Innovative Retail Technologies

NOV 2015

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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T he consumer appetite for a channel-agnostic retail experience is forcing big change on the store, and according to Brian Kinsella, VP of order management at Manhattan Associates, the in-store associate sits at the nucleus of that change. They've always had to multitask, he says, but the advent of omni-channel and the customer expectations that come with it have considerably exacerbated the situation. "What differs in the future is that store associates will need to toggle between, for example, handling an exchange of an order bought online, picking an item off the store floor and readying it for a same-day delivery driver, checking someone out on the store floor, and perhaps applying a coupon stored in her customer profile," says Kinsella. " That's in addition to other tasks which will need to be interleaved smoothly into the store associate's typical day, including The store is being reimagined as part of a connected customer experience which may fnish in the store, but chances are it didn't start there. Brian Kinsella VP of order management, Manhattan Associates corresponding with a customer prior to a fitting appointment, batch picking two dozen orders before the parcel shipment deadline at the end of the day, or looking through a customer's entire purchase history to answer a question or make a recommendation." The point, he says, is that store associates need not just to be more proficient at more things, but that none of these activities should feel like an exception or "edge case." That's where technology shines as the enabler. " The technologies that store associates use, whether mobile or at a fixed station, have to build sales, service, inventory, and fulfillment capabilities in at their very core, and they have to allow for adaptation and experimentation." The technology platform angle resonates with Corey Tollefson, SVP and general manager of Infor's retail practice. "We look at the store's omni-channel challenge from a design perspective, What's Next where the customer is placed at the center of everything. Customers are looking for that one, single view of themselves." To enable the kind of any-channel systems access and visibility of which Kinsella and Tollefson speak — the kind of transformation that empowers associates and pleases customers — it's incumbent on retailers with legacies of Associate responsibilities, commerce design are ripe for change at the hands of omni-channel demand. The Store-Altering Impact Of Omni-Channel BY MATT PILLAR Omni-Channel Demand Nov-Dec 2015 24

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