SOURCE: Associates Interactive

December 10, 2007 08:00 ET

Associates Interactive Aims to Regain Customer Satisfaction in Retail Outlets

Experts in Associate Effectiveness Launch Company to Improve Overall Retail Sales Experience for Consumers

BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwire - December 10, 2007) - Associates Interactive, a provider of training content and certifications used to train retail sales associates, launched today with a focus on improving the overall customer experience in retail outlets. Associates Interactive will initially focus on the consumer electronics segment of the retail industry.

According to the second annual Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study conducted by Wharton's Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative, 33% of shoppers reported they had been unable to find a salesperson to help them. The telephone survey of 1,000 shoppers also revealed that 25% of consumers said they were ignored outright by sales associates. The findings show that American retailers lose a full 6% of their shoppers due to lack of help.(1)

In order to create a connection between the customer and sales professional, Associates Interactive focuses on teaching a blend of conversational skills and individualized sales techniques. The goal of creating this connection is to improve the overall customer experience and increase sales.

Associates Interactive objectively prepares, documents and perfects programs tailored to the specific needs of retailers. Only unbiased category information about brands and products is used, so associates learn to sell customers the right product and all the appropriate accessories and services.

Associates Interactive's training method, RetailAI™ combines the best practices in instructional design with proven techniques to help increase sales in retail settings. Compared to other training alternatives, the Associates Interactive approach aims to achieve results more quickly and incrementally improves sales growth as associates complete additional courses and practice personalized sales techniques. In the RetailAI model, product knowledge is focused on the essential features that are most important to customers, eliminating the technical jargon that often intimidates consumers.

"Through our experience working with large retail outlets and CE manufacturers, we found that there was a need for high quality, independently produced training material in the market. Most material currently available is solely focused on how a certain product is better than the competition," said Bob Richardson, president and CEO of Associates Interactive. "Our goal is to give retailers, manufacturers and merchandisers the tools they need to make sure the consumer receives the best possible educational experience before making a purchase."

Associates Interactive is funded by a group of private investors, led by Rand Capital Corporation. Founded in December 2007, Associates Interactive is led by retail sales training veteran, Bob Richardson. Before starting Associates Interactive, Richardson was the President of R3 Media Group, a technology marketing and training firm. R3 developed training programs to help retail sales associates be more effective salespersons. R3's ability to give stores an immediate boost in sales after brief training led to its selection as a training provider for Wal-Mart Stores in 2006. Mr. Richardson helped develop Wal-Mart's sales training program and implement it in the United States. For more information on how Associates Interactive can help bring customers back into the store, visit.

About Associates Interactive

Associates Interactive develops training content, courses, exercises, tests and certifications used to train retail sales associates. The company is addressing the market demand for effective training material that has an immediate and sustained impact on associate behavior and sales results. The training program, called RatailAI, is developed independently and better integrates products from multiple manufacturers in the sales discussion, ultimately increasing overall sales for the retailer. More information on Associates Interactive can be found at


Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Noah Dye / Cari Goodrich
    LEWIS PR for Associates Interactive
    Noah: 408-573-3662
    Cari: 408-573-3663
    Email Contact