The rise of online shopping is highlighting the importance of shop assistants being trained to deal with customer queries.
A study out of the US by Motorola Solutions shows nearly two thirds of retail managers believe shoppers are better connected to information through mobile devices, than shop staff.
New Zealand Retailers Association CEO John Albertson says it'll be good customer service which keeps the bricks and mortar stores alive.
He says listening skills and product knowledge are crucial.
Mr Albertson says while retailers will frequently say they need to provide more training to staff, few go ahead with it.