In the retail aisle, consumers are now armed with online price comparison tools, making it difficult for a salesperson to close a sale. After all, you might not always be the cheapest price when you’re competing with an Internet full of options.
But come holiday time, salespeople have a couple of advantages: they’re human, customers are usually looking to get holiday shopping done quickly, and they are already in front of you.
There are several new apps available to help close the deal.
Dan Ward, consumer tech expert and co-founder of Detroit Labs—a mobile development company—says for retailers, securing sales is the ultimate goal, and many retailers have embraced mobile apps as a way to do that while simplifying and streamlining the shopping experience for customers.
“In 2014, 40 percent of holiday shopping occurred online. It’s clear consumers crave the convenience of mobile apps while shopping, and retailers need to ensure they are providing that experience for customers,” he says. “Mobile apps have become critical for enhancing the guest experience by helping customers to quickly move through checkout lines and allowing retailers to provide a more personable experience to consumers.”
Ward emphasizes that it is vital to know the ins and outs of your app.
“Knowing exactly where consumers can find your coupons, rewards, and confirmation of items they pre-ordered will enhance the shoppers experience for customers,” he says. “Also, familiarize yourself with other apps that aid in the shopping and purchasing process—like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. These types of mobile payment options are sure to be on full display during the holiday shopping season this year. The more you know about utilizing these apps correctly, the faster you can help customers move through check-out lines or assist them in-store.”
James Ontra, CEO of Shufflrr, a presentation management company, notes that mobile apps integrate into everyday life and are important for any business to put a bow on the sale.
“Today, it seems to be far easier to get someone to watch a video on a device or iPad, than to schedule a meeting. Presentation apps specifically can help communicate in a less formal atmosphere, thereby creating comfort with your client,” he says. “For B2B salespeople, make sure you have the proper connectors for the device to plug into a projector. There are many different connectors to insure your video or pitch is projected properly. On the projector/screen side, there is generally HDMI, RGB, DVI & USB. Make sure you can plug your iPad into any one of these.”
Retailers should also harness the power in the device: put the cash register on the floor and shorten the sales cycle while speeding the consumer experience.
Allego has recently launched a mobile-first video platform used for sales training and enablement. It creates a repository of best practice videos and relevant content, and enables remote coaching between managers and advisors.
“As an investment advisor in a highly competitive, high touch industry, it is critical to have communication tools that are simple to use and effective in both internal communications within our team, as well as external communications with clients, prospects and partners,” says Kent Fitzpatrick, managing director at Asset Strategy Advisors. “Allego’s video platform gives us a unique, simple to use tool that allows people to learn and absorb information in the way that works best for them.”
That means advisors can learn the important information and content they need as they’re walking into a presentation, without requiring them to spend countless hours or days sitting in training sessions.
Brick-and-mortar locations offer shoppers the experience of touching and feeling products they want to purchase. Mobile apps are part of the discovery process, offering insight into new or unique products that drive shoppers to stores. If an app shows an item as in-stock and it’s not, this will quickly frustrate shoppers and create a negative brand association. Not only do you lose sales now, but you may lose a customer for future purchases. Having the right app by contrast, can ensure you not only boost your sales, but you boost your long term customers.