As recently as the 1990s, one of the areas where retailers excelled was high-touch customer service. Then came the aughts. “I think we went through this period in the early 2000s where companies were pulling sales associates out of the store because they were trying to save money and reduce costs. And then e-commerce came,” said Cate Khan, co-founder and chief strategy officer of social shopping platform Verishop. Service, however, was a way these traditional players could get a leg up over e-commerce brands. Intimacy between the sales associate and the consumer is probably the most opportunistic area for retailers because it creates a personal connection, according to Greg Portell, lead partner in the consumer practice of consulting firm Kearney. Read more at Adweek.