In recent years, shopping and technology have gone hand-in-hand while ecommerce booms. However, retailers are learning that in order to drive traffic to their physical locations, they need associates who can deliver the instant expertise that consumers desire.

At NRF 2019, I spoke with Samsung’s Hamshy Raveendran about overcoming challenges in the retail environment and keeping up with today’s connected consumers.

“The biggest pain point for retailers right now is facing the hyper-connected consumer. [Retailers need to] meet consumers where they’re at to help them with know-how, speed and wayfinding,” Raveendran said.

Technology allows consumers to educate themselves on products before entering the store. In order to provide value to the educated consumer, associates need to be even more informed than the customer to answer all of their questions. For instance, if you’re going into Bloomingdale’s and looking to buy a new pair of jeans, you might have already compared all of the different brands, cuts and prices — well before you’ve even picked up a pair off the rack.

“Retailers understand that if they need to meet the hyper-connected consumer, they need to equip their associates with the best-in-class tools, powered by capabilities like AI and voice to provide that high-touch personalized experience,” Raveendren added.

Consumers are using devices such as phones, tablets, wearables and digital displays to stay in the know about their favorite products. By providing associates with access to these same devices, retailers can avoid disconnect with their shoppers and deliver more memorable experiences — leading to more sales.

Retailers are improving associate performance with data and mobile devices, assisted by Samsung.