Tech-Enabled Employees Critical to Much Needed In-Store Customer Experience Overhaul, New Study Finds

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RSR Research, an analyst firm providing market intelligence on retail technology trends, announces the results of its latest research report, "The Customer-centric Store 2010: How Retailers Engage Technology-enabled Customers." The research finds that retailers need to arm their store employees with more technology and knowledge in order to compete with online sales.

The future of stores relies on the notion of eye-to-eye ‘assisted service’ – something that online video chats still can’t replicate.

RSR Research's latest report, "The Customer-centric Store 2010: How Retailers Engage Technology-enabled Customers" finds the need for an improved customer experience to be a critical business challenge in 2010; the number one opportunity in the current market is to refine the customer’s in-store experience. The full report can be downloaded at http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1130, and is sponsored by Manhattan Associates, NCR and Reflexis, with supporting sponsorship from Microsoft.

"In the early days of ecommerce, retailers and web designers attempted to mimic the store experience online," said Paula Rosenblum, Managing Partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "Now they are asking, ‘How can we make the store experience as satisfying as the web?’ The answer is not in mimicking non-store channels, but in creating a differentiated experience that harmonizes with non-store channels. And to do that requires store associates with much more access to technology than they have today."

"With the smartphone, never before has the customer/employee balance been so maligned," adds RSR Managing Partner Steve Rowen, also co-author. "Yet the most well-informed customers still enjoy visiting stores, and it is imperative retailers understand this, nurture it, and rapidly consider new technologies that give employees a fighting chance of being helpful. The future of stores relies on the notion of eye-to-eye ‘assisted service’ – something that online video chats still can’t replicate.”

"The Customer-centric Store 2010: How Retailers Engage Technology-enabled Customers" contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding Store-based initiatives, as well as recommendations for creating more exctitign and successful In-store capabilities. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and can be downloaded here: http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1130

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