May 2, 2011, 10:50 AM

How to make store employees more involved in online and offline retail strategies

An IRCE speaker will talk about how to build cross-channel selling efforts.

Lead Photo

Nikki Baird

Coordinating online and offline retailing through such services as in-store pickup of online orders and in-store access to online customer reviews can help retailers reach new customers, increase customer loyalty and build incremental sales. But without supportive store staff, the benefits of cross-channel retailing can be elusive, says Nikki Baird, managing partner at research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research LLC.

At the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011, Baird will discuss how retail chains can encourage their store employees to support cross-channel retailing strategies in a session entitled “Selling the store staff on the web initiative.

Her conference session, she says, will address several ways that retailers can make bricks-and-mortar store employees more effective in cross-channel sales. She will talk about such areas as:

● How to best compensate store employees to support online as well as store sales.

● How and where to set up the best in-store pickup location for online orders.

● How to get cooperation from store employees to support an endless aisle strategy, which typically involves helping store shoppers search online for products not available in the store.

● Devising the best process for using in-store inventory to fulfill an online order that might otherwise be lost.

Baird will provide information from RSR’s research about cross-channel initiatives by retail chains, including case studies on how retailers have sold store employees on the benefits of cross-channel strategies.

“I’ll present what retailers want desperately to know,” she says, “but have a hard time speaking publicly about.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Baird to speak because of her expertise and extensive background in many aspects of online and offline retailing. At RSR Research, where she is a founding partner, Baird focuses on technologies supporting the retailer-consumer relationship, including loyalty, pricing and promotions, e-commerce, in-store technologies, workforce management and supply chain execution. Prior to RSR, Baird worked as a principal retail industry analyst at Forrester Research Inc.; director of marketing for StorePerform, a store execution management program now part of RedPrairie Corp.; director of product marketing for supply chain technology company Viewlocity; and a senior manager of I.T. strategy consulting for retail industry clients at PwC Consulting, now part of IBM Global Services.

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