product knowledge in retail
This is at the very top of the product knowledge tree! Increased Confidence. MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo. Be willing to risk the customer walking away without buying. Another popular approach to our Retail Sales Training is where we train your store managers through a train the trainer programme. Perhaps my favorite bit of Apple Store trivia is that if you walk into an Apple Retail Store first thing in the morning, you’ll notice that all of the MacBook Pro notebooks are positioned at exactly the same angle. You need to step into the shoes of your customers and understand how they will use the product that you are selling and then show them if they need it. Some of your clients will want assurances and the peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong that they will be covered. You consistently provide extra advice and support to customers to help them make their buying choices, often at increased margins for you. Just remember that in the end, the real winner is always a happy customer. Customers never want the answer to be: “I don’t know.”. Download the Case Study. Other key aspects are the changes that have taken place to improve its performance and benefits. You can take courses and brush up on your knowledge when there is down time in your store. If you are relying on this level of knowledge you must do something to change it – it is unprofessional and very risky to attempt to advise customers without a good enough understanding of what they are buying. Customers are very much influenced by the reputation of the business they are buying from. The customer will be using it and when you can advise them on this aspect from your own experience you are more able to act as a Trusted Adviser. Train your associates to really understand the products that they are selling, so that when a customer asks a question about a particular item, employees can answer them accurately and confidently. It allows you to understand a product or service, which is an important piece in developing a marketing strategy for a business plan. from salespeople in physical stores, so in-store associates need to be able to provide additional information and context about the product to close the sale. Some brands might also opt to send physical promotional materials to stores and let associates relay additional information to customers. Does your product have any special manufacturing processes? So it doesn’t matter what you sell in…, 12 Important Product Knowledge Topics In Retail Sales. Product knowledge is the ability to communicate information and answer questions about a product or service. It instills faith, trust, and respect in the customer, which creates a positive customer experience. Are your competitors expanding? There can also be associated products that are available at special prices if bought together. And in terms of the delivery, you’ll also need to know if the customer will receive a specific time in the day when the item will be delivered or if it will be anytime between 9 and 5 for example. When you have a good understanding of this history you are in a strong position to demonstrate why this product can now be the right choice. Build and manage a top-notch sales knowledge base. In grocery stores, brands might send a rep to speak directly with customers, like a new meat alternative brand setting up and running a “burger” sampling stand. Why is product knowledge so important? Onboarding or new hire training is first. Once initial training has been completed, employees should be tested using fresh new content, and this content can be tailored later on to fit particular job roles. Understanding the customer’s needs and the store’s products, the associate immediately knows to rule out any dress shoes, sandals, or even basic running shoes. There’s also the fact that you can ruin any relationships you’ve built up with your customers. Vendors whose products are available at your store have a vested interest in driving sales. We can develop your retail sales staff and store managers to help them take their game to the next level. Due to COVID-19, customer sampling may be gone for the foreseeable future. Having a thorough understanding of the product and listening to the customer needs allows the associate to extrapolate the relevant information about the product and apply it to each customer’s unique situation. When a customer enters your store, the ultimate goal is to have them make a satisfying and well-informed purchase. Familiarizing your product involves acquiring knowledge about its functions, features, application, support requirements, and anything else that concerns the product. The retail industry is constantly changing and there are always new challenges faced by the players in this competitive industry. Customers respond to enthusiastic sales staff who are passionate about their products and eager to share the benefits … When the UK financial service industry went down that route they ended up paying out billions in compensation. And there are many upsells that can take place at the point of sale too. You can do this because you have gained a deep understanding of what customers really need. In retail, that could mean remembering and appreciating repeat customers, forging a local connection with shoppers, putting your product knowledge to good use, and more. Product knowledge is generally the ability to acquire as much knowledge about a product being sold. For any retailer, it’s the foundation on which your products are sold. Improved product knowledge in retail creates confident store associates, happier staff and ultimately an increase in sales. There is keen competition out there, so you must be aware of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. If you want to be a future shop keeper you should be able to connect with your prospective clients. You need to know all of the options here. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Understand similar and complementary products. 