With retailers increasingly relying on leaner, more flexible workforces, store associates are expected to be even more productive, doing more and more diverse tasks in less time.
So what are some of the most common struggles that store associates face on the shop floor and how can tech help to overcome them?
1. When the store gets busy
It's noon and Jane is serving a growing queue of people in a rush to get some lunch and head back to the near office building. A customer approaches the till with a complaint - the salad boxes are out of stock. Jane can't simply abandon the till but out of stocks mean lost customers. So what should she do first?
Providing Jane with an intelligent to do list helps to prevent hectic situations like that. The tasks on Jane's list are prioritised based on data from multiple in-store systems like POS, CRM, e-commerce and inventory management. For example, data shows that salad boxes are the most sold product between 12-1pm so at 11.30 Jane will get an alert on her mobile device to stock the shelves. This way she can focus on serving customers during rush hour.
2. When even the checklists have checklists...
Planogram compliance, promotional compliance, on shelf availability, cleanliness, health and safety on the shop floor - Jane needs to perform routine checks daily to ensure that all in-store standards are met. However, filling in a pen and paper compliance checklist is time-consuming, increases the chance of manual mistakes and, let's face it, is tedious.
The solution is to digitise and bring all checklists into one intuitive, mobile user interface so Jane can perform the daily checks in minutes and instantly submit reports to the head office in a standardised format. No more carrying around those tedious clipboards!
3. When customers prefer talking to their mobiles
Jane's favourite part of the day is talking to customers. It can be disheartening for her when a customer asks her a question that she does not know the answer of. She can check at the back office but customers rarely have the patience to wait and just take out their mobile phones. In fact, 60% of shoppers use their mobiles in-store to inform their buying decisions . If Jane is equipped with a mobile device (or brings her own!) with the right software and cyber security system, she can quickly access information on all available products, promotions, customer reviews and instantly respond to any customer query.
4. When customers are "Not interested, thanks"
Jane's monthly performance is based in part on her abilty to up- and cross-sell. The problem is that customers might feel pressured into buying things that they are not interested in. So how can Jane offer the products that they would find genuinely useful? With access to their shopping history - both in-store and online, Jane can better understand the customers' preferences and provide them with customised offers, complementing their recent purchases.