Channel Assist: Retailers have tightened the purse strings

Channel Assist's Victoria Satterly talks about the impact online competition is having on bricks and mortar stores
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This month Victoria Satterly discusses how to entice customers into stores and generate sales.

So it looks like 2013 could be another slow year in retail. Reports suggest that consumer caution, the hallmark of the stalled retail economy over the last couple of years, is slowly shifting. However broadly speaking a significant uplift in retail sales is likely to be some way off.

The impact for us in the retail channel is evident. Retailers have tightened the purse strings with a noticeable decrease in the number of in-store sales staff. There is reduced footfall resulting from stiff online competition and downward pressure on margin across the board. Combine this with highly selective consumers who need to make sure they are making the right purchasing decisions and it’s clear that we have a real challenge in retail. Now is the time to reset consumer sales tactics.

The questions we’re interested in at Channel Assist are how do we give those precious shoppers going into stores the confidence to buy? How can we support retailers to deliver exceptional service that will entice consumers into stores and generate a sale? And how do we best support the vendor/retailer relationship in resource challenges and low investment times?

We believe that innovative and integrated selling is the key. Third party sales promoters can clearly add real value in store by supplementing lean retailer store teams. This value is significantly enhanced if store sales activities are closely aligned to the retailer’s own processes. This is where our 360-degree approach kicks in. We not only stimulate sales from the shop floor via our highly trained field teams, we also identify opportunities and remediate issues such as stock shortages directly with retailer teams. The net result is sales growth without the need for additional headcount for either retailer of vendor.

We’re not saying that 360-degree field marketing will single-handedly solve the industry’s current woes. However what we can say is that it’s proving to be an effective way of driving sales growth whilst keeping investments lean. Let’s at least try and buck the economic trend!

Business Development, Marketing: www.channelassist.co.uk
PR and 360 Field Marketing: @channelassist

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