Interesting debate recently (at RetailWire) about whether retailers are becoming overly reliant on technology to drive customer service and if it is actually backfiring. I have a mixed view on this one:
Tech solutions such as improved inventory management (RFID, for example) and line management at the checkout lane are actually positive for the customer. Most shopping happens in self-service environments, outside of the most “high-touch” types of stores. And even the Nordstroms of the world can benefit from good replenishment systems.
Where the tech advancement has fallen down lately is the increased emphasis on omnichannel solutions. Tasks such as BOPIS and ship-from-store are also distracting store associates from dealing as effectively as possible with the customers actually shopping in their stores.