“Unconscious bias”​ in luxury retail

Training Luxury Taipei

Unconscious bias are social stereotypes about group of people outside their own conscious awareness. They are in general known about race, gender or ethnicity.  We are unaware of this bias and the prejudice happens outside of our control.

It’s almost impossible to avoid to create stereotypes (scientists believe it’s a way to produce shortcuts without processing excessive information). However, we need to be aware that unconscious bias affects our way to take decisions.

I lately start thinking that in spite of the nice official statements that surround the luxury retail teams, there is sort of unconscious bias about them. The weirdest thing is that often this bias is coming from within the same organizations where retail teams work.

In an era dominated by the fear that e-commerce and social media will bury the traditional retail business, luxury companies are trying everything possible to revamp the store dynamics.

This means creating motivations for customers to get away from online shopping to visit the store. For brick and mortar stores, customer engagement is becoming a crucial element. It focuses on encouraging customers to interact and share the experiences that the brand creates for them. When it is well executed, customer engagement strategy will foster business growth and loyalty.

Obviously, in the front line, to engage customers and create this relationship, brands have their sales associates and store managers.

Brands statements focus on the growing relevance of the role of the retail teams. This evolves in formal communication that explains how the organisation is investing investing in training and development for the professional growth of retail staff However, it’s not unusual to hear bias about retail teams often from senior managers of their own organisations.

“Don’t listen to them they are just sales people”. “Today, people in retail don’t make any difference. It’s all about how good you are to execute a great marketing strategy”.

“If they were good enough they would have not worked in store for years”.

These are some examples of typical comments that retail team receive from those people who should empower, encourage or support them. It’s about time to work on the awareness of the effect of the bias

What’s your experience?