As more people go online to shop, they’re demanding more from retailers.
Consumers, according to statistics from eMarketer, want better-informed salespeople, the ability to check on local availability before they head to the store and the ability for salespeople to see if items are available at other stores.
Unfortunately, though, studies show that there is a gap between what consumers are getting and what they expect. Consumers want salespeople to be more knowledgeable about products, but they don’t see it yet. And they also want salespeople to be able to help them locate items at other stores, but this doesn’t happen often.
It all comes down to the integration of the omnichannel. Retailers are giving smartphones to their employees so they can check product availability and ship out-of-stock items to customers. For the omnichannel, retailers want to keep a consistent brand image across all the channels, while customers want to be able to buy online and return to their local store.
Technology will continue to help this evolve. Whether it’s a card reader on each person’s phone where they can scan and securely transmit their payment information or tunnels that scan groceries while they’re still in the cart, these innovations are on their way.
Source: Ad Week, April 2012