Retailers often underutilise customer data, according to US-based management consulting firm AT kearney.

According to the 2013 Achieving Excellence in Retail Operations (Aero) Study, most of major retailers are leveraging the benefit of customer data sources.

However, less than half of them are reported to have collected the social network information through third party references.

Further, only 8% of the merchants realised the important contribution it makes in generating insights.

Commenting on the study, AT Kearney partner and co-author of the report Joel Alden stated: "Leading retailers encourage measurement of the right data, invest in the skills to gain insights from that data, and use those insights effectively to frame future actions."

The employees are said to have little encouragement to put in efforts towards growth of multi-channel retailing, if they are not measured in the strong performance of non-store business.

The AERO study also reported lack of involvement of mangers on the field operations.

The study observed that the district and regional level and above – managers are laden with responsibilities of more stores than reported in the 2010 study.

It has also cued the importance of front-line staff, who communicates with customers securing valuable insights about customer needs.

AT Kearney principal and co-author of the study Adam Pressman remarked: "The problem today is a lack of formal requirements or processes to gather these employee insights. Leading retailers create formal pipelines that capture and use these insights."