8. But for items that would previously have been on the floor for testing (e.g., headphones at a tech store, snack foods at a grocery store, hand lotion at a beauty store, etc. You can point out any special areas of difficulty or general misunderstandings people may have – and when you balance these against the benefits the customer receives you can make more sales, increase trust and improve customer satisfaction. The word itself defines product knowledge. In order to be a successful salesperson, you need to be confident in your product. If they are not familiar enough with the product then they will not be able to determine the types of questions to ask the clients. It can be difficult, since many studies have shown that consumers often, believe they are more knowledgeable than store employees, We know customers are using their phones in-store to look up information—level the playing field by equipping your associates with. From the day a salesperson walks into your company to the day they retire, they are flooded with information – endless streams of … They are Superficial, detailed, expert and master. In that case, product knowledge could be the deciding factor that pushes consumers to buy something from your associates. To be of maximum service, mattress sales people must master the product knowledge and communicate the features and benefits in a way that shoppers can understand. There are a wide range of product knowledge areas that will be instrumental in reaching the ultimate outcome of a transaction. 2. And why it’s crucial to the future success of your stores. We’ve established that retailers get better results from knowledgeable employees. The display of the products at the retail store must entice the customers. If you sell contracts, for example mobile phones, there can be many terms and conditions that you must understand in order to advise your customers properly. Salespeople and companies that fail to inform their customers of the full terms risk their future business and at the same time develop a reputation that they cannot be trusted. Fast-Learning Skills . If you know your product inside and out, you are able to give information as needed and the enthusiasm will be organic. You participate in webinars and attend trade shows voluntarily and you pro-actively liaise with suppliers, manufacturers and service providers. It can be difficult, since many studies have shown that consumers often believe they are more knowledgeable than store employees. © 2020 Foko Retail 153A Promenade du Portage, Suite 200 Gatineau, QC Canada J8X 2K4 +1 (877) 235-5808. It can give you the edge as an expert and also help you to guide the customer. This area can be really useful to you when customers have choices – so make sure that you know the options that are available but avoid presenting too much information at once. Have you ever been a sold a product only to be let down on the delivery? Join us in the next episode of Retail Rework where we'll be exploring microlearning and how it can help support an overwhelmed worker thrive in the fast paced world of retail. We know customers are using their phones in-store to look up information—level the playing field by equipping your associates with mobile devices of their own. Product knowledge builds enthusiasm. Look at some of these findings from a recent survey by Tulip Retail*: 83% believe they are more knowledgeable than retail store associates Understanding this and the various terms and arrangements will also enable you to ensure the customer has the right information to make an informed choice, as well as having more confidence in you as a salesperson. When you understand these properly you can often help the customer to make a good buying choice that they otherwise might miss out on. To kick your associates’ product knowledge into high gear, make the learning process a bit more fun. This will cover the features of each of the items in your ranges and will give you the ability to help the customer compare different options properly. Think of product knowledge as a skill to be learned and constantly improved upon rather than an abstract concept. This is important for the customers as it is very important for the customer service agents and sales personnel. Your knowledge and recommendations are sought after and you can lead training programmes for others. The customer is at odds with you and it just feels like you aren't on the same page. And then there’s the distribution and availability of the product or service. Your customer will expect an experience that is free-flowing and completely hassle free and can set you apart from your competitors if you do it right…. Employees gain a high level understanding of Deli Meats. Yet more than 50% of shoppers. It’s very frustrating isn’t it, and there are many things that can go wrong with this. Train your associates to, understand the products that they are selling, so that when a customer asks a question about a particular item, employees can answer them accurately and confidently. Can I have a different mobile if I choose a 36 month contract? This may sound like you know everything but this is really the minimum level of knowledge needed to provide a basic service to your customers. Details in these areas can vary by product or service offering, which can make quite a difference to your customers’ ultimate satisfaction. Maybe a designer who has paired up with a fashion retailer sends out a video message to managers and associates, explaining their latest collection and the materials used, proper ways to care for the garments, and styling tips. You must have all of the areas ready where you are far superior to your competitors to make it a level playing field. It is more important they teach their team how to identify a customer’s needs and wants, match those needs to a selection of products, and show them the value in their options. Not only does this show the customer that they’ve been listened to, but it allows them to see how the products offered will benefit them, all while demonstrating that the employee is knowledgeable about what they’re selling. Good product knowledge. 