How do I keep shopfloor staff motivated if a large part of trade is click-and-collect?

With the advent of click-and-collect services and m-commerce, buying habits have changed dramatically in recent years. Stores face considerable competition from the internet, making face-to-face customer service more important than ever.

The challenge lies in encouraging store staff to promote the various offerings as part of all-round customer service. The incentive might be lacking where traditional sales-based commission schemes are used, because efforts that culminate in an online purchase may be unrewarded.

Laura Farnsworth, a partner at employment law firm Lewis Silkin, says the key is for retailers to get store staff to buy in to the “bigger picture” - namely, making sales count, whether through bricks or clicks. She says: “A positive shopping experience in-store has been shown to drive online sales, so staff should be trained on how best to advise their customers on products and purchase methods.”

Incentivising good customer service can take several forms. Traditional methods include a staff reward scheme based on customer feedback, or a bonus scheme based on customer satisfaction ratings.

Some retailers, such as John Lewis and Dixons, are adapting the commission approach by attributing online sales to the relevant customer’s local store. This provides a tangible benefit for store staff who encourage customers to purchase through other channels.

Farnsworth says: “As multichannel advances, retailers will want to review their incentive schemes to ensure they get the most from staff.”