Now’s the time to look ahead to consignment’s future

December 22, 2015

“He who doesn’t look ahead, remains behind”

I hate New Year’s resolutions! I’ve never appreciated them. They’re a daily reminder that you’re not doing what you said you would. So no New Year’s resolutions for me. Instead, we’re going to look ahead at what’s coming for our industry and how we can meet the challenge. Come on in!

Can tech become any bigger in our lives? You betcha!

Technology is proving to be more and more a part of the buying and selling process. From simply shopping online to the growing popularity of mobile pay, technology will play a larger role in a laptop and phone for looking aheadthe world of retail and resale next year. As younger generations of “digital natives” begin shopping as adults, you’ll need to look for ways to streamline the buying process. Choose whether to add online sales as a part of your current website (a service SimpleConsign offers). Or, sell through a social media outlet such as Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. Make the experience as seamless as possible for the buyer. At this point, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that technology continues to move past downloadable programs. Now, more than ever, a web based POS system such as SimpleConsign is the way to move forward.

Speed it up

Consignment shops need to look ahead to improve the speed of checkout and inventory intake. If necessary, begin changing your consigning and selling processes now to accommodate younger shoppers. Review your checkout procedure. Can it be improved to save time? What about your intake procedure?  The younger the market, the less willing they are to wait in line; wait for an associate to answer questions or wait for anything period. In fact, TimeTrade reports that 85% of shoppers (87% Millennials and 86% Gen Z) would consider abandoning their items in the dressing room and leaving the store altogether if a store associate is unavailable to help.

The Concierge is pointing the way

Bring in the concierge

A stronger emphasis on “concierge” service is coming. Shoppers are expecting prompt, personalized service and a knowledgeable sales staff. Consider adding a personal shopper to meet with your customers. Younger shoppers have said they’re even willing to set appointments. Build efficiency by handling your intake on a specific day of the week with another specialist.  Exceptional customer service to build loyalty and store ambassadors has never been more important. Spend time in the beginning of the year training your staff. Sometimes it’s as simple as reminding them to look busy, greet everyone who walks in the door and SMILE! Have your salespeople read previous articles such as Training Changes Everything and The 3 stupidest questions to ask shoppers.

Cell Phone in Woman's Hand so she can look aheadMobile is growing quickly

In-store mobility is another growing trend. No matter what size store, customers look to their phones for new inventory information, coupons and special deals. By offering in-store WiFi, stores can instantly connect with their shoppers when they walk in the door. Shoppers can check Facebook or Twitter on their phones to see the latest additions to inventory or access an online coupon code.

Because SimpleConsign is web based, a sales representative isn’t tied to the register to gain valuable information on a customer’s previous buying habits. When a shopper is greeted on the sales floor, the sales rep can do a mobile review of that customer’s prior purchases through our sold inventory or customer report. The sales associate can use that information to direct the customer to a new group of consigned items that might specifically interest them

 

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Coordinator for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.