Experiential Retail

Sales Associates are the Concierges of Experiential Retail.

Smart stores need smart sales associates to deliver on customer delight.

This Retailnext webinar featuring Afua Giles, Director of Training for Sun and Ski, with Simon Turner, Co-founder of Myagi.com created an exciting discussion about the shift to experiential retail happening right now.

With the arrival of smart retail store systems, the need for sales associates to connect emotionally with the customers is becoming essential.

Speaking at a recent webinar organized by Retailnext, Simon Turner, President and Co-founder of Myagi emphasized the role of the associate in making the experience better.

“It’s something that we all have deep inside us that really helps us connect with a person, a place or a scene. With all these elements, the sales associate is really the one that brings this together, orchestrating the whole experience.” – Simon Turner, Co-founder, Myagi.com


The nature of the retail industry has changed. There is a new retail journey underway, the shopper is empowered like never before with technology and information at their fingertips. As they embark on this journey, whether outside the store, at the door, browsing at home or on the go there is this tremendous digital influence and resource available.

Today’s tech-empowered shopper is in control of the shopping experience and in turn are demanding enhanced and real experiences from the retailers that they frequent.

Retailnext pointed out a concept called The Knowledge Deficiency Gap, wherein the shopper is more knowledgeable about the product and what it offers than the sales associate. In this context it is important to look at how to make the sales associates smarter so they can meet the expectations of the shopper

Afua Giles supports this point. With high ticket items in Sun and Ski retailing for over $3000 USD some sales associates have in the past felt uncomfortable facing increasingly well informed, savvy shoppers. With an ongoing commitment to training, Giles and her team have hit the sweet spot- Engaging associates, developing skills and delighting customers with great advice and experiential shopping.

Shoppers are coming to the store for a reason- Convenience and availability are no longer the exclusive domains of brick and mortar retailers, online is now on an equal footing there. So what is the reason for a trip to the store? Great advice and real interactions- The sales associate interaction has never been more important than right now.

Turner said:

“to understand the situation that we are in, it would be prudent to look at the history of retail. If we look into the 1970s and 80s, there was a dominance of customer-centric high touch retailing. Then in the 1990s there was the discount to win strategy. The early 2000s saw the rise of e-commerce and as a result of the economics of online- the high street lost that battle.”

What we are actually seeing today is whats called experiential retail. There’s been a lot of talk about it, but it is real. There is an emotional experience at the core of the shopper journey, a lot more than a mere transaction. The lines of offline and online retailing are really blurred and the key differentiating factor is the high street really understanding the customer and what they want to FEEL when they shop.”

You can stream the entire event;