By Cameron Wakefield, Director of Customer Success, ReStore for Retail
Join us as we embark on an exploration of how humans, armed with mobile computers, and empowered by AI, will shape the future of retail.
I believe Doug Engelbart might very well have been thinking about the retail sales floor when he said, “Computers won’t replace humans, humans with computers are replacing humans.”
Today, the retail industry is at an inflection point. There are two huge converging waves of technological change hitting the industry. These waves include the ever-evolving mobile device technology (typically phones, handhelds, and tablets) and artificial intelligence (AI).
All of us carry mobile technology. From mobile phones to tablets and smartwatches -mobile technology has changed the way we communicate, learn and work together. But mobile technology is only beginning to make its way into the hands of the store managers and associates on the retail sales floor.
We are beginning to see more and more sales managers and associates carrying mobile devices on the sales floor. These mobile devices, many provided by the retailer to use when on the floor, are helping to manage what activities they accomplish during their shifts, and how they execute them.
Despite the loss of in-store sales to online, the technological advances have helped store operations and thus, advanced the in-store customer experience. Visual merchandisers have the ability to use email to send photos of store displays, no longer requiring such frequent in-store visits from district managers. Turnaround times for feedback and changes from district managers to visual merchandisers has decreased, but many still lack an organizational tool to manage their daily store operations and communicate directly and efficiently with their corporate offices.
Technology can allow store employees to instantly check stock, show in-store customers online-only products, communicate with off-site management, and more. These mobile technology advances are also changing how the retail industry trains its store employees. Most retail managers are familiar with the 70-20-10 framework for training:
* 70 percent of learning happens on the job;
* 20 percent from co-workers; and
* 10 percent formal training from a Learning Management System (LMS) training module or an offsite training course
By amplifying the 70 and the 20, we can get more than investments in LMS systems will ever give us.
What many retailers may not be aware of is that today’s technology and use of interactive visual media can lend itself to nearly all in-store employee training. Most retailers focus too much on formal training, rather than on-the-job and co-worker enabled training.
Mobile visual media technology, like Hilco Global’s ReStore for Retail platform, can be an employee’s pocket companion and primary learning tool while on the job. This technology allows employees to use interactive visual media to learn and complete critical tasks supported by guides to deliver real-time, bi-directional feedback from managers at the click of a button. For most of us who are visual learners, ReStore for Retail enables managers to receive visual validation of their employees' learning development.
Additionally, ReStore for Retail provides bi-directional collaboration and feedback between peers across stores to drive motivation for improvement. ReStore for Retail empowers employees through strong sense of purpose and recognition and uses these motivators to enable managers and associates to deliver a better customer experience. The feedback from managers through these mobile technology platforms helps store associates feel more confident in their abilities and grow secure in their positions, which ultimately reduces in-store employee turnover rates.
To empower teams with a learning aid in their pocket, our customers use Hilco Global’s ReStore for Retail solution. ReStore for Retail is a mobile, in-store execution platform that uses media to close the gap between strategy and execution. It empowers retailers to get back to the business of retailing - by simplifying daily store operations so staff can spend more time connecting with customers and improving their bottom line.
About ReStore for Retail
ReStore for Retail is an independent operating unit of Hilco Global, one of the world’s leading retail authorities. To learn more about ReStore for Retail’s tech-enabled solutions, please visit www.restoreforretail.com.