Empowering Retail Associates with Technology

There is no denying the power of mobile technology as a disruptor in the retail industry. Mobile devices are ubiquitous in our lives; dramatically changing how we interact with each other, obtain information and shop. Having this constant, virtually unlimited amount of information at our fingertips has changed consumers’ shopping behavior and elevated our expectations for customer service.

While much of the retail mobile technology discussion addresses the effect on consumer behavior, this proliferation of tablets and mobile phones also offers many new opportunities for associates to enhance customer service. Putting mobile devices in the hands of store associates is a necessity to “keep up” with the customer who has a plethora of information available at her fingertips.

Associate mobile devices enhance the shopping experience through access to real-time inventory and customer data and offer the ability to service customers and process transactions anywhere in the store.

Within the next three years, the number of retailers that use mobile devices and tablets in the hands of associates will double to three-quarters of retailers. This increased rate of adoption is driven by several factors, including the declining price of mobile technology, the growth in maturity and range of tools, and the critical need for store associates to have the necessary tools to enhance the customer experience and “keep up” with the abundance of information that customers have at their fingertips.

However, retailers need to continue to improve their mobile capabilities through refined processes, better technology and enhanced training for associates. Powerful associate tools are only helpful if associates are trained to use them effectively, especially when associates are dealing with sensitive customer information. Unfortunately, retailers are still playing catch-up to consumers that constantly research and buy products on their ubiquitous mobile devices.

Download the full report to better understand what retailers are doing and should be doing to ensure they can “keep up” with their customers.

I appreciate you opinions on this topic. Please share your comments and ideas below.

David

As retail thought leaders and trusted advisors, our executives’ opinions and insights are often solicited by leading publications and associations for articles and speaking engagements.

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