Guest Column | June 14, 2016

Training, Associate Effectiveness And The Role Of Technology

Brian Field, Senior Director of Advisory Services, ShopperTrak

By Brian Field, Senior Director of Advisory Services, ShopperTrak

Well-trained associates are a vital piece to achieving success in retail, and yet associate training and retention pose significant challenges. Why? Because retailers are under intense pressure to keep costs low and sales high. And, unfortunately, staffing is still viewed as an expense that needs to be controlled and even cut in order to generate bottom line results.

The financial impact of limiting hours is immediate and easy to measure. And as a result, retailers decrease associate hours, limit training efforts, deemphasize continuous learning and even utilize technology to replace workers.

Overlooked is the reality that employees are a physical retailer’s greatest asset and a justifiable investment – as made evident by a study of 1,000 consumers conducted by TimeTrade, in which 90 percent of consumers responded that they would be likely buy in-store if helped by a knowledgeable associate.