Modern Stores are Empowered

Empowered associates are the first of the five essential elements of creating modern store experiences. Modern stores free associates to support customers' needs anywhere in the store, significantly enhancing customer convenience and enticing customers to visit the store repeatedly.  

Store associates empowered by insight and technology, orchestrate modern store experiences

The changing habits of modern shoppers require a rethinking of store associates' roles, skills, and tools. Nowadays, people don't just visit a store to make a purchase. They also visit stores to evaluate products before buying online or to seek personalized support pre- and post-purchase. Today, the interaction between shoppers and associates is more of a value-added relationship than a simple sales transaction.

In modern stores, associates are brand ambassadors, product advisors, sales and service specialists, and fulfillment expeditors. They guide and support customers at any stage of their buying journey, skillfully helping them through the process. Modern stores must empower associates to expertly orchestrate store experiences by unifying and optimizing customer-facing and back-office functions enriched with rich customer, product, and operations insight. 

Unifying the Store Associate Experience

The buying journey of modern shoppers is fragmented and fluid, which requires store associates to adapt quickly to customers' needs. To provide high-quality service to these shoppers, associates must effortlessly access the functions needed to support the customer's immediate needs.

Modern stores provide all customer-facing and back-office functions to store associates in a unified experience where they can navigate and switch among functions with minimal effort. These functions must work together seamlessly by sharing data, eliminating the need for associates to reenter data to complete a transaction, which can cause delays and errors. For instance, a product viewed in the catalog can be quickly checked for inventory availability and then added to the customer's cart without reentering any information while completing the transaction. The modern store associate is seamlessly unified, empowering associates to support customer interactions wherever they go.

Business Outcome of Unification

"Juggling multiple interfaces and devices for selling, engagement and fulfillment creates poor experiences for associates, and customers."

Lina Sabic

Director of Store Operations


Mobilizing Store Processes

Today's shoppers are heavily influenced by digital, and many prefer a hybrid shopping approach involving both online and in-store experiences. Before visiting a store, most shoppers will check the retailer's website for product prices and availability. When they arrive in-store, they expect more information, advice, and personalized service to support their purchase decision.

Unfortunately, shoppers often become frustrated when store associates cannot find information or complete transactions in the response time shoppers experience online. Mobile solutions in stores can relieve this frustration. By providing store associates access to information and tools on mobile devices, they can rapidly and effectively assist customers and complete transactions anywhere on the store floor. When the store associate user interface is consistent across fixed and mobile form factors, user adoption, productivity, and effectiveness are improved, creating a significantly enhanced store experience.

Outcomes of Mobilizing Store Processes

"85% of retail executives believe shoppers have a better store experience when associates use the latest technology."


Optimizing Use of Information

Evolving shopper behaviors has led to retailers introducing new store processes and applications to expand and enhance store services. However, this has led to a complicated store environment with multiple disconnected information sources, making it difficult for associates to respond to customer needs quickly. This issue could lead to customer dissatisfaction.

To delight customers, simplified access and navigation to rich customer, product, and operational information is essential. The store associate experience must be equipped with rich search, making omnichannel inventory, product, and customer information quickly discoverable. Easy-to-view and understand information allows associates to personalize interactions and respond to questions and transactions rapidly and accurately. By focusing on information usability, store associates can bridge the information gap with shoppers, providing service that creates a meaningful and memorable store experience.

Outcomes of Optimizing Use of Information

"Only 43% of retailers enable associates to have quick access to product information, inventory levels, and order management, via a unified platform."


Unified Commerce Benchmark for Specialty Retail in North America

Proactively Managing Work Tasks

Modern stores serve multiple purposes beyond just making sales. They also function as customer service centers and fulfillment hubs. As a result, store associates now have multifaceted roles with unique tasks, earning them the nickname "Swiss Army store associates."

Empowering store associates to succeed is crucial in the face of the variety of tasks they must manage. They need tools that can help them organize and prioritize their diverse workloads, complete with the information and guidance needed to execute tasks efficiently and accurately.

Store systems should proactively notify associates of their work tasks, automatically prioritizing them so that associates are always aware of the next action to take. Prescriptive guidance should be crystal clear, leaving no room for ambiguity about the required work, including where, when, and how tasks must be executed. By optimizing work management in this manner, stores can improve store associate performance, leading to superior store experiences and increased employee engagement and productivity.

Outcomes of Proactively Managing Work Tasks

"70% of store associates wish to receive prescribed tasks that help them manage their work rather than data or reports they need to decipher. "


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