Cathy Hotka is on the right track — I've provided digital consulting for almost all of Fortune 20 retailers and we run into the same issues every time; they allocate a certain dollar amount to IT with little to no regard as to how their new process/product will be adapted by their workforce. I started out on the sales floor and we adopted any means available to make our jobs easier (and in the area of commission sales, increase sales). We were collecting phone numbers and email addresses ahead of our employers and would spend time notifying our "preferred customers" when the item that they've been eyeing in the store was going on sale (in their size, color).
With access to free consumer engagement apps, every new generation of sales associate will leverage them to increase their value to their employer as well as their own paycheck. Isn't this what retailers want? Outgoing and engaged employees who are up- and cross-selling? Smart retailers should pay attention and incorporate employee-supportive technologies like Slack, Pinterest, etc. and make sure that it is easy for their sales associates to use but monitored to protect them from the tiny percentage of employees who may use it inappropriately.
If consumers can purchase $10,000 watches at Costco, what makes LVMH think that they won't purchase their luxury items from Amazon? As long as the products are authenticated as actual LVMH items, the consumer will not be viewed negatively that the item came from Amazon. If you need more proof, just take a look at the success of online luxury consignment TheRealReal.
With the over-commercialization of the holiday season, organizations like the Salvation Army are a wonderful addition to the shopping experience. The very ringing of the bell and red kettles are part of the excitement around shopping. It also shows that the retailer supports their local community. Personally, I'd never set foot in their store until they eliminated this policy.
Definite game changer. I’ve been predicting this trend since 2010. Target is already doing a version of this with it’s Shazam commercials that take viewers directly to the product landing page on their mobile site. All of the major media players from Comcast/NBC Universal to AT&T/DirecTV are furiously working on rolling out their versions. With the ability to bypass TV ads and block online ads, consumers are becoming immune to standard advertising (both traditional and digital) and Amazon is (as usual) ahead of the game with one-click product placement. The ability to exploit consumer “buy now” impulses during a program is far too promising to ignore. In addition, the data derived from this application trumps audience views and takes PPC one step further. TV-commerce is the next retail channel (literally) and the only question is who will be next and which content partners will make the process easiest for retailers and consumer goods companies.
There is a bigger issue with Kmart -- it no longer has an identity. What type of retailer is Kmart? Kmart does not stand out from the crowd the way Family Dollar or Big Lots does and has absolutely no personality. Look at Five Below, they have established themselves as a teen specialty discount retailer. Kmart is doomed unless they can invent or carve out a niche and fully commit to it in branding, inventory and service.
My time is money, Tom, and at my local HD, the Pro desk typically is overrunning with contractors and weekend DIY warriors. Ace consistently provides the fastest service at decent prices, which is why they continue to rank highest on this survey. As time becomes even more of a precious commodity, efficient and effective customer service will become more of a differentiator for physical retailers.