Top Seven Ways Automation Improves The Productivity Of Retail Employees
Retail is one of the few sectors that would never run out of business. Whether online or brick-and-mortar, retail businesses will always have enough customers and suppliers to engage with, as far as they provide quality offerings. However, it has become challenging to manage retail businesses over time.
Major Retail Challenges In 2021
Here are a few major challenges faced by the retail industry in 2021:
- Customers' Shift To Digital Platforms
This is arguably the most significant challenge faced by brick-and-mortar retail. Digitization has allowed customers to select from various products available online and make purchases with a few simple clicks/taps. As more and more customers are switching to eCommerce, traditional retail stores face a lack of relevance. This also is the reason why retail shop owners are turning into online sellers.
- Issues In Finding The Right Technological Solutions
Retail business owners often have a range of technological solutions at their disposal to resolve specific issues. Whether they need to provide adequate employee support, streamline their customer services, automate their billing processes, or implement digitized accounting solutions, they will always find an array of options to choose from. This often confuses business people in making the right decisions, leading them to implement an inefficient solution. Heavily influenced decisions often prompt retailers to choose solutions that don't suit them well.
- Retaining Loyal Customers
Another major challenge faced by retailers today is the difficulty of retaining loyal customers. Despite losing relevance compared to eCommerce ventures, customers have several retail options for all possible products and services. As customers now have more options to choose from, retailers often fear losing them to finding a better alternative. Today, no matter how basic the products are, a retailer needs to stand out from the clutter to attract more customers and retain them over time.
This is what makes every retailer in the industry provide exclusive discounts to their customers and come up with promotional offers every once in a while. As the competition in the industry keeps getting more intense, retailers struggle to get a fair share of attention.
- The Dynamic Nature Of Customers
Gone are the days when trends used to last for years on end. In 2021, every fad comes and goes in a few months. It is extremely difficult for a retailer to ascertain challenging customers' demands as they keep changing at an alarming rate.
Retail businesses often struggle to gauge the seasonal nature of trends and the demands of their customers. A minor shift in demand may lead to an entire line of products getting irrelevant. Again, the most feasible way of combating this challenge is to innovate the approach to marketing and stand out from the clutter.
- Lack Of Sufficient Employee Support
Retail business people often struggle with providing streamlined support to their employees. The traditional approach to employee support is no longer sufficient to increase employee productivity in the retail sector. When employees obtain organized and automated support, they can leverage the services provided to the customers.
Improving Productivity Of Retail Employees Through Automation
In 2021, it is essential to incorporate digitization in almost every business process to obtain the desired results. Seamless process automation allows retail employees to increase the speed and efficiency of their processes.
Here are some of the major ways in which you can increase the productivity of your retail employees via automation:
- Minimizing Human Error
No matter how efficient and skilled your employees are, there will always be a scope of error when processes are carried out manually. Automation allows you to replace manual processes with technology-driven processes. When your employees use machines to carry out their processes, it reduces the scope of error committed by them.
Processes like managing orders, updating work orders, adding contractor names to the database, preparing budgets, etc. can be automated to reduce errors and increase the business's overall efficiency.
- Improved Reporting And Insights
Whether you go traditional or adopt modern processes, data will always play an important role in carrying out retail processes. Automation allows retail businesses to make the most of the database stored with them and obtain valuable insights. Through automated platforms, retail managers can obtain valuable insights into robust analytics, providing a holistic view of current, historical, and predictive business processes. These insights provide employees with easy access to all relevant insights, especially when retail businesses have outlets in multiple locations.
The technology allows managers to obtain a centralized view of all reports and analytics on a centralized platform. This way, the company can get a clear picture of the services provided, products sold, and the performance of their retail outlets on automated dashboards. When you automate your retail processes, it becomes easier for the management to make improved data-driven decisions.
- Ensuring Contractor Compliance
If you are willing to reduce operational risk, it is essential to make sure that your contractor is compliant. This is because compliant contractors are organized when tracking the business's financial status, keeping track of credentials, expiration of certifications, monitoring insurances and licenses, and much more.
Process automation allows a retail FM to view different contractors' profiles, download W9 and sales tax reports, review the rates, and view all relevant insurance information with ease and efficiency. Automation also allows managers to view the compliance status of the service providers and send automated notifications to the contractors who are not listed as compliant.
As retail managers are often occupied most of their time, automation helps them save time and effort to ensure that a contractor is compliant.
- Increasing Efficiency Of Business Processes
Retailers can increase the operational efficiency of business processes by streamlining them and helping the business save time and money. Process automation allows you to automate existing workflows and create new ones with the utmost efficiency.
This helps your team focus on processes that hold maximum importance and prioritize work accordingly. In all, implementing automated solutions helps you make sure that all your business processes provide you with the best possible results.
- Leveraging Brand Value
As discussed earlier, a retail business needs to stand out from the clutter and create its niche by retaining more customers. For this, it is essential to brand the retail venture well. Effective branding helps retailers create a unique identity for their brand and reach out to the customers in the best way possible.
Automation allows retailers to streamline all their processes, resulting in improved customer services. Whether it is coming up with unique and targeted marketing campaigns or providing highly personalized services, automation allows a retail business to earn a good reputation and brand value in the market.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
One of the most common challenges faced by retailers is providing personalized and streamlined services to their customers. Whether working on the feedback provided, answering their questions, or working on returns/replacements, retailers need to provide customer services with precision and efficiency. With process automation, retailers can reach out to the customers for sale and after-sale services. Automated software platforms allow retail employees to track customer complaints and feedback to work on the same. They help the customers interact with support executives in real-time to get their questions answered and issues resolved.
With automated tools, retailers can keep track of the issues received and resolve them to understand their support services' efficacy. This way, retail employees can add to their overall productivity by automating customer services.
- Automated Employee Support
When it comes to providing streamlined support services, it is equally important for a retail company to support its employees. Without efficient employee support, your employees cannot provide efficient services to the customers.
Retail businesses can provide automated employee support by implementing the modern employee service desk. These service desks are powered by AI and provide a personalized solution to the employees. The automated service desks are designed to understand the context of the issues faced by every employee and provide solutions that are tailored according to their specific needs and preferences. Apart from providing seamless employee support, an ai-powered modern service desk can also automate several processes. By setting specific triggers, retail employees can automate repetitive processes instead of carrying them out manually.
Further, if your employees require to be trained in specific micro-skills, the modern service desks can be used to train them the required skills with ease and efficiency.
Read More: Microlearning is super-efficient for employee training and experience.
The Final Word
These were some of the major ways in which the productivity of retail employees can be increased with the help of automation. It is advisable for both online and brick-and-mortar retail business owners to switch to automated platforms for getting the traction they are looking for.