STORES Magazine - April 2011 - (Page 24)

SUPPLY CHAIN & LOGISTICS / MOBILITY Sponsored by A The Changing Face of Retail Meet the store associate of the future, mobile device in hand BY M.V. GREENE customer enters a retail establishment, looking for that washer-dryer, hybrid vehicle, blue suit or pair of Jordans. Empowered by limitless web research, chances are she already knows the specs of the product, including features, functions, costs and benefits. No hard sell needed — no need to hone in on the washer-dryer’s energy ratings or the hybrid’s gas-saving features as selling points. So what’s left for the retail store associate to do? Locate the who are just as intelligent as they are about the products.” product within the retail supply chain, close the deal and get it A March 2010 survey from Art Technology Group, a Caminto the customer’s hands promptly and efficiently in the manbridge, Mass., provider of cross-channel solutions, found that ner of her choosing. three-quarters of consumers use two or more retail channels to The key enabler for this store associate is mobile techbrowse, research and purchase products; nearly oneMobile nology. Smartphones, handhelds and media tablets, third use three or more channels. In the coveted 18applications are along with burgeoning mobile application softto 34-year-old demographic, 41 percent of redesigned to give retailers ware, are changing the face of retail operations spondents told ATG they use mobile devices to — particularly smaller and the role of store personnel — positioning browse or research products or services. companies that lack the the store as a gateway to the retail supply chain technology assets of major rather than simply an end point, says Scott The power of information merchants — the ability Fenwick, senior director of product strategy Mobility has granted store personnel greater to take control for consulting firm Manhattan Associates. visibility into the movement and availability of of their supply “The expectations of the store associate have products within the retail pipeline. Fenwick says chains. started to change,” Fenwick says. “Now we are mobile applications makes supply chain functions looking at them to help similar to those enjoyed in maintain inventory, retail corporate offices maintain the accuracy of and distribution centers that inventory and fill oravailable at the store level. ders vs. being the prod“We’re now able to fuluct expert. It is starting fill orders whether the into shape how we think ventory is there or not,” about those job funche says. “If a consumer tions and the types of has a need and I cannot tools we are able to put fulfill it right now, in their hands that … 10 through this mobile techyears ago we would not nology we are able to have been able to do.” reach out to the cloud to This new model emfind out if there are other braces a mobile supply locations that have that chain, and retail’s busiinventory, when it is ness rules will need to available and how long it adjust to meet the commight take to ship. petitive opportunities in“In a lot of cases, that herent with mobility, might save potential lost Fenwick says. “The retail sales by preventing that associate today is interconsumer from walking acting with consumers out and going to a com24 STORES / APRIL 2011 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - April 2011

Stores Magazine - April 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Chain of Uncertainty
Digital Couponing
Energy Management
Social Media
Cross-Channel Metrics
Broadband Bonding
Workforce Management
Alternative Payments
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - April 2011