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What Do Your Sales Associates Do That Websites Can’t?

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:

  1. A decision validator
  2. A choice navigator
  3. A needs identifier
  4. A community builder
  5. An insights collector

To read about these individual roles, click here for the full Harvard Business Review article.


About Sara Logel

As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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