71% of shoppers (83% of shoppers aged 18-44) use their mobile devices in-store to research products, prices, and reviews. The definition of superficial in the dictionary is ‘only outwardly apparent rather than genuine or actual’. Knowledge is Power Use These Tips to Keep Staff Informed. You would know about operating systems in computers and phones; sizing and widths, materials and methods of construction in shoes, plus in each case much more information directly relevant to the products. Product knowledge ensures that sales professionals can communicate effectively and enthusiastically, building trust and confidence in customer relationships. The first step to building product knowledge is to acknowledge the need for it. 2. In other words, sales reps need to know how the product will benefit individual clients. If you’re selling pushchairs can you open and close them easily and be able to demonstrate this to the customer? Customers never want the answer to be: “I don’t know.”, 71% of shoppers (83% of shoppers aged 18-44), to research products, prices, and reviews. With the right software, mobile devices can provide associates with a wealth of information (via the company website or internal documents), including additional specifications that aren’t available on the packaging or signage. Can they also receive the item quicker if they pay more? It is also important to remember that everything that you sell is now subject to legislation! ), give staff a chance to try them out behind closed doors. You can pick a “product of the week” for staff to know about and approach everyone individually to hear their sales pitch for it. We’ve partly explained them already. Product Knowledge Retail Line April 13 Property of AIE - No Part May Be Copy or Reproduced. This knowledge will cover how products work, what they are made of, how they are used, ranges and options and limitations versus benefits. A good knowledge of their prices and products will help you to guide and advise your customers about the similarities and the differences of your products. Your products may have fixed pricing structures but in many cases there are different options that you need to understand – you will also need to understand any cross and up sell products too and any impacts this has on the price. 4 ONLY YOURx Clinical Skin Care • Retail, Professional, Travel Size & Travel/Starter Kits • Products geared to Maintain Healthy, Balanced Skin • High Concentration of Active Botanical Ingredients - Herbs, Flowers, Fruit, Marine, Vitamins, Proteins, Minerals There should be no surprises if a customer springs on you that a competitor is offering the very same product for 10% less down the road. Are they opening 3 new stores within 5 miles of your location? This authority that you have gained will help you deal with more difficult questions from customers with assurance and greater confidence. It is difficult to effectively sell to a customer if we cannot show how a particular product will address his or her needs. A customer comes into a footwear store and explains that they are training for a high-intensity, multi-terrain race. Of course, properly explaining a product includes physical descriptions like the color, model, and version, but also the functions, features, pricing, operational instructions, warranties, and support options available for any given item. In this handy guide, we’ll explain what product knowledge is, why it’s important to customer service, and how you can improve product knowledge at your retail business to boost sales at every location. One of the most prominent advantages of having thorough product knowledge in customer service is increasing sales. That’s just not fair. There are some retailers that have a very strong persuasion power that they can convince you to buy something you are sure you did not need. An example could be the special treatment of certain carpets with a stain protection agent as standard or how a piece of furniture is hand made by a master craftsman or how each of your products is created locally without the need to outsource to China or Taiwan. The word itself defines product knowledge. Employees are equipped with an iPhone app that acts as a level to help them achieve this. Increasing your product knowledge and retail sales training techniques will also increase sales. I cannot stress enough the importance of product knowledge when it comes to making sales. They don’t need to be an expert, but they should be able to answer basic questions about the product and how it works. It is your baseline training about how to open and close a register, how to ring up a sale, how to ship, how to stock shelves, how to pick web orders, how to use mobile POS on tablets, etc. However, not all retailers are experiencing the same adversity amid this global pandemic. If you’re selling cars do you know exactly where the latch is to open the bonnet? Ask, "Excuse me, but have I done something to offend you?" So if you sell a large furniture item for example then you need to know the lead times of delivery – sometimes this can be weeks so you will need to inform the customer of this. Ensuring an excellent customer experience translates into higher sales. All of these methods effectively transfer product knowledge to employees, who can then pass that knowledge along to customers. Home » In-House Training » Retail Sales Training » 12 Important Product Knowledge Topics In Retail Sales. The retail industry is busy and constantly changing. They skirt over the details and seem to rely on appearing knowledgeable rather than really understanding the real information they should be aware of. So beware! You will be regarded by your peers as “the go to” person they come to for help and advice around the products. An associate’s goal is to provide a positive shopping experience and make a sale, so they have to understand a customer’s needs. However, fashion merchandising services also represent a separate economic activity