Enable your Retail Employees with a Modern Workplace
Technology adoption in retail has been happening at a breakneck speed. While customer experience has been the primary area of focus for retailers, there is also a growing awareness of the role that technology can play in improving productivity and employee engagement. This becomes more important in the context of retailers seeking future store experiences. Engaging customers better necessitates enabling employees more effectively to deliver such experiences.
Technology can provide retail employees with unprecedented flexibility and empower them to find new ways of working. Given the dynamic retail environment, the right digital technologies can help retailers develop the necessary business agility and competitive edge, with happier customers and an engaged workforce. Here are few technologies and solutions that are transforming the way the retail industry hires, manages, and engages with its workforce.
The growing popularity of cognitive technologies including AI/ML is also impacting HR processes and operations in the retail industry. HR management can often be complicated, especially in an industry like retail, where the workforce is dispersed across multiple locations.
Cognitive tools such as AI enabled chatbots can play an important role in enabling easy accessibility and round the clock support to employees. They can also play a role in supporting onboarding procedures, training and development programs specific to retail industry. AI can help measure performance accurately, in an unprejudiced manner, based on pre-decided metrics. Cognitive technologies can also effectively support HR employees by helping them discreetly run a sentiment analysis etc. to gauge and identify underlying issues. Moreover, the power of digital can create new channels of interactions without expending vast sums on deploying people across stores for first and second level issue resolutions.
Store Command Center
Empowering associates with real time analytics based on machine learning is gaining significance. Use of technologies such as camera based vision for planogram, shelf and store execution, deployment of experimental PoCs using AR/VR and bringing in the culture of immediate corrective actions based on new technology led indicators are becoming common. This means a rethink on how back office systems assist the store associate and the approaches needed to transform such systems by blending the core with the new.
Remote Interactive Training
In retail, training and development can be especially challenging since it is a fairly dynamic industry. Also, because the workforce is usually geographically dispersed in a developed retail landscape, bringing the entire workforce into a single physical location for training is challenging since it has a direct impact on revenue and productivity. The answer lies in deploying cloud-first and mobile-first solutions that are designed to provide a seamless interactive learning experience. One big advantage is that these are accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device.
A great example is Infosys Wingspan, our next-gen learning solution that can help retail organizations accelerate their talent transformation journey. Users can access best-in-class curated content from multiple sources. Each learner can map their individual learning journey that is tailored to their skills, roles, and goals. The solution is ML-enabled and provides relevant learning recommendations and guidance throughout the learning process.
Talent requirement in retail is not static and vary based on time, day etc. For example, stores need more staff during weekends and evenings since they get maximum footfall during these times. Holidays and shopping seasons also have an impact. Retailers can maximize productivity by matching demand and supply more accurately, using the right technology tools.
For example, Adia, a mobile-first, cloud-based, end-to-end online staffing platform launched by Adecco helps find the right talent in real time. Adia’s algorithm helps find the perfect job for workers not only as per their skills and level of experience but also takes into consideration things like how close do they stay to the place of work and what is the real-time availability of the job applicant. Retailers can use this platform to not only hire new staff, but also to plan shifts, issue contracts and approve timesheets etc., all in real time.
Smart and Modern Retail Workplace
A smart and modern workplace is an important factor in facilitating employee engagement, productivity, and retention across industries, including retail. It also helps in making the right impression on prospective customers and visitors and enhances brand perception. Employees greatly appreciate an environment that helps them work better and gives them an opportunity to grow their professional skills. Therefore, a smart workplace that leverages modern technologies such as cloud, IoT, AI, analytics etc. needs to be a central focus area for all retail employers and people interacting with the brand. We have also partnered with niche startups to bring the latest employee experiences on mobile with regards to facilities management, room reservations as well as visitor management.