How retailers can stay competitive with customer service

While a few companies were early to introduce new service strategies that took advantage of cutting-edge technologies and trends, many are now playing catch up.

While a few companies were early to introduce new service strategies that took advantage of cutting-edge technologies and trends, many are now playing catch up. In light of ecommerce's extreme popularity and the growing number of smartphone owners, retailers are struggling to retain customers and get them to follow through with purchases while they're still in the store.

It's becoming more common for consumers to go into stores, interact with a product they are interested in purchasing, but leave it on the shelf. Instead of buying it in the store, they can go home to browse ecommerce sites for the best price and buy the item online.

However, some retailers are actually on their way to growth instead of losing sales, according to a study by Colliers International. By injecting money into the business, developing new brand strategies and marketing in more relevant ways, they have been able to regain control. The report noted a number of trends among success stories - they were willing and able to reinvest in the business, put a focus on high performing stores, found a way to provide a better in-store experience and started using service as a selling point.

Macy's and PetSmart are two companies that have adjusted their business and service models to reflect consumers' preferences. Macy's is implementing a virtual concierge kiosk that embraces omnichannel retailing. Shoppers will be able to use the system to get custom recommendations of beauty products.

PetSmart, on the other hand, has decided to expand its services at many locations by allowing pets to board there overnight. Reuters explains that these companies are going the extra mile to attract customers, but also pamper them while they are in the store.

"If retailers aren't experimenting, then they are doomed to fail," said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail.