The Impact of Personalized Engagement with Customers and Efficient Stock Management Software Systems on Customer Service at a Clothing Retailer in Cape Town, South Africa
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
In today's day and age, technology is a major game changer in the retail industry. Parallel variables were explored concurrently to establish their simultaneous impact on customer service. The study sought to determine the impact personalized engagement on customers, as well as the impact that efficient stock management software systems on customers using a clothing retailer in Cape Town as a case study. The study also sought to explore the challenges and opportunities that retailers face when
... etailers face when they use technology in the customer service delivery process. The methodology used in this study involved a combination of quantitative and qualitative research. The study consisted of 55 respondents specific to the chosen location. Based on the study, retailer's still face challenges of incorporating technology to improve customer service, on an "Omnichannel" level. Technological advancements would include handheld devices operated by sales assistants and/or customers, acquiring quick and accurate product information; interactive stand-alone digital touch-screen displays allowing customers to access in store and online product and service information; mobile apps and online store fully synchronised with the retailers stock software systems, virtual personalized models and customized online 'wardrobe', all connected by intelligent technological in store infrastructure. Retailers have many opportunities in the form of implementing rapidly developing technology throughout physical and online stores to create a hybrid leading retail platform where virtual meets physical shopping, under one roof. The study concludes by recommending that retailers should move off out-dated systems currently employed (i.e. the legacy systems), onto innovative stock software systems. Thus, bringing current inventory software systems up to a level where they are able to interface with technologies mentioned in this study, to improve customer satisfaction. 41 retailers. Due to these conditions, it became evident to the researcher that development of stock management software systems, in conjunction with the training of sales associates on efficient utility of software, is fundamental to combat customer dissatisfaction and complaints. The researcher hoped to, and has developed intellectual insight on the expectations of customers, the efforts of retailers and reality. The Research Problem The main problem faced by the specific clothing retailer lies in providing customers with quick, efficient and accurate product information. Sales assistants are required to check time-consuming POS systems when seeking product information requested by customers. Consequentially, the long-haul process taints customers' shopping experiences. Retailers require flexible, easy and smart inventory software platforms accessible to customers. Current technical systems employed by the clothing retailer specific to this study, are outdated and inefficient time wasters. A basic approach has been taken to develop the selected clothing retailer's online store, which is characterized by the lack of interaction or fun created when visiting the website. Customers are able to "get the job done" and purchase items they desire, however it does not go the extra mile to help look after customers. Technology channels implemented by this retailer do not enhance the company offerings in terms of product or services, only performing the basic functionality of the online system.