Smart stores and knowledge workers

by. Bill Prichard

We are all retail customers. By looking at the consumer centric world of retail, credit unions can learn a great deal about member attitudes toward customer service and transactional experiences. Although much of what’s changing in retail has to do with omnichannel shopping, the in-store experience is also evolving. Not surprisingly, technology is driving those changes as well.

“Both the retailer and the consumer are looking for [a] sense of personal link,” explains Eduardo Conrado, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at retail consulting group Motorola Solutions. “And it’s not necessarily going to be driven through the proprietor [as a person], but it’s going to be driven by technology providing the right data so they know who you are.”

Evolving technology creates what IBM Global Business Services Vice President Jill Pulieri calls “playgrounds for the millennial.” Her examples: smart mirrors that show what a dress might look like in another color, or smart hangers that show how many shoppers liked – or disliked – the garment at hand. It’s gathering and delivering information at warp-speed to create a new form of personalized service.

Meanwhile, “Every retail employee will become a knowledge worker,” says Luis Llamas, Director of Enterprise Innovations at Motorola. Retailers must ensure that customer-facing employees have the data they need to respond intelligently and provide experiences that are technology enabled.

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