Retailers adjust to customers' evolving shopping strategies

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The retail business is being upended as new customer-facing technologies infiltrate stores and change the shopping experience.  Baseline magazine's Samuel Greengard took an in-depth look at the ways retailers are using mobility, analytics, social media and product life-cycle management technologies to improve efficiency and customer interaction.

It wasn't that long ago that bar-coding, combined with analytics and supply-chain management systems, made retailers' efficiency soar when it came to back-office tasks like managing ERP and supply-chain issues, Greengard notes. But with social media and mobile technologies at their fingertips, consumers are better equipped than ever before to be informed buyers, creating a new set of challenges.

To address the customer's evolving shopping habits, outdoor specialist Moosejaw started doing away with fixed point-of-sale boxes in its stores throughout Michigan and Illinois. The company gave sales clerks iPod Touches with barcode scanners and credit card readers instead. The idea is to give clerks more time with customers and let them check on inventory, pricing and other information as needed.

Where checkout lanes once took up space, there is additional room to show off Moosejaw's merchandise or let customers hang out and relax. The Birmingham, Mich., store offers comfortable seating, a flat-screen TV and a pingpong table.

For more:
- see Samuel Greengard's article at Baseline

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