Are Retail Associates Geared Up for Omnichannel?
Although many retail executives are considered essential for company growth, and remunerated accordingly, lower level staff often don’t see opportunities to excel. However, staffing experts see the new omnichannel retail world as a means for employees to maximize their opportunities through technology and techniques that better enable them to up- and cross-sell.
Genuine omnichannel experiences enable shoppers to use multiple channels to research, purchase and pay for merchandise, merging previously separate off and online shopping worlds into a "cohesive landscape," according to Chain Store Age’s report, "Solving the Omnichannel Disconnection Gap." To achieve this, technology must be adapted and staff equipped with wireless mobile workstations.
By utilizing "quick, efficient integration of core retail processes, including in-store POS and mobile solutions," the core objective of ensuring consistent customer experience will be achieved. "Product information, inventory levels and pricing promised by one channel are readily delivered by the others," the report states.
In "Omnichannel Leadership – the hidden risk facing retailers," a report from executive search company, Green Park, the authors claim that "a general failure to recognize the steps needed to ensure customers enjoy ‘seamless experience across channels’ is preventing growth and loyalty." It goes on to say employees often "fail to ‘up-sell’, losing both vital revenue and further, future opportunities."
The retail industry is "putting its future growth on the line by not recognising the value of the omnichannel function and the instability caused by under-compensation." Compensation, incentives and benefits packages must "attract, motivate and retain valued employees – particularly top digital talent … to forge ahead in a challenging market."
Although Green Park maintains online retail executives are insufficiently incentivized, The Grocer observed Waitrose (part of John Lewis) recently marked its "increased focus on building closer links between the online business and stores" by replacing its "head of web and online" with a "head of omnichannel." Sainsbury’s expanded its "director of online" remit to "director of online, digital and cross-channel."
- Solving the Omnichannel Disconnection Gap – Chain Store Age
- Online chiefs neglected – The Independent
- Why the Trader Joe’s model benefits workers – and the bottom line – National Journal
- Sainsbury’s staff set for £4.3m windfall – The Telegraph
- Ocado exec Tony Rivenell joins Waitrose as omnichannel boss – The Grocer
- Sainsbury’s online boss Jon Rudoe steps into expanded role – The Grocer
On the whole, are store associates currently being given the tools and incentives needed to embrace omnichannel selling? How will the retail push for omnichannel change the way store associates are compensated?