Study: Retailers give store associates more seamless capabilities

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Store associates are rapidly gaining the ability to provide shoppers with omnichannel services.

According to the annual Omnichannel Leadership Report from NewStore, close to seven in 10 (68%) store associates are using a mobile device in 2019, up from 60% in 2018 and 10% in 2017. The study, which assesses the omnichannel capabilities of over 200 luxury, premium, and lifestyle retailers, found the overall omnichannel competence score of assessed retailers as only 40 out of a 1-to-100 scale (with 100 as top score).

Nevertheless, the study also reveals significant omnichannel momentum. Data reveals 51% of store associates now have access to organization-wide inventory levels from a mobile device, up from 39% in 2018. And 58% of store associates can see omnichannel purchase history, up from 32% in 2018.

Almost half (47%) of associates can perform an endless aisle purchase for customers in-store, up from 33% in 2018. Three-quarters (74%) of brands allow the use of digital payments in-store, up from 57% in 2018.

Other interesting findings include:
•    90% of retailers still have a traditional cash-wrap.
•    56% of retailers offer buy online return in store (BORIS).
•    33% of retailers offer mobile checkout.

The study also ranked the top five “omni leaders,” the retailers with the most advanced omnichannel capabilities for 2019-2020. They are:
1.    Nike
2.    Athleta
3.    Moncler
4.    Louis Vuitton
5.    Banana Republic

“The brands that really struggle are those that operate online and in-store in silos, on systems that were never built with other channels in mind,” said Stephan Schambach, founder and CEO, NewStore. “The key to omnichannel is having a single system for real-time omni data – inventory, customers and orders. And more importantly, putting this in the hands of store associates.”




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