SOURCE: EKN Research

EKN Research

July 23, 2015 14:54 ET

EKN Research Unleashes Study on Labor for Omni-Channel Success

According to New EKN Study, Developing Engaged and Empowered Field or Store Employees Yields a 16.5% Year-on-Year Improvement in KPIS Related to Sales, Customer Engagement and Customer Satisfaction

RANDOLPH, NJ--(Marketwired - July 23, 2015) - According to a new benchmark report by EKN, Managing and Engaging Modern Labor for Omni-Channel Success, only 4 in 10 retailers are satisfied with their current labor hour models. The in-store labor model is experiencing one of the biggest transformations as responsibilities shift to accommodate Omni-channel processes, labor costs are rising, and qualified talent is harder to find. Retailers are looking more and more to partner with their suppliers and third-party labor providers to bolster in-store service levels to meet the needs of the customer. With over 8.8 million in-store workers and another 4-million suppliers or third-party in-store support staff, the stakes are high to get the model right.

Store or field employees only spend a third of their time on customer sales and service, while a majority of the time is spent on operational tasks such as merchandising and inventory management, back room functions, administrative tasks and support & maintenance. However, if retailers can get the labor model right, it pays big dividends. Retailers reported 16.5% year-on-year improvement in KPIs related to sales, customer engagement and customer satisfaction as a result of engaged & empowered sales associates.

"Retailers, brands and third party companies all have a role to play in evolving labor models that not only support in-store merchandising and fulfillment tasks but also sales and customer service," said Sahir Anand, VP & Principal Analyst at EKN Research. "In the digital retail age, a more balanced labor model that both addresses operations and sales/customer service effectiveness will do wonders for consumer satisfaction and repeat sales."

According to EKN's analysis, retailers and brands need to re-assess store labor models by type of labor tasks, time utilization, overall sales and customer engagement effectiveness by taking Omni-channel customer service needs into consideration in areas such as: Offers and promotions, order management, fulfillment, returns, etc.

The report, sponsored by Natural Insight and MarketSource, is based on a survey of more than 85 U.S.-based retailers, suppliers and manufacturers and outlines key actionable recommendations for retailers on how they can work more closely with suppliers and 3rd party labor providers to drive a better and more efficient labor model.

Click here to download the report. To learn more about how to participate in future EKN surveys or inquire about access to the EKN Advisory Board Committees, please contact David Weinand at

About EKN
EKN ( is a research and content service that was built based on feedback and advice from retail executives. Part of the Edgell Communications ( family, EKN is a subscription-based portal that provides retailers with access to the site's powerful decision-support and data analysis tools, allowing them to leverage EKN's industry-leading database of original research, user-generated vendor indexes and market trends. EKN also lets members share insights and real-world experiences through ongoing peer forums, both virtual and in person.

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