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Retail Staff Must Change as Digital Takes Over

Retail Staff Must Change as Digital Takes Over

Leading directors in retail have said staff in stores will have to change how they work, as more shops begin to roll out digital solutions in their stores.

Retailers are planning to implement omnichannel solutions to tie up their mobile, online and in-store offerings, as part of a seamless customer experience.

When digital solutions finally hit the shop floor, existing shop assistants will have to be retrained and learn how to get the most out of their new tools.

David Williams, director of online in Europe for footwear retailer Deckers said: "Retail has got to change, store staff have got to change, area managers have got to change their way of thinking, and e-commerce teams have to as well," he said. "And it's tough. If you have a massive portfolio of 500 stores it's going to be hard.

"It's a wholesale change in how store staff are expected to do things they're not used to and they'll just be expected to stand there and try and sell stock from their stock room."

Williams believes ecommerce and operations teams need to work together to overcome the challenge.

He added: "It's very easy as an ecommerce team to build something and say 'here roll it out retail team, you start doing this'. There's a lot of operational procedure you need to consider and I think e-commerce teams need to understand more about what's happening in retail operations to give the best for the customer."

Jens Christian Buhl, ecommerce director at Danish retail company Bestseller, believes one of his main challenges at the moment is how to keep ecommerce fresh and agile.

He said: "Online is now a reasonable size of the business. So how do you keep that nimbleness, entrepreneurial spirit, speed of execution, ability to experiment without spending too much time actually conducting those experiments? How do you keep that mindset and freshness while it's slowly becoming more and more a traditional business?"


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