We talked to Oscar Sachs of Salesfloor about his online shopping platform, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Oscar Sachs: The pandemic has required important adjustment, but we are all doing fine.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Salesfloor.
Oscar Sachs: I am the CEO and co-founder of Salesfloor, the first platform to allow customers to shop online directly with their local store or favorite associate, bringing the in-store experience online. Formerly a retail executive responsible for store operations at the Aldo Group and Best Buy, I led some of retail’s earliest omnichannel initiatives to create a bridge between the online and store worlds. I am also the founder of several successful start-ups in the digital retail space, such as Ad Splash Media, the first company to develop a digital media program for the top online eCommerce sites. I earned my MBA degree from McGill University.
How does Salesfloor innovate?
Oscar Sachs: Listening to customers and their needs is one of the best sources of innovation. From there, the ability to quickly react and implement change is how you turn it into a reality. Lastly, it is important to create an internal culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and empowerment to take risks without fear of failure. That is how you create an environment of innovation.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Oscar Sachs: The pandemic forced retailers to re-evaluate their use of technology and how their associates connect to customers. With stores being closed and customers choosing the shop almost exclusively online, store associates had no choice but to become digital-first. Salesfloor was designed precisely for this kind of use case. We’ve seen a 250% increase in new business and strong demand for personalization of online customer experiences. In the past few months, the number of Salesfloor users around the world has nearly doubled, with 45,000 store associates now leveraging the platform to serve customers across all channels. Associates using Salesfloor have surpassed $1.5 billion in sales.
While our company and our people quickly adjusted internally at Salesfloor to the new way of working, our clients and their stores also needed our help.
We adjusted to the pandemic by offering new clients free licenses (on a temporary basis) to help them serve and sell to online customers. This also helped decreased the number of store managers and associates that were furloughed, as we worked with many retailers to help them pivot to a work-from-home model. This enabled associates that would have been furloughed to maintain their income. We also helped our clients by providing an unlimited number of asset uploads for associates and additional licenses, all at no cost.
We’ve also launched a Post-COVID Bundle to help retailers following the COVID-19 pandemic consisting of Live Voice and Video Chat, Event Management, and All-in-One Appointment Management.
Clients saw a 300% increase in engagement across all metrics of our platform data.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Oscar Sachs: The most difficult choice was deciding if and when we had to cut budgets and resources if the market changed. Our decision was to invest in our people no matter how bad it got, and that’s what we did. The good news is that the market flourished in our space, and we were ready for it as a result.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Salesfloor in the future?
Oscar Sachs: During the pandemic, we focused on communicating regularly with the team to make sure we eliminated as much as possible the uncertainty they were feeling. As well, being positive and creating a sense of “we are in it together” helped reduce anxiety. Moreover, letting our team know that we understood their personal challenges at home or with family during this time and that we were supporting them 100% to put family first helped people adapt.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Oscar Sachs: Tulip Retail and Hero are our competitors. There are other companies that compete with us on some level, like Mad Mobile and Predict Spring.
We plan to stay in the game by continuing to differentiate ourselves with innovative features and by addressing timely, relevant issues retailers are facing.
Salesfloor is the only mobile platform for associates that combines clienteling and mobile checkout with a customer-facing interface embedded on the retailer’s e-commerce site. While associates can reach out to existing customers, customers shopping online can also create requests for service or ask questions directly to an in-store associate. These are routed to local stores via video, live chat, appointment requests, email, and text messages.
It’s also the only store associate app that provides out-of-the-box analytics and reporting on sales, conversions, basket sizes, and more. Retailers access mission-critical KPIs that help evaluate and adjust the execution of their strategies.
Associates see first-hand their impact on the overall business because of Salesfloor tracks online and in-store sales. They are credited for sales regardless of where the customer chose to transact. By giving associates control over how they serve their omnichannel customers, they feel empowered, making them happier in their jobs and decreasing turnover.
While there are single-service apps that exist (for example, live chat apps), Salesfloor provides a comprehensive clienteling platform that addresses a wide range of use cases and helps retailers be present throughout the entire customer journey.
Your final thoughts?
Oscar Sachs: I believe we will learn many valuable lessons from the pandemic, and it’s too early to tell the real impact of what is happening. However, upon reflection, it is a time of disruptive change that does bring many opportunities. So it’s important as a company for us to put our people first, adapt to change to capitalize on opportunities, and to support our stakeholders (community, clients, shareholders) through these times.