Store associates are vital contributors to shoppers’ brick-and-mortar browsing and buying experiences. Stellar in-store employees act as first-hand brand ambassadors that educate customers on specific products, offer item recommendations and generally enhance the overall shopping experience ― and basket size. However, to ensure workers are engaged and knowledgeable of store inventory, quality training programs and processes must be established.
Thorough training especially is critical for retailers of high-tech products such as those from Goal Zero, a provider of portable solar power systems for mobile phones, laptops and other devices. The manufacturer relies on an extensive network of retail partners — including Cabela’s and The Sports Authority — to sell its systems and accessories. To optimize education and increase engagement among retail sales associates, Goal Zero leverages the 3point5.com retail training solution from eXperticity.
Since implementing 3point5.com, Goal Zero has tripled overall orders and sales across its retail network of resellers. Additionally, the manufacturer has seen “twice as many people on retail sales teams participating in training programs,” Alisa Perry, Sales Account Manager for Goal Zero, told Retail TouchPoints.
3point5.com is designed to help sales associates truly understand products, how they work and what makes each one unique. It provides hands-on experience to help sales teams guide buying decisions and improve the customer experience.
With 3point5.com, Goal Zero leverages gamification strategies such as quizzes and point-based challenges to incentivize retail store employees to complete training programs. Utilizing gaming-inspired strategies “makes our training processes fun,” Perry explained. “Rather than visiting retail locations to walk through PowerPoint presentations inundated with product information, we have transformed our programs into fun and interesting games and challenges that integrate all forms of sales education across our retail network.”
Goal Zero can add pictures, videos, multimedia demos, and interactive charts and quizzes into the 3point5.com platform, allowing sales teams to enjoy the process of understanding in-depth product information. Moreover, these engaging training initiatives turn retail store associates into trusted advisors, Perry noted, thereby improving the satisfaction and education of in-store shoppers.
To ensure that all retail store associates fully comprehend Goal Zero products and updates, the built-in 3point5.com monitoring and reporting feature allows the manufacturer to pinpoint their most knowledgeable and influential associates in specific locations. This feature also provides insight into which employees are training, how often, and which forms of challenges and quizzes are most effective. In addition, “we log into the platform before visiting stores,” Perry said, “so we can drill down to discover which members of our sales teams have completed training.”
Goal Zero further increases engagement and drives loyalty among in-store retail sales teams with contests and special offers, such as discounts for associates interested in trying specific products. This strategy provides greater incentive to complete the 3point5.com training program and purchase products for their own personal use. “Providing incentives motivates more team members to gain first-hand product knowledge and experience,” Perry reported, “making them more confident in educating shoppers and selling Goal Zero products.”