under the Specialized Design Services (code 541490) category. Product knowledge is crucial to building effective sales and also developing your skills and expertise. Product knowledge is the most important tool for closing sales. This is a scalable solution if you have hundreds of retail staff. Understanding and knowing everything this is to know about your products is only one aspect of selling a product. If you sell goods that have warranties, servicing and repairs remember that what you are selling is peace of mind. Imagine trying to sell a product when you know nothing about it. Footlogix Essential Assets. And does your company offer an online retail experience too? Now we have a retail knowledge graph (where yellow nodes are entities in the retail industry with semantic connections) and an EDITED product graph (multi-colored nodes of product data like color and brand), we can utilize the two to do some advanced query expansion. Please share. Yet more than 50% of shoppers still seek expert advice from salespeople in physical stores, so in-store associates need to be able to provide additional information and context about the product to close the sale. Take this retail quiz and see if you’ve got what it takes or not to rule the retail industry. Fail to spend enough time on learning about your products and you’ll struggle to sell them. There may be discounts and special offers that you need to take into consideration and any special sales that are taking place. Now let’s take a look at some best practices for putting product knowledge in employees hands: Since 2017, there have been several major retail companies that have filed for bankruptcy. We’ve established that retailers get better results from knowledgeable employees. That means many of them are willing to provide demonstrations to your staff and customers. It’s not fair … Familiarizing your product involves acquiring knowledge about its functions, features, application, support requirements, and anything else that concerns the product. That’s product knowledge. It’s a product knowledge graph that can answer questions about products and related knowledge in the retail context. The importance of your sales associate’s product knowledge and the in-store experience they provide your customers cannot be understated or overlooked. Maybe a potential customer has heard of problems or drawbacks that have since been addressed by the manufacturers or providers. In addition to that if the same lady wanted the dress in purple, do you actually offer it in purple? Luckily, you can make a number of simple changes to improve product knowledge amongst your employees in-store. Benjamin Franklin summed it up when he said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – remember it well throughout your sales career because it’s so important. But in-between building trust and before pivoting to reams of product knowledge, the salesperson needs to use their product knowledge wisdom to be able to compare and contrast in a friendly manner. There are a wide range of product knowledge areas that will be instrumental in reaching the ultimate outcome of a transaction. Still wondering, “what does product knowledge mean?”, Product knowledge may sound self-explanatory, but there are plenty of factors that go into “knowing about a product.”. You don’t even need to attend workshop based training to improve your skills because there are a lot of elearning content providers that help. With the importance of product knowledge in sales comes ‘the fit’. Remember if you struggle to do so then they will assume that they will struggle so you need to make it look effortless. Just because you’re working as a team, it doesn’t mean there can’t be some friendly competition. If you’re aware of the areas where they have an advantage over you then you can plan your response accordingly. At this level of knowledge you have added to your detailed understanding of your products and services by researching the wider market and the industry as whole. The survey functionality can even be used to quiz employees about particular products or promotions. There is no point in re-using the same material twice or giving unnecessary information to those who do not need it. Because you have a real understanding of customers and their experience of your offerings, you are able to deal productively with customer problems and issues and guide them effectively to reach a solution. After all, you want to gain the most in-depth product knowledge possible. Take this retail quiz and see if you’ve got what it takes or not to rule the retail industry. And when staff provides enhanced product knowledge, it creates trust and brand loyalty, keeping customers coming back for future shopping needs. Importance of Product Knowledge. The survey functionality can even be used to quiz employees about particular products or promotions. Best practices for improving sales execution through product knowledge. Instead, they should be explaining the benefits of a product. Below I’ve categorised the product knowledge that you’ll need into 12 main areas. And the fear of loss is a very influential factor that you need to take into consideration when you sell. Product knowledge is the most important tool for closing sales. A helpful aid in enthusiasm is knowing exactly what you're talking about. But at least if an associate can give an honest depiction of their own experience with a product, shoppers can consider their advice. Be up to speed with the latest information about everything because you’ll never know when it will come in handy. Some of the time this knowledge can be gained by attending your internal courses but most of the time it will be down to you to hone and refine your skills. It's set to become even more important as customers increase their expectations. There are many reasons why product knowledge is so important. Unearthing Customer Needs During A Retail Sales Interaction. 