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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Retail Systems Research Report on the State of the Store

Retail Systems Research continues to produce interesting and relevant stories and reports for retailers in an age of technology.  In one recent report RSR discusses their annual study on the "state of the store" or retailing.  Here is a quick quip:
Our findings consistently show retailers understand the importance of creating a better in-store shopping experience for their customers. However, in 2010 it became clear that armed with more technology than most store employees and managers, the consumer was crafting her own experience – and much of it was outside the boundaries of the store’s four walls. The question is no longer, “How can we make the in-store experience as satisfying as the web?” It has become, “How can we make our stores more significant than showrooms for on-line merchants?”

As stores think more about increasing traffic, and providing more and more products and services online, several of the lessons within the report are worth examining.  Key lessons in this year's report seem to focus on the importance of making sure that the people on the floor are educated in the products being offered.  The report also discusses the importance of using technology in retail to engage customers, and in doing so available technologies can drive customers to the store rather than away from it. 

The 29 page report is available for free with site registration and is worth the time to download and read. There is more than one actionable takeaway that retailers can pull from the piece.

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