In an increasingly automated world, the one thing that can’t be replaced by an algorithm is real, human interaction.
Nowhere is this more true than in the cosmetics industry. The fact is, when it comes to makeup, being able to “try before you buy” will always be an important factor in the decision-making process, making a team of friendly and well-informed beauty advisors a particularly powerful asset.
Unfortunately when it comes to making cutbacks, sales teams are often hit the hardest. Staffing costs total ‘more than half of a typical retailer’s selling, general and administrative expenses’, making it a prime target for spending cuts.
But as ambassadors for your brand, it is essential that your beauty advisors are given the support and encouragement they need to excel. Here’s how to do it:
Treat your beauty advisors as an investment
One of the biggest investments you can make in your beauty advisors is in their training. Often, new employees are trained when they first arrive and then never again. This is understandable - staff turnover is notoriously high in retail, and it can seem like a waste of time and effort to offer constant training.
The problem with that approach is that it ignores the correlation between BA training and store performance. Those who haven’t been trained on the latest product launch, for example, come across as ill-informed and unhelpful, which pushes potential customers to make their purchases elsewhere.
Encouraging your beauty advisors to make continuous improvement with targeted microlearning, on the other hand, will help them stay on top of their game and arm them for whatever customer request may come their way.
Investing in your store teams is also about keeping them engaged. Employees do their best work when they feel valued, and when they feel a sense of loyalty to their company. Creating a culture of responsibility and teamwork helps boost employee engagement and encourages them to do well.
Provide them with tailored training programs
Much like the beauty products you’re selling, sales training is not a “one shade suits all” situation. Not only do different employees require different skill sets depending on their responsibilities, but they also all learn in different ways. In fact, there are no less than seven different learning styles: for example, some people are visual learners, some learn by doing, and so on.
For store managers, this means paying close attention to your team’s motivations and tailoring your approach accordingly. Every team is different, so why should there be just one training scheme?
And as the landscape of retail continues to change, sales associates have to be flexible - meaning they have to be able to learn and retain new information quickly.
Say for example that the latest Fenty Beauty line is about to drop. You know that the day of the launch, your store will be filled with customers clamoring for help and advice as they try to get their hands on the latest it-products. That means that every single BA in your store has to know that product range inside out, and be prepared for a crazy amount of store traffic.
To provide beauty advisors with the knowledge and confidence they need for instances like these, training has to be quick, easily digestible, and above all, fun.
We’re all familiar with the crushing boredom of watching an outdated training video from the nineties, or periodically having to refer to a dusty manual in the staff room just before a store visit. Needless to say, these are not effective learning tools. So, how do you do it?
Use technology to your advantage
Don’t panic - as we said earlier, no app or chatbot can ever replace the essential human element of retail sales. But when it comes to team training, the future certainly lies in microlearning.
We’ve already mentioned microlearning, but what exactly is it? Put simply, it’s all about learning things in small, manageable chunks that are easy for people to absorb and retain.
This is the perfect training method for busy beauty advisors. When you have to be accessible on the shop floor and quickly switch between multiple different tasks, lengthy training sessions aren’t really an option. It is far more effective - and efficient - for BAs to make use of regular, modular training that allows them to learn on the go.
Another advantage of microlearning is that it can be easily gamified. Turning training into a fun activity - or even a friendly competition amongst teams - will increase engagement, on top of helping them to retain information more effectively. Fun and informative? It’s a win-win!
Well-trained BAs are an asset to your business, as their improved skills and product knowledge drive conversions and lead to increased revenue. But ultimately, the greatest advantage of boosting your teams’ engagement is that beauty advisors who feel supported, and who feel like they have a stake in how well their brand is represented, will actually want to do their best. After all, job satisfaction is the best form of motivation.
YOOBIC Boost is a gamified training solution which helps motivate store associates with targeted microlearning and evaluates store teams’ performance and progress. Find out more here.