3 Footlogix Essential Information. If you sell clothes and a customer really likes a dress that you’re selling but you haven’t got it in the ladies size and it’s at the end of the season, then you should know instantly several alternatives that you can offer her straight away. But suppose similar products are available at similar prices in competitors’ locations. So make sure that you fully understand how your products and services are delivered to your customers if this is an option. What Do Our Retail Customers Expect From Us? This means that product knowledge is crucial to building effective sales and a lack of application of the right pieces of knowledge is frequently the reason people do not buy – and they don’t always tell you why either. Markets are constantly changing and you need to keep on top of these changes. Knowledge is power and for retailers, product knowledge can mean more sales. Also be aware of the options that are currently not available for whatever reason. And if there was a safety issue with a car in the past and this has now been fixed, again, you need to know this. Of course, properly explaining a product includes physical descriptions like the color, model, and version, but also the functions, features, pricing, operational instructions, warranties, and support options available for any given item. Take the time to hone these skills … For example, if you’re selling holidays and there are some damning reports on trip advisor, but since the hotel has addressed the issues and are now receiving accolades, then you need to know this so you can advise your customers. You must thoroughly understand your terms. By following this process of learning product knowledge, sale associates can raise their level of competence and confidence and consequently increase their sales and grow their ranks of satisfied customers. It’s not only the written law that you need to think of but also the unwritten laws of being an ethical sales person with no lies or misleading information. And this year, after COVID-19, more and more retailers have closed their businesses. They then go back their stores and train their retail sales teams. UnderstandinEVOLUTIONg how your products and service have evolved over time is very useful to demonstrate your expertise and build confidence with your customers. Mid-Level Retail Sales Skills. When your knowledge is up to date you should be able to avoid difficulties in this area. This will definitely help the customer to feel surer in knowing that … They should also know that factors such as durability, support, and waterproofing are likely more important to the shopper than the color of the shoe or any other aesthetic choices. Importance of Product Knowledge. What is Product knowledge? When providing options to the customer, the associate focuses on how certain products and features will improve their race performance. All of this is really important. We can deliver the training ourselves in a workshop environment or within your stores. It is considered an important knowledge area for any role that puts you in front of customers, investors or the media. Having a deep knowledge of how your products are made and put together can be very helpful. The second is product knowledge training. At the end of the week, reward the employee who demonstrated the most thorough product knowledge and provided the best solution to your hypothetical customer’s needs. Or if certain products were recalled off the shelves because they were faulty – then you need to be in the know. Interested in that role at Topshop? Working our way up the ladder, next is the detailed level. Good discovery skills are essential if you are to reach the top level of retail sales: being recognised as a trusted advisor by your customers. But there is more to it. How Product Knwoledge is built in retail training? See how our product knowledge training solutions helped a leading global media company train their employees across the world. You will contribute to product and service development, making suggestions on how they are made and marketed. For example, an organization may … We recommend that you really get to understand the background and the history of your company. You will be secure in your knowledge and your customers will have the confidence they need to be able to buy from you. We mentioned previously about the importance of understanding about your industry as a whole. Brands might send a rep to tell your staff about their products during a training session, passing along their knowledge to employees. Is there a purse the same style and pattern as this bag? And apart from having a good knowledge of your own organisation, you also need sufficient knowledge about rival companies too, if it’s relevant to what you sell, so you can demonstrate and protect the prestige of yours. What happens with the delivery of these items? Here are some of the key benefits of increasing product knowledge among your sales associates. By using software like Foko Retail, managers can keep track of which staff members have or have not yet viewed messages, and all employees can easily share documents and images with their team. Knowing as much as possible about your products and services is a fundamental part of your role as a Retail sales Professional. It allows you to understand a product or service, which is an important piece in developing a marketing strategy for a business plan. The customer service exhibit a great level of confidence when they talk about the products that are beings sold by the company. And if you work in an electrical goods store, can you easily show your customers how to fix the HDMI lead to the back of their TV? Good product knowledge will help even the most reserved sales associate. A really good salesperson with deep product knowledge can help make that connection. Product knowledge in customer service doesn’t mean the salesperson or customer service representative knows everything about a product. Rely on appearing knowledgeable rather than genuine or actual ’ also represent a separate economic activity under the Design. 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