Using tech to attract and retain good staff in Retail:  Top Tips.

The UK retail sector’s recovery is being hampered by a lack of staff driving demand for trained workers to its highest level since 1988. The industry was suffering before Covid-19 escalated into a crisis in March of 2020 with job cuts and insolvencies.

As we ease into a slow recovery, it’s clear that the labour pool across retail and hospitality is stretched, so, how can retailers get ahead of the curve to recruit and retain talent?

Technology is at the forefront of everything people do today.

Mobile devices, apps, machine learning and automation allows the consumer (i.e., us) to get what they want almost exactly at the moment they want it. This has in turn caused a shift in customer expectations and a change in consumer behaviour. Today’s consumers are constantly connected and digitally savvy, they know what they can do with technology, and these digitally savvy consumers are working in retail. They expect the same from their employer. If retailers want to succeed in finding and keeping the best ambassadors for their brands, then technology is the enablement piece. 

Provide the tools for success.

Front line retail employees are the face of the business. They have the closest interactions with customers and therefore, shape customer perceptions. On a day-to-day basis, they will help execute the customer-facing component of the business strategy. If employees’ emotional commitment to a brand and their daily work is weak, then the execution will be weak.

Make sure your staff have the tools and applications they need to achieve their goals and take responsibility for their store’s performances – from technology to training. 

Empower employees to personalise experiences.

In a nutshell, make it easy for your staff to interact with customers. Technology can help to automate and improve operational activity, freeing up retail staff to provide quality interactions with customers. Also, and importantly, retail staff expect to use technology to improve and streamline their everyday tasks. They want – and expect – the right information, in the right way for right now customer service.

A great example how technology can support this is through mobile POS. mPOS systems are today more than just payment terminals, they also serve to enhance customer engagement by integrating with back-end processes, like inventory, for a more holistic retail management operation. mPOS technology enables employees to move from behind the cash register to interact with customers. 

Accelerate safety and productivity.

Contactless checkout is in demand like never before. BOPIS and curbside pickup options have been rolled out or expanded at breakneck speeds.  This is great news, not just for customers but employees too. These technologies are great for limiting physical interactions. They can also reduce repetitive processes, cut queues, and free up employee time – making them more productive, more efficient, and able to double down on human connections.

As retailers embrace this new landscape, technology must be considered as a core component to equip their employees to deliver the smooth CX customers expect.

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