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Study: Retailers give store associates more seamless capabilities

Store associate

Store associates are rapidly gaining the ability to provide shoppers with omnichannel services.

According to the annual Omnichannel Leadership Report from NewStore, close to seven in 10 (68%) store associates are using a mobile device in 2019, up from 60% in 2018 and 10% in 2017. The study, which assesses the omnichannel capabilities of over 200 luxury, premium, and lifestyle retailers, found the overall omnichannel competence score of assessed retailers as only 40 out of a 1-to-100 scale (with 100 as top score).

Nevertheless, the study also reveals significant omnichannel momentum. Data reveals 51% of store associates now have access to organization-wide inventory levels from a mobile device, up from 39% in 2018. And 58% of store associates can see omnichannel purchase history, up from 32% in 2018.

Almost half (47%) of associates can perform an endless aisle purchase for customers in-store, up from 33% in 2018. Three-quarters (74%) of brands allow the use of digital payments in-store, up from 57% in 2018.

Other interesting findings include:
•    90% of retailers still have a traditional cash-wrap.
•    56% of retailers offer buy online return in store (BORIS).
•    33% of retailers offer mobile checkout.

The study also ranked the top five “omni leaders,” the retailers with the most advanced omnichannel capabilities for 2019-2020. They are:
1.    Nike
2.    Athleta
3.    Moncler
4.    Louis Vuitton
5.    Banana Republic

“The brands that really struggle are those that operate online and in-store in silos, on systems that were never built with other channels in mind,” said Stephan Schambach, founder and CEO, NewStore. “The key to omnichannel is having a single system for real-time omni data - inventory, customers and orders. And more importantly, putting this in the hands of store associates.”

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