Thanks to retail websites and online search engines, consumers no longer think of retail sales associates as particularly trustworthy or helpful, according to an article from the Harvard Business Review.
Integer Group, a global marketing agency, found that “family, friends and online reviewers are considered trustworthy at twice the rate of sales associates.”
In addition, Motorola reports that nearly 50 percent of consumers believe they can readily access more product information on their mobile devices than by seeking out sales associates at stores.
In stores, “salespeople no longer play the role of a product expert or information gatekeeper who serves as an intermediary between the shopper and a purchase,” according to the Harvard Business Review article.
Even though they no long play these roles, sales associates can still provide value to consumers by serving as:
- A decision validator
- A choice navigator
- A needs identifier
- A community builder
- An insights collector
To read about these individual roles, click here for the full Harvard Business Review article.