Closing sales at the moment of excitement is a tricky balance. People buy because they like sales person or the sales experience. Imaging sales of the future leveraging technology in the best possible way is part of becoming a thriving digital organization. Leveraging digital technology that configures itself dynamically to assist the sale is the level of swarming that is likely to emerge on the sales front. Of course in this case the buyer was motivated to get an exercise program going and was thinking that biking would be right in her sweet spot. This is one possible example of leveraging a digital assist to the sales process in retail in real time.
Evaluating the Buyer:
One of the keys to a sale is to understand the buyer. There are now cognitive agents (COG) that can read the mood of the potential buyer as they approach a self service kiosk. In addition the kiosk could have a cognitive agent evaluating the shape of the potential buyer in terms of muscular build. If this is a repeat customer, you may have a handle on their personality because of a personality tendency cognitive agent that the buyer had interacted with in the past. This gives the seller a better understanding of the potential buyer and will lead to a better success rate.
Matching the Goals:
Based on the mood detection, build, personality and goals based on a quick set of questions, the kiosk could display a video of that combination persona in the kind of environment that the buyer is likely to ride in on a suggested bike with the right colors, comfort and safety equipment. If the buyer shows an interest in a particular video and product used, they can be accumulated for further evaluation.
Assisting the Close:
The kiosk could present the selections of interest and ask questions to assist the buyer in making her decision. If the buyer wants more information, they can get that info at the kiosk or select a help option that would give them a number in a queue to talk to a professional on the floor of the store. If the buyer can select the right bike herself, you could close the sale there and have someone bring the bike to the kiosk or ship it to the buyer based on need.
This kind of evaluation can be helpful in the store or even online. I'm pretty sure I would visit the store myself as the fit would be important for me to try. I can easily imagine cognitive agents assisting me for part of the sales process. How about you?
Additional Reading on the Swarming & New Digital Models: