By Daniel Hunter

New research, by retail training company Beyond The Box, has highlighted how successful retailers are putting their staff at forefront of their marketing efforts to combat the showrooming effect.

The research highlights the important role that retail that staff play in communicating the brand proposition along with a product and its features.

Where expensive brand marketing campaigns have failed, staff training is proving to be effective at supporting in-store sales.

Of the customers we surveyed, 96% felt they got a sense of a brand when shopping in-store compared to 72% online. Of these, 20% bought complementary products in-store compared with only 7% online.

Proving that in-store shopping is able to connect customers with brands in a way that more transactional online shopping simply can’t.

“The advantage retail stores have over other channels are their staff. Having staff who are motivated and empowered to be as brand ambassadors is securing brand buy in from customers and driving up sales," Christine Knott, Managing Director at Beyond The Box said.

“It’s an advantage that needs to be taken seriously by retail brands and must be carefully protected. Great brand marketers are using skilled retail staff to represent their brand with distinction.

“There are clear opportunities for retailers to empower their staff and improve their customer’s experience by ensuring their staff are at the forefront of their marketing efforts. Training staff about the products they are selling means they become brand ambassadors with the confidence to discuss a product’s features and benefits with the customer and answer any questions they have.

"That alone will inspire confidence in the brand and assure customers that they have made the right decision to visit the store. Improving the team’s communication skills can also add to the overall customer experience. Retail staff play a significant role in brand building, the need for a ‘human to human’ conversation is the reason many avoid online shopping.

"However if the visit doesn’t meet their expectations, what is the point of traveling to the store in the first place? Not only is training the way forward, service is also key in helping in-store retail brands gain a competitive advantage in the new multichannel environment.”

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