As the pandemic has passed, in-store shopping has somewhat returned to its pre-pandemic state which is evident from the store footfall this year during the holiday season. According to research, retailers witness 30-45% more sales during the festive season. Given the importance of the holiday season to the retail sector, staffing the business vertical has become critical for ecosystem players.
Labor shortages can have a huge impact on small businesses
The role of the physical store is evolving, but it is still important to the customer experience. According to a study, shopper interactions in self-service methods continue to grow globally with nearly half of shoppers citing that they have used self-checkout, and nearly four in 10 have used cashless payment methods. A similar trend is observed in India and other APAC markets where 47% of shoppers use self-checkout, while 46% of those surveyed opt for cashless payment methods.
For a large retailer, the consequences of being short-staffed may be minimal, limited to shifting employees from the backroom to the front of the store for a few hours. However, for small businesses, the impact can be significant and can hurt their bottom line, as a few staff calls can lead to zero staffing – and a complete store closure – for the entire day. .
Coordination of operations between the back and front of the store
There is often little overlap between store front and back office operations in a small retail business. The right technology can help ensure that there is no disconnect between the two operations and increase efficiency when moving physical items between the front and back of the store.
Developing partners with enterprise class mobile devices can add significant mobility and transparency to the inventory management process. This technology gives sales associates an understanding of what products are available or scheduled to be available to ensure they are available to receive and replenish items when trucks arrive, and better support customers. It also makes the overall inventory management process less time-consuming and more efficient than previous methods, which relied on paper and pen to track item locations, sales, and more.
Offer mobile payment and more
Small businesses can add automation and efficiency to inventory management, sales, and more by embracing technology initiatives such as self-service kiosks or payment systems, passive tablets and additional products. point of sale (POS) or handheld computers with built-in barcode scanners and access with radio frequency identification (RFID) sleds.
Mobile technology allows for a seamless customer experience, giving employees more tools to help shoppers in the moment, wherever they are. For example, with product knowledge in the palm of their hand, customers can provide a better experience by answering questions more effectively and providing more information about a product without leaving the customer’s side.
Kiosks can also serve as POS terminals to efficiently process transactions, while tablets and handheld computers can support partner-operated mobile POS. This can help to avoid the situation where one employee is stuck behind the register while many customers in the store need attention.
Match the needs of your friends
A way to overcome staff shortages is to provide mobile devices with software that helps schedule staff or allows staff to automatically request a shift when they can’t make a shift. This will make it less likely that only one employee will be in the store at any given time.
Additionally, hiring technology can help develop and retain a younger workforce, which is a long-term solution to this current employment problem. Millennials will make up about 75% of the future workforcewhile Generation Z, born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, is predicted to make up 30% of the workforce by 2030..
Moving forward, meeting the workforce’s on-the-job technical needs will be critical to improving performance and maintaining a strong and motivated workforce. Fortunately, for many small businesses, the technology behind marketing plans has become more relevant than ever. There are enterprise-grade devices built for small business needs and budgets, as well as cloud-based services that make both hardware and software easy and affordable to deploy and manage.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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