Another valuable component to e-commerce is customer service. Big retailers are exploring in-store kiosks as a way to meet the expectations that their newly informed online customers bring into the store.
"When the customer enters the store with more complex questions, the retailer must be ready to fulfill those online expectations, so there's a new pressure," [Tamara Mendelsohn, consumer markets analyst at Forrester Research] said. "The sales rep can do research with the consumer at the kiosk, or use a handheld device" to access additional content while out on the floor, she said.
"If a customer walks into the store and needs a new printer cartridge, the consumer oftentimes can't remember which printer they have," noted [AMR Research senior retail analyst Rob Garf]. "But a kiosk can store their purchase history, and the customer can look it up at the kiosk to see what exactly they need."
In a macro sense, e-commerce technology is heading into full integration Latest News about integration with other sales channels so that retailers can have a comprehensive view of the customer, no matter how they shop.
"There's going to be more real-time integration, which is as much of a process issue as it is a technology issue," Garf said. "Store managers also will be spending more time educating their personnel about the many policies and procedures in play for the different channels so that the retail workers understand them."
You can find the full article here, which touches on a number of other technologies including e-commerce systems, electronic shoping carts (the web variety), and analytics packages.