Over the last few decades, the political powers of the world have embraced globalization and major trade deals have been enacted such as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This agreement allowed companies to move their factories abroad and to competitively sell to consumers on a global scale more easily. Another reason was that countries such as China and other Southeastern Asian countries offered cheaper labor and raw materials, giving the companies that were based in the U.S. and Western Europe an incentive to move their factories. For example, the average hourly compensation costs were only $1.74 in 2009 for manufacturing employees in China (Banister, 2013). Whereas the average manufacturing employee in the United States earn an approximate wage of $15.10 an hour (PayScale, 2019). Although these changes have led to the majority of manufacturers in developed countries to close and millions of people to lose their jobs, there are some positives to this as well. Moving the manufacturing to other countries has allowed these companies to lower their costs and lower their prices overall making their products more affordable due to globalization. Technological The evolution of department stores is a visual representation of the evolution of technological design in retail. Technology is on the rise along with the impact technology has on the operations of businesses. It has caused major changes in how businesses are run and how consumers react to experiences with companies. How companies interact with their customers is one of the biggest impacts that technology has had on the department store retail industry. This has turned into organizations providing customer services through social media. Recently, 67% of customers are using social media for customer service (Ahmed, 2017). Social media increases the availability of communication of companies to customers enabling them to
provide solutions to problems quickly through their mobile devices. Along with this though has come an increase in expectations from the customers that companies have to meet. They expect high-quality, quick responses. To increase a company’s brand and create a valuable link between them and their customers, it is important to have a good presence on social media. When companies use social media for customer service, they must be aware of the customer’s needs and continuously monitor their social media to keep their customers happy. To enhance the response times of their customer service on social media, companies are implementing artificial intelligence systems to create chatbots. Previously, the chatbots have not been able to provide quality customer service. Advances in technology have made it possible for companies to create chatbots that are indistinguishable from human beings (Eydman, 2018). Chatbots are very beneficial because they allow 24/7 customer service and are less expensive to implement than to hire a customer service representative (Eydman, 2018). By 2020, researchers predict that these artificial intelligence chatbots will make up 85% of customer relationships (De, 2018).
- Fall '08