3 Key Takeaways from RetailEXPO 2019
This year at RetailEXPO 2019, a major retail event in Europe with over 15,000 retail attendees, we heard a great deal of discussion about the future of retail and how to adequately prepare for it. How do retailers provide customers with the convenient, omnichannel experience they desire? What tools are out there to make a retailer’s shopping experience stand out amongst the rest?
What we found was that the future of retail is anything but bleak, and that retailers need to implement new, innovative strategies to simplify work at stores and transform store and labour operations.
Here are our key takeaways from this year’s RetailEXPO:
1. Increase Speed of Communication to Your Store Colleagues
One theme that was emphasised throughout the conference was the need for store colleagues to get key information more quickly, so they can be in the right place in the store at the right time, completing the right tasks. At our stand, we discussed how retail solutions such as workforce management, real-time task management, and mobile employee self-service solutions could make work simpler for store colleagues.
These solutions provide store colleagues in real time with a prioritized list of daily tasks, give them the ability to easily view and modify their schedules, and ensure that they are scheduled according to store workload and other critical factors. By simplifying work for store colleagues, retailers can give them more time to help customers and increase sales.
2. Transform Your Store Operations
One of the key challenges that retailers face is how to complete critical in-store tasks with the time available to them, all while providing the excellent retail experience customers desire. Dave Tyas, Retail Change Lead at Co-op, gave a talk about how real-time task management is helping them simplify store operations and give store colleagues time to work more closely with customers.
With real-time task management, Co-op’s store colleagues are able to use mobile devices to access a personalised list of tasks while on the store floor, ensuring that they could complete projects more quickly and more effectively.
3. Focus on the Customer Experience
Everybody at RetailEXPO was talking about how they could create a unique customer experience. Whether it was exciting omnichannel services, personalised interactions with store colleagues, or implementing cutting-edge interactive technology, everybody was thinking about how they could provide customers with an experience that their competition isn’t.
Much of the conversation centered around focusing on how to improve the store as a whole. If omnichannel services like click and collect are implemented to help customers, how can they be optimised to be convenient and effective? The retailers we spoke to reinforced the need to continue to simplify store operations and ensure that store colleagues always know what needs to be done, so they can consistently focus on improving everything that touches the customer experience, setting themselves apart from the competition.
For more strategies to help you improve the customer experience and empower your store colleagues, read our recent report, “Stop the Clocks: How to Derive Extra Value from the Labour Hour.”