Do you really think that the retail sector is chronically ill? That it is weak, pushed into the corner, outclassed by e-commerce, disoriented by the rapidly changing sales model that technology has imposed on the market?
That it is not able to keep up with its history, name and reputation? You could be right, but only partially. We cannot deny that retail sales are going through tough times, as this always happens when events lead us to change, question ourselves, evolve. But not only isn’t it disappearing, the truth is the opposite. It is just evolving into something that the market urgently needs: services, competences, advice, personal relationships. Real minds, eyes, hands to be shaken, a “place” that customers (expecially those who haven’t decided what to buy yet and don’t want to “feel lonely”) can rely on. That is called Relationship marketing, and that is what e-commerce cannot provide.
That’s why the key word becomes “transformation”; a new model that can lead to an increase in productivity and sales. It’s also a matter of attitude, the way you deal with customers, an enthusiasm that must always be renewed and reinvented. That leads us to the following questions: how can I manage to motivate a company’s sales force? How can I deal with shop assistants and harness not only their attention, but also their dynamism and energy?
Bata Italia’s example is enlightening.
In order to meet these needs, the corporate management implemented an APP aimed at increasing the motivation and encouragement of their shop assistants. That is a configurable and customisable APP based on the concept of “Gamification”. This means transforming the (sales) work mission of Bata shop assistants into game pills. In this way, employees find themselves enjoying a rewarding experience, typical of the game dimension, and directly connected to the results obtained by each seller. Moreover, it is based on individual merits. The targets are always increasing, there are real time performance tables, contests among sellers and increasing gratification.
So far more than 1,000 shop assistants have been involved, distributed in almost 300 shops throughout Italy, at all operational levels, also including store managers of chain stores and franchises.
The aim of Bata Italia is to provide their network with a new image and motivation scheme, giving it the possibility to have new relational competences, thanks to technology. The final goal is to increase productivity or, more likely, to enhance their customer retention rate while maintaining their market share.
The APP developed by Whappy offers a system for motivating shop assistants which is based on KPI (Key Performance Indicator). KPIs are “intermediate objectives” that induce assistants to finalise a sales process when it is still at the communicative stage, before the receipt is printed. KPIs (which have already been managed by the company, even in cases where the employees are not aware of it) become a structural part of the whole retail system and of the daily and detailed relationship with each seller. It all starts with the game, then it moves on to motivation, eventually leading to the sale. It is an experience where rewarding is paramount for obtaining results (in our case, an increase in sales).
But there is more to it. This APP allows employees to attend short and helpful training courses, brief e- learning sessions, as well as to have direct interaction with customers through social networks.
Since its implementation in this field, the results have been remarkable: 85% of use rate by Italian shop assistants, more than 18,000 contents posted by them on social networks, 6,500 downloads of videos and learning sessions, more than 5,000 coupon invitations for customers, more than a 12% increase in productivity among the APP’s users compared to th e shop assistants that didn’t use it for selling.