The retail industry is constantly transforming and becoming increasingly innovative when it comes to servicing the needs of its customers. Mobile payments, in-store movement, behaviour tracking are all recent tools employed to enhance the customer experience & maximise sales. Although, some would argue that these tools are not innovative enough, as there has been a huge increase in “bricks & mortar” businesses going bankrupt and downsizing in 2018.
Why is the Retail sector shifting towards Workday as HCM partner?
One shift many retailers have taken in an attempt to survive has been towards social media selling (via Instagram and Snapchat) & employing “brand ambassadors”. This is a move that many fast-growing online retailers such as: Missguided, PrettyLittleThings, Gym Shark etc in the UK have all utilised, appreciating the influence “celebrities” have on purchasing power within their target consumer age range.
But what does this have to do with a Human Capital Management System?
Richard Branson famously said that he puts employees first, customers second, and shareholders third. “If an employee is not given the right tools, is not looked after, is not appreciated, they’re not going to do things with a smile and therefore the customer will be treated in a way where often they won’t want to come back for more”.
You can’t expect a great customer experience without great talent. When a retailer can take care of their front-line customer service associates, they are more likely to take care of its customers.
Adapting and innovating around the employee experience is essential to having a competitive edge, especially in our fast-moving retail industry”. @Ryan Festerling, VP of Human Resources
Key