Performance Enablement for Back-to-School Retail Sales

The back-to-school season is a crucial time for all kinds of retailers. Recent surveys shed light on the challenges retailers face: with rising inflation, financially constrained consumers are becoming increasingly selective in their spending habits. Back-to-school spending for parents is expected to decrease by 10%. In our current omnichannel age, it’s more important than ever to adapt to changing consumer behaviors. The lasting and varied impact of COVID-19 means unexpected changes such as an expected increase in brick and mortar shopping, and lulls in spending on clothes and technology in favor of traditional supplies. Retailers of all kinds, particularly in the running, shoes, and outdoor sectors might be falling behind in this landscape. But leveraging actionable data with performance enablement tools can provide an edge toward making brands of all kinds stand out amongst competitors.

Financially Strained Consumers, Choosier Spending Habits and Performance Enablement:

With inflation, the threat of recession, and shifting consumer preferences, back-to-school shoppers have become more cautious in their purchases. Recent surveys highlight the need for retailers to offer value-driven options, compelling deals, and personalized experiences to capture the attention of budget-conscious shoppers. This might mean emphasizing the durability and quality of your products, or the ease with which you can obtain them. To meet these expectations, retailers must embrace an omnichannel approach that seamlessly integrates various touchpoints, catering to the diverse preferences of their customer base.

Using Performance Enablement Tools to Stay Ahead:

Data is a powerful tool in understanding consumer behavior and making informed business decisions. Retailers can leverage actionable data to identify trends, predict customer preferences, and optimize marketing strategies. For instance, adopting advanced analytics tools can provide valuable insights into the most effective channels for engaging back-to-school shoppers. PEPs offer retailers the opportunity to harness data-driven training and much more to empower their workforce, ensuring they’re equipped with the latest product knowledge and customer service skills.

For example, the fashion retailer Intertop was recently faced with the challenge of driving sales among the e-commerce competition. As a company with both in-store and multichannel sales across geographies, they needed a varied approach to meet KPIs. Intertop sought to utilize data sets to boost employee loyalty, retention, and encourage them to be actively involved and connected with the company’s mission and KPIs. 

The implementation of performance enablement tools, in this case Rallyware in May 2020, allowed Intertop to provide employees with personalized incentives, tools and confidence to drive a notable increase of 19% in in-store sales performance. But success was not only limited to brick and mortar stores. Armed with sales results easily viewable in personalized widgets, employees were able to meet their goals and deliver on targets. The use of this data resulted in a 16% boost in online sales. 

Leveraging In-Store Tech:

In the post-COVID landscape, companies must be proficient not only in the buying and selling of their products, but also in harnessing additional modern technological capabilities such as online fulfillment, home delivery and retail data analytics. The current landscape gives rise not only to a surge in e-commerce but also to hybrid customer experience models, which integrate offline and online and spending.

While we’re seeing an increase in purchases in physical stores, companies must also keep up with a population browsing online, and engaging on social media. An omnichannel strategy is crucial for retailers to reach their audience wherever they are, ensuring a consistent and cohesive brand experience across all channels. By integrating online and offline efforts, retailers can create a seamless customer journey that drives traffic to physical stores during the back-to-school season.

One area where many retailers are lagging is in adopting in-store tech that complements their omnichannel efforts. Embracing technologies like augmented reality (AR) for virtual try-ons, interactive displays, and smart signage can enhance the in-store shopping experience, attracting back-to-school shoppers and differentiating from competitors. Additionally, integrating tech solutions that bridge the online-offline gap, such as contactless payments and click-and-collect services, can further drive foot traffic to physical stores

However, these efforts are enhanced by actionable data, with PEP tools such as the ones Rallyware provides,  inevitably lead to a better customer experience. Sales enablement tools enhance customer-brand connections at the point of sale and help to ensure customers encounter more knowledgeable sellers. This means going beyond embracing technologies to be able to use them in the smartest way possible.

The Power of Personalization:

Personalization is key to winning over choosier back-to-school shoppers. Retailers should leverage data to deliver targeted promotions, product recommendations, and personalized offers based on individual preferences. Embracing customer loyalty programs and personalized communication channels can foster deeper connections with customers, encouraging repeat purchases and fostering brand loyalty. Rallyware’s clienteling features, for example, help to optimize frontline selling with the ability to track and retain customers, automate to-dos, and message clientele.

In the omnichannel age, retailers in the running, shoes, and outdoor sectors must adapt to the changing landscape of back-to-school sales. Financially strained consumers with choosier spending habits necessitate an omnichannel approach that leverages actionable data to offer personalized experiences. By embracing in-store tech and prioritizing personalization, retailers can gain a competitive edge and drive in-store back-to-school sales. Rallyware’s Myagi Brand Training offers a valuable solution for retailers looking to empower their workforce with performance enablement tools and data-driven insights to ensure a consistent customer experience across all channels.

To learn more about leveraging actionable data for successful back-to-school sales, request a demo today.