It’s a fascinating time for the retail industry. On one hand, you have the likes of Amazon Go where the focus is purely on speed and convenience and, on the other, you have retailers intent on delivering a truly memorable in-store experience for their customers.
In the first example, there’s no staff at all. Customers walk into the store, download the Amazon Go app, do their shopping and then leave. It’s as simple as that. There’s no queues, no cash handed over, and no frustrations in the self service checkout area. Once the shopper leaves, they’re then sent a receipt straight to their phone. And, with plans to open another six stores this year, it’s clear Amazon believes this is, in part, what the future of retail looks like.
In the second example (and the complete opposite from the Amazon model), people are the key ingredient. It’s the retailer’s staff who are in prime position to provide the best shopping experience to their customers. The secret to success is empowering these staff or ‘customer champions’ to be able to deliver the best experience possible.
Workforce management for retail
As stated in this report: “It’s important to note technology will fuel - not curb - the rise of brick and mortar retail. Traditional store formats may be on the decline, but innovative stores — ones that offer great shopping experiences — will continue to emerge.”
The technology fuelling the rise of the in-store experience include things like workforce management software, point of sale systems and the ability to harness big data to make better decisions.
And it’s thanks to a modern, mobile-first, and cloud-based retail workforce management system that leading fashion retailer, GANT, has been able to reduce the time they spend on their scheduling process and the associated follow-ups by 75%.
For GANT, this has meant their managers are able to spend more time working in the store, with both their employees and their customers. As Retail Operations Manager, Tomas Andersson, says, this utilisation of technology to empower people has had a huge impact.
Download the case study below to read the full success story from GANT.
“Thanks to the flexibility of the workforce management system we use, we’re able to optimise fixed schedules. This means the base for a schedule is set, which includes the number of employees at opening and closing. Thereafter, staff are added depending on needs, for example at times when sales are high and we have deliveries.“Previously we did our scheduling in Excel,” he says. “Introducing a web-based system has made a big difference and we’re so pleased. We have a much smoother scheduling process.
“What’s more, the mobile app has considerably improved the way we communicate with staff and it’s now faster and easier for us to reach employees with important information. We also communicate our schedules with staff six months in advance which makes it much easier for them to plan their spare time.”
GANT’s success hasn’t just been limited to their front of house operations. Thanks to the time punch function within the workforce management system they use (and its integration into their payroll system), their manual payroll administration has completely disappeared.
It’s this smart use of technology to optimise the way they operate which is putting retailers like GANT ahead of the competition. In the face of a range of challenges, like changing customer behaviours and expectations, they are leading the way by utilising software to be more efficient, to give more to their staff and, as a result, provided a better experience and service to their customer.
Why not see how much you could be saving with a cloud-based, mobile first workforce management solution? Try our Return on Investment Calculator to find out.