How Much Do Your Stores Matter?
A recent survey of retailers reveals the top causes for failure to execute customer engagement and omni-channel strategies. It also highlights why retailers need a real-time store execution solution on mobile devices.
Retailers give high value to processes such as “Buy Online, Pickup in Stores,” “Reserve Online, Pickup in Stores,” and “Ship from Stores.” Unfortunately, in a recent report called “Revealing Causes of Omnichannel Failure,” retailers also give low ratings to stores’ ability to execute omni-channel. ZERO retailers surveyed said stores “always” provide a seamless and satisfying omni-channel shopping experience. Furthermore, two-thirds of retailers said stores “sometimes,” “almost never,” or “never” deliver to customer expectations. Ugh. The biggest challenges cited were:
- 64% too many siloed systems, and managers use too many systems/devices
- 43.2% responding to last minute issues (e.g., customer order changes)
- 40.5% use of manual error-prone tools such as paper pick lists and back-office terminals (no mobile devices)
The survey also found that in addition to the above challenges, traditional challenges like corporate task execution, labor scheduling, and stock-outs put a double whammy on many retailers (more on this in a future blog). Bottom line: new omnichannel processes added as stores still struggle with traditional challenges increases the pressure on already stressed store managers and associates. And for the most part, retailers are not increasing store labor budgets. I suspect that if things don’t change in stores, if the same survey were to be sent a year from now, the percentages listed above will go higher.
What can retailers do? Here’s a suggestion: Implement a new real-time store execution solution, let’s call it, oh, I don’t know, how about Reflexis StorePulse®? Such a system allows the following:
- Ability to view and respond using best practices to alerts from multiple store-facing systems — including omnichannel order management — using mobile devices
- Updating multiple store-facing systems, even ones not inherently mobility-enabled, without having to leave the StorePulse dashboard
- Driving best practice response to priority alerts and real-time customer demand driven by customer traffic, shopper “check-ins,” local events, and weather
A colleague of mine recently returned from a retail tech conference where the number one question asked was: “Where is the ROI in putting mobile devices in the hands of store managers and associates?” My response: think about what I just wrote and ask yourself: “How much does the enormous investment my company has in stores, real estate, and team members matter?” I think I just answered the ROI question. But what you think?