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Jeweller - April Issue 2018

BUSINESS FIGURE OUT WHAT

BUSINESS FIGURE OUT WHAT CUSTOMERS VALUE BY DEVELOPING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE STORE’S TARGET AUDIENCE. WHY DO PEOPLE SHOP HERE? WHAT DO THEY LOVE TO DO WHEN IN STORE? WHAT ARE THEIR PAIN POINTS? One example of this is the personalisedshopping service offered by popular department stores Myer and David Jones. This custom service is available by appointment to shoppers seeking a higherlevel of assistance or personal attention than they would otherwise receive if shopping normally. Some might want styling advice, but others might prefer a private experience. Whatever the reason, the service is just another way that department stores are working to boost the customer experience and get shoppers into the store. The big stores understand that there are customers who don’t necessarily enjoy buying clothes or who want an experience that makes them feel special. CUSTOMERS WANT AN EXPERIENCE THAT MAKES THEM FEEL SPECIAL attendees to make the night a success. One idea for jewellers would be a jewellerycare presentation that shows customers how to clean their jewellery and then offers cleaning kits for purchase after the demo. TEAM UP WITH DESIGNERS Elevate a store’s look, feel, and overall experience by showcasing works of art. Bonus points for displaying the works of local, independent jewellery designers! This not only gives customers a new point of focus while they browse the shop, making their visit more memorable, but it also boosts the store’s inventory with interesting bespoke collaborations. WELCOME SHOPPERS WITH AMBIENCE The thing about destination stores is that people want to spend time there. They don’t visit destination stores to shop, though they may indeed purchase items; they visit the store because they simply want to be there. free WiFi, browse products and enjoy demonstrations, classes and concerts. This philosophy is central to the design of Apple’s new Melbourne flagship store that is set to open in Federation Square sometime this year. According to Angela Ahrendts of Apple Retail, the public plaza concept means Apple stores are “not just stores”: “We want people to say ‘Hey, meet me at Apple...did you see what’s going on?’” Creating a large plaza for concerts and other activities isn’t feasible for all retailers but the key lesson here is to build a store that shoppers will want to visit. HELP CUSTOMERS ENJOY THEMSELVES Importantly, retailers should see to it that customers have a good time when they’re shopping in store. Great products and customer service are a given so stores must go beyond these factors and do something that will keep customers coming back. One obvious way jewellers can use this strategy is in the case of engagement rings, which are primarily bought by young males who lack the knowledge and confidence to select their own styles. An appointment service in which a sales consultant simplifies the process and works directly with a customer to find a style that’s right for their fiancée would be worth its weight in gold to both the customer, their loved one, and the store. FINAL WORDS Retailers don’t have to decide between selling products and delivering experiences because they’re already in a great position to offer both. Keep stocking up on products that customers love. Look to incorporate more experiential elements into store locations. Boosting the experience will not only help sales but will ensure a store becomes known as a destination that customers love to visit. Once this happens, return visits will surely follow. i Apple is one company that understands this well, which is why its stores now feature a new look and amenities that place a greater emphasis on hanging out. One of the most significant additions to Apple’s new store format is the generation of what the company calls a public plaza, space where people can gather to use Figure out what customers value by developing a deeper understanding of the store’s target audience. Why do people shop here? What do they love to do when in store? What are their pain points? Use the insights from these questions to create an experience that shoppers will enjoy. FRANCESCA NICASIO is a retail expert from Vend, a POS, inventory and customer loyalty software for merchants. Learn more: vendhq.com 32 Jeweller April 2018

SELLING IMPROVING SALES WITH TECHNOLOGY AS THE SALES LANDSCAPE CHANGES, RETAILERS MUST PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. ONE WAY TO DO THIS IS TO STUDY HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN ASSIST SALESPEOPLE, RATHER THAN REPLACE THEM. GRETCHEN GORDON REPORTS. What will retail be like in 2020? It’s not that far away but retailers are probably more focused on achieving their annual targets to think that far ahead. Recently, I had the chance to ponder this question when I was approached by Vistage Research to consider what selling would be like over the next two years. They wanted me to provide insights for a book titled: Customer Growth: Decisions for the SMB CEO. Let’s start with the topic of technology and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in sales. Will it disrupt or enhance sales in the future? MORE OR FEWER SALESPEOPLE? In 2015, Forrester Research predicted that one million business-to-business people would lose their jobs in the US by 2020. This finding draws on the rise of organisations and individuals buying goods and services through online purchases, unaided at all by salespeople. I am still a firm believer, however, that a growing number of complex and valueadded services will require a human to sell them effectively. Further, there remains a large segment of the population that values the interaction they get with humans. This could not be truer in retailer categories such as fine jewellery where the touch-andfeel aspect of the product is a crucial aspect of the sales process. Also fuelling job losses is the relentless pursuit of sales efficiency and effectiveness. Frequently, this involves some aspect of phone selling instead of live interaction, because the customer prefers the ease of it and the sales organisation benefits from the efficiency and cost savings. THE EVOLVING SALES ORGANISATION It was once rare to have ‘inside’ salespeople close business, but it is now common. What I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT WELL-SKILLED SALESPEOPLE WILL BECOME MORE VALUABLE AS THE USE OF AI AND TECHNOLOGY INCREASES IN SALES AI WILL ENHANCE, NOT KILL OFF REAL STAFF does this mean for humans in the future? With increased advances in AI, smart businesses will use this technology to evaluate the effectiveness of their staff. The efficient and focused sales organisation will leverage AI by reviewing reactions to certain words, phrases and interactions. It will attempt to use this data to duplicate the sales conversations that work and eliminate the ones that don’t. AI CAN ENHANCE SALESPEOPLE Sure, a business can streamline further by using voice prompts and AI to engage the customer at the start of any sales dialogue and this can be done without any human involvement; however, it is my opinion that this will only work for low-value services. For other types of selling, I firmly believe that well-skilled salespeople will become more valuable as the use of AI and technology increases in sales. Those individuals who are committed to improvement and are adaptable will be valued highest in a future sales world. They will also benefit the most from the feedback and knowledge that AI can provide because they will strive to adapt their conversation style and phrasing to produce significantly better outcomes. Salespeople don’t need to be scared that technology may streamline some sales processes. Rather, they should embrace the learning that can come from the increased use of technology. TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP IN OTHER WAYS AI can be used for more than actual conversational analysis. There are other technologies to help sales teams to find and qualify leads, stay connected and score new business. I’m intrigued by all of these; however, I am not an expert on them. If you really want to learn more about the technologies that aid sales, there is no shortage of online resources that discuss it. One resource I use is www.smartsellingtools. com, where sales and marketing expert Nancy Nardin analyses the latest and greatest selling technologies available. WHAT TO DO NOW Knowing that the salespeople of the future will need to continuously adapt and grow, it might make sense to get ahead, and hire for that quality now. The rate of change isn’t slowing down, and 2020 will be here soon. Retailers who can show future adaptability will go some way towards surviving in the new retail environment. i GRETCHEN GORDON owns Braveheart Sales Performance, a company helping clients to improve sales. Learn more: braveheartsales.com April 2018 Jeweller 33