The 2016 A.T. Kearney Achieving Excellence in Retail Operations (AERO®) study uncovers both the good and the bad in this new era of store operations. The good: a clear and consistent trend of “smarter” retail—store operations strategies and metrics that connect with the new omnichannel environment.
On the other hand, retailers are struggling to adopt these smarter strategies and metrics. While technology is the top retail investment today, there’s limited visibility on the returns on investment. Amid the noise of technology investment and omnichannel integration, store associates are often overlooked as crucial conduits for improved store performance. And importantly, the study points to a misalignment between consumer expectations and retailer offerings, with retailers investing in services that customers may not want, need, or expect, particularly in terms of fulfillment, in-store technology, and social engagement.
The AERO study provides insights into how retailers around the globe can improve their operations. This year’s study was based on more than 100 responses from senior retail executives across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific, as well as a survey of nearly 800 North American consumers.