Oct 31, 2017

Halloween: Empowering Associates

According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, Halloween spending could reach $9.1 Billion this year. That figure is up from their estimate of $8.4 Billion spent in 2016. The survey continues to report that consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes, $2.7 billion on candy, an additional $2.7 billion on decorations, and $410 million on greeting cards. In percentages, costumes will be purchased by 69% of Halloween shoppers, candy by 95%, decorations by 72%, and greeting cards by 37%.

Retailers can take advantage of this information by passing knowledge of consumer sales habits to their frontlines. Equipped with this information, associates have the ability to upsell consumers. For example, if a consumer is purchasing candy, more than 1/3 of them can be sold greeting cards. Starting with Halloween and continuing through the holiday season, employers need to empower associates to increase their sales acumen.

How can employers increase associate knowledge?

Through a Digital Workplace platform, employers can communicate sales trends, provide training and assessments to test retention of knowledge, and give rewards and recognition to associates who deserve praise. Let us break it down:

  1. The first step toward developing empowered, knowledgeable frontline associates is to communicate useful information and to set goals. Useful information like expected sales trends helps give context to broader sales goals. All communication can be passed down to managers and associates, clearly and consistently, to keep the entire workforce aligned.
  2. After goals are defined, associates can be given the tools to develop their sales acumen and learn to upsell. Every associate can be given proper training and assessments to test for information retention. Since training every associate can be costly and time-consuming, we recommend deploying digital training via mobile devices, with pictures and videos, and using assessments to build confidence. Self-service, digital training allows high achievers to develop at an accelerated pace, compounding their personal development.
  3. Associates can be rewarded for reaching the organization’s goals. If the goal is to add at least one item to shoppers’ baskets through superior service and that goal is consistently reached, that associate can be given recognition. Rewards and recognition help engage associates and help that associate avoid burnout during the holiday season.

An empowered, engaged workforce is important during the busy holiday season. Retailers can use the lessons learned this Halloween and implement strategies to carry them through the holiday season and beyond.

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