110 billion dollars and 13 billion pounds to employ 3.75m workers in clothing and footwear. To get the ROI and hiring, investments in training for sales effectiveness is essential. While fashion brands figure out the right branding, communications, and commerce mix, fashion retail sales associates play a key role in customer interactions.
According the PWC 51% of clothing and footwear retail shoppers prefer in store. Luxury, discounted and fast fashion brands, LVMH, TJX, and H&M are each adapting to technological shifts, lifestyle choices and changing shopping habits. Men and women spend on average £1,625 on luxury clothing and accessories per annum.
As the retail landscape works to find the right mix, the brands that prepare sales associates will be more effective at driving revenues, the more positive the ROI on retail sales training.
Identify retail salesfloor issues
Every retail sales trainer wants to measure impact of sales training on sales performance. For training to have the right impact on sales, the right goals need to be laid out.
- 85% of customer churn due to poor service was preventable. As a sales leader ask yourself "are my employees talking or communicating?" Too many times, they are just talking. Teach them how to listen first.
- Educate shoppers about products. 84% of consumers are frustrated when the agent does not have information.
- Listen to your customer to understand needs and wants. 67% of customer churn is preventable if the customer issue was resolved at the first engagement.
- Offer value-added services and products. Train your employees to sell the benefit and not the features. And more importantly, to see what the customer needs, not what the salesperson likes. It’s been estimated that a knowledgeable sales associate can increase sales by 23% directly because of the knowledge they have applied to the retail sales process.
How to measure ROI and improve:
1. Track and measure store traffic, conversion, (ATV) average transaction value and shopper yield with an industry recognized retail analytics system. 150 retail decision-makers in the U.S. and U.K. found that only 23% of them measured in-store foot traffic. Take this example of a premium fashion retailer, choose a time period, a day or week and measure conversion during that period.
# of store sales/store traffic = % of store traffic that completes a purchase
100/1,500 = 6.7% conversion
Calculate ATV. If 100 shoppers of 1,500 shoppers purchase 20,000 €, the average ATV is 200 €.
Find Shopper Yield. Shopper Yield is the average sale amount per customer who entered the store. Change in either variable will drive the Yield up or down.
Shopper Yield = Conversion * ATV
13.40 € = 6.7% * 200 €
2. Provide access for your store sales associates and customer service to fun, engaging, microlearning game-based training platform that promotes knowledge retention, provides knowledge assessments with short tests and challenges. Training content includes questions and answers, images, videos and supporting docs.
3. Do A/B testing in stores or teams within a store. Define regional and local variables to best understand and measure impact and adjust. Compare stores that have not done game-based training versus those that have not. Measure key retail sales stats over time to determine variances in sales and associated ROI.
Here's a simple scenario to compare Shopper Yield of two stores:
Store 1 (no training) = 6.7% * 200 = 13.40 €
Store 2 (training to engage more shoppers) = 7.7% * 200 = 15.40 €
Store 3 (training to increase ATV) = 6.7% * 250 = 16.75 €
4. Make adjustments toward positive ROI. Then roll out retail training to your other teams and stores. Compare shopper yield of each control group, team or store. Review training budget and identify a game master in the organization to manage this new way of fashion sales training. Now calculate the yield amount or revenue gain post sales training and apply the basic ROI calculation for each store or group for comparison.
ROI = gain from investment in sales training - cost of sales training / cost of sales training
The result is a percentage that represents the gain or loss of the investment.
5. Gamified training is used for onboarding new hires and reinforcing knowledge, transforming the learning culture and getting sales associates to ramp to maximum sales productivity faster.