Retail industry is facing enormous challenges due to following factors:
- Online Retailing
- Evolving role of brick and mortar stores
- Changing consumer behaviors towards malls, outlets, mega stores
Technology is helping companies to serve customers in many different ways. Role of store is also evolving rapidly in the context of above mentioned forces. Store Employees need to be equipped with better solutions in order to provide customers superior service and perform store operations in an efficient way.
Store Portal plays a pivotal role for store employees and can serve as a one stop shop for all information needs in the store. Following are keys objectives you can achieve by employing a portal technology like SharePoint.
For any retailer to succeed, it is important that its customer facing employees love its brand. Without strong brand loyalty, employees won’t be able to engage customers. Store Portal helps to build brand loyalty by providing effective tools which help employees learn key value proposition for its brand. Store Portal, being primary gateway to IT systems, can play very effective role to communicate brand and build loyalty.
Portal provides an effective platform to engage employees. Click here for detailed discussion of how social and collaboration capabilities in a portal can help to engage employees.
Sales Associates Training
Today’s customer is much more informed and walks into store with enough information about his needs and available options. They expect sales associates to provide them expert opinion to decide which product meets their need. Portal can serve an affective platform to provide required training to new hires, especially during peak demands. Bite-sized training content (e.g. short videos) can be embedded in daily communication in order to keep sales associates updated about latest product information.
Effective Corporate Communication
Corporate communication is primary mechanism to communicate company vision and strategy to the store employees. All communication to store staff must be aligned with other messaging (like ads, pamphlets etc) that company is sending to its customers and employees. Here, Portal becomes very effective tool to send such daily messaging to stores and other geographically distributed locations. Portal home page provides primary space where they can see most important information for a given day.
Efficient Store Operations
Time is a scare commodity, especially for Store staff; they have to serve multiple customers as well as perform various operational activities. It becomes very inefficient for a sales person to login multiple business applications while customer is waiting for a quick service. Portal can provide platform to integrate required features from different IT systems. These features can be implemented as “apps” which are readily available in portal. Store staff can use these apps without leaving portal and use features like SSO to access different IT systems. Such an experience saves time as well as results a better customer service.