Survey: Retailers Reveal an Increased Gap of 36 Percent between Customer Expectations and Reality of In-Store Shopping Experience
Survey of Retailers Shows In-Store Workload and Customer Expectations of Store Managers and Associates is Increasing; Retailers Who Want Stores to Succeed Must Support Frontline Employees with Tool on Mobile Devices to Simplify Application Complexity and Drive Best-Practice Actions
DEDHAM, Mass., November 18, 2016: Store managers and associates have a strong potential to increase sales and improve the in-store shopping experience. But retailers lack confidence that store/department managers and associates are consistently meeting customer expectations. Furthermore, the majority of retailers say stores are not currently equipped with the tools and training to re-prioritize tasks and activities in response to the needs of the business and customer demand.
These are just some of the conclusions from a recent report published by RIS News after surveying senior corporate executives from national and large regional retail chains. Other highlights of the research show that while retailers have an opportunity to leverage physical locations as a competitive advantage, to meet a perfect storm of rising workload, expectations, and complexity, they must provide store managers and associates with better technology:
- 8.6 is how high retailers rated the impact on improving sales and the customer experience when store managers and associates are on the sales floor, doing the right thing at the right time (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)
- 5.5 is the confidence rating retailers have that store team members are consistently on the sales floor and helping customers the right way. A score of 5.5 represents a significant gap of 36 percent between the “value” and the “ability” of store employees
- 87 percent of retailers say store workload has increased somewhat or greatly
- 71 percent said the need to provide omni-channel services and product assistance to shoppers was a factor in the workload increase
“The gap between the influence associates have on store performance and the confidence retailers have in actually getting store personnel to do this effectively is disappointing to say the least and disastrous in terms of delivering optimum business performance,” said Joe Skorupa, Group Editor-in-Chief of RIS News, in the report. “Stores frequently fall short of meeting customer expectations and, in fact, stores scored lower in the customer satisfaction than the online channel, according to the 2016 ‘Shopper Insight 360’ study.”
The survey also indicates some of the technological reasons behind the inability of stores to keep pace with the online channel:
- 72 percent of retailers say store managers and associates must access 6 or more different systems to get through their work days
- 36 percent say managers and associates must access 11 or more different systems to get through their work days
- 81 percent, a whopping majority, said five or fewer store systems are accessible on mobile devices
- 77 percent said store teams are expected to read daily, weekly, and monthly reports on paper
While the survey shows that technology is flooding into the stores creating a new layer of complexity and increasing workload, retailers also gave high marks to the potential of a tool on mobile devices to simplify store managers and associates work lives and drive better customer service:
- 7.8 was how highly retailers rated the value of a single interface on mobile devices to view exceptions and best practice actions coming from disparate store systems
- 8.2, even higher, is how retailers rated the ability for store managers and associates to update the variety of store systems in real time using the same interface on mobile devices
- 8.4, the highest rated capability, was being able to use a mobile device to interact with and update all store-facing systems — without requiring upgrades or replacements to those systems
“The RIS News research clearly points out that with increased task and customer service demands, ‘more’ is not ‘better’ in terms of equipping store managers and associates with the tools they need to succeed,” says Brett Friedman, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Reflexis. “Reflexis StorePulse provides store managers and associates with a consolidated interface on mobile devices to view exceptions from any store facing system or device and directed best practice actions to resolve exceptions, while updating any store system — all from the same app. StorePulse enables managers and associates to maximize their potential by simplifying their work lives and directing timely, best-practice response to customer demands.”
About Reflexis Systems, Inc.
Reflexis is the pioneer in real-time store operations and workforce management solutions that enable retailers to carry out their customer engagement strategy flawlessly and uncover profit. The Reflexis platform of real-time store operations, task management, KPI/compliance, time and attendance, and labor scheduling (including budgeting, forecasting, and employee self-service) enables retailers to align store labor/activities to corporate goals and institutionalize best-practice response to real-time metrics and alerts.
For the past 15 years, more than 200 of the world’s best companies in multiple vertical categories such as retail, hospitality, and Quick Serve Restaurants have reported dramatic improvements in compliance with corporate strategies; higher productivity of corporate, field, and store employees; and increased revenue and profitability after implementing Reflexis workforce management and real-time store operations solutions. Reflexis StorePulse® (patent pending) synchronizes activities with real-time KPIs, alerts, and customer demand. Stores, hotels, and restaurants can systemically implement best practices to provide a greater quality of customer engagement, leading to higher revenues.
Reflexis Systems, Inc. is privately held and headquartered in Dedham, Massachusetts and has offices in Atlanta, London, Germany, and India, with additional sales offices in Latin America and Europe. For more information, visit reflexisnew.wpengine.com. Follow Reflexis on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Instagram
Reflexis Systems, Inc.
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