Such data are not available for more than 2,000 rural counties, however; to include those areas in our analysis, we have combined statistics on rural counties by state. When these amalgamations are added in, we have a nationwide data set spanning 742 “counties” (as we will call them for simplicity).

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These touchpoints can include website navigation, customer reviews, customer service interactions, and so on. Product assortment is one of the key strategies retailers use to increase revenue and other KPIs, both in-store and online.

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If you’re banking on the strategy of “make it as complicated as possible and customers just won’t return anything,” your store might not be around for long. Instead, make it easy to return items in general by providing access to support or FAQs. Better yet, save more by making self-serve returns a reality instead of requiring any time from your team.

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Next, let’s look at employment trends for traditional retailers and nonstore retailers. In addition, department stores have seen steeper job losses than other types of retailers in recent years and may be among the most vulnerable to the rise of online shopping.


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For example, it will be smart to send a voice-chat invitation to a consumer after offering high touch assistance. Which, to Bonnie Patten of, seems like a whole lot of work.