Furnishing Ideas

David Stewart

The evolution of retail sales

October 15, 2015

It was about content.

Back in the “good ole days”, customers would come into our stores for content. We would show them options, then features and benefits. If we didn’t close the sale, they would go to the next store in search for more content.

Then… The Internet happened and unleashed a title wave of content on our customers. Now, every customer has more content in their pocket than we could ever hope to provide them.

The problem: Our customers have become experts in what they think they know.

There is no need for salespeople to provide content like in the good ole days. Let’s face it, Google is smarter than we are and many of our customers trust it more. Does this mean we should get rid of our sales teams and change our business model? By no means! However, we may want to tweak our sales strategy.

Now, it’s about curation.

If your customer already has the content, it is our job to help them curate that content. Not everything on the internet is true.

Shocking, I know.

Your customer has likely read product reviews, searched manufacturers, asked their social media network and established an opinion about what they think they want to purchase and how much they plan to pay. The problem comes when their expectations for quality don’t match their expectations for price.

It is our job to help them navigate through the seemingly endless content by asking the right questions and helping them get clear about what is really best for them.

It has always been about context. 

Curating content is all about context. Our job it to take the information they have, identify the parts that are untrue or unnecessary and make sure their decision is made in the context of what is best for them and their life.

"My Facebook friend liked it" is not a good reason to purchase. Because the internet said so is a worse reason.

If we are committed to doing what is right for our customers, we must help them curate the content they bring with them while keeping it in the context of what is most important to them.

What are you doing to help your customers curate content in the correct context?