The Candid Voice in Retail Technology: Objective Insights, Pragmatic Advice

How Is The Retailer/Employee Dynamic Changing?

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While retailers have often talked a good game about how valuable their employees are, cold truth commonly reveals that many treat employees as a highly disposable commodity. With so much disruption in the word right now, however, that model no longer works.

We wanted to understand how retailers are changing to meet the times – or, at the very least, how they plan to. So we recently launched some custom research, commissioned by Ceridian, to find out what “the new normal” is doing to the retailer/employee dynamic.

Some of the key findings?

  • Retailers who generally outperform the competition are more responsive to the impact of disruptions, whether those disruptions are caused by disease, climate change, a contentious election, or social-issue-related protests/boycotts/riots. With that awareness, they have key plans to address the effects of those disruptions.
  • Our respondents recognize that the responsibility for overcoming the challenges they face sits in their own enterprises. The most frequently cited improvements they say they’ll need to solve these challenges are around labor forecasting and scheduling, better training tools, and the ability to better monitor how frontline employees are performing as brand representatives.
  • Retailers across different verticals also have differing views on the importance of the Organizational Inhibitors preventing them from moving forward. Those selling Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) are plagued by poor reporting. Hard goods retailers seem flummoxed by an inability to make necessary organizational changes given the different ways customers now shop. Those selling general merchandise still don’t believe they are taking full advantage of their employees as assets.
  • And When we look at the Technology Enablersthey employ, we find sales overperformers (Retail Winners) place a higher value on every workforce process and enabling technology available to manage their workforce. The most highly prized workforce management technologies help them better handle the rapidly increasing demand for buy online/pickup in store functionality, as well as those that allow business users to make snap decisions without relying on IT, but their appetite is FAR greater across the board than those with average and lagging sales.

As always, we also offer several in-depth and pragmatic suggestions on how retailers should proceed. These recommendations can be found in the Bootstrap Recommendations portion of the report, and if you haven’t downloaded it yet – you should. It’s full of compelling data at a time when so much is unknown.

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Newsletter Articles November 24, 2020
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