Key Challenges Facing Retailers

We look at some of the operational challenges facing retailers and how CPL Learning can support you with them.

The landscape of retail operation has undergone huge transformational changes over the last ten years. From rapidly evolving technologies and the rise in e-commerce to the unexpected challenges brought about during 2020, the retail sector has had to change, evolve, and adapt.

One of our ongoing commitments is to help shape our products to meet the specific challenges faced by the retail sector. So, as we settle into 2021, we look at some of the operational challenges facing retailers and how we can support you with them.

Challenges Facing Retailers

Internal communications

Internal communications play a vital role in every business, but it is especially important for retail operators. Your teams on the shop floor are predominantly made up of deskless workers with no company email address and around half of all retail employees working part-time. All of these factors contribute to a challenging environment to effectively communicate internally and your teams could be missing out on important information such as seasonal campaigns. And never has the need for internal communications been so important than in 2021. With ever-changing rules and guidance about how to operate safely, sharing information about new procedures and operations clearly and effectively is vital.

Utilising a platform like the CPL Learning console newsfeed allows you to share messages and updates with your teams easily. You can keep teams informed about new promotions and campaigns so that your employees can deliver sales effectively. You might also communicate changes to your website interface or functionalities, so your teams can align the digital platform with the in-store experience. This allows for a better customer experience, and also allows you to strengthen your brand culture by making sure in-store staff are aware of your brand in all its forms.

We’re also navigating a time of rapidly evolving technology, such as mobile wallets like Apple and Samsung Pay, and you can utilise your internal communications to effectively prepare teams for managing these new payment systems and troubleshoot common issues, giving teams the tools necessary for helping your customers.

Processes and compliance management

Another challenge for deskless workers is the completion of mandatory compliance training. Not only does a learning and development platform help deliver this training to team members, but it can also notify teams of new courses and reminders that training still needs to be completed thought the Activity Centre notification system.

With such a huge emphasis on health and safety regulations this year, the platform also allows you to store and manage your teams’ completed training certification and process documents meaning a simplified digital management system for all these documents.

Retaining employees

Earlier in the year research revealed that low motivation in January after a seasonal slump in engagement and motivation led to 28% of retail team members actively seeking a new role. Last year was a particularly challenging one for many retail workers who have had to adapt to a host of new working procedures and working closely with the public in worrying circumstances. With so many redundancies happening across many industries, operators should be careful not to be complacent when it comes to their staff. The financial impact of employee churn highlighted is considerable and each departure costs businesses at least £6,300 due to recruitment expenses and reduced productivity.

There are many things operators can do to address employee engagement and improve retention using the CPL Learning platform. Surveys are a great tool in your retention strategy, allowing you to pinpoint areas where team members feel unsupported, what they are looking for in their personal development and learning from resignations to find out why turnover is happening in your operation.

Many operators neglect to implement a well-structured onboarding process, leaving many new recruits feeling that they have been ‘thrown in at the deep end’. Employers can utilise the platform to help with the onboarding experience and support new team members to ensure that they retain staff. Introductory training should be an important part of your onboarding process, and not necessarily just to meet mandatory compliance, but to build customer service skills and product knowledge.

Operating during lockdown can put additional pressure on your frontline teams in delivering service, while also implementing COVID secure procedures which can take its toll, so keeping lines of communication open will be important to ensure your teams are feeling supported.

Talk to us today about how we can help you support your teams now and moving forward in 2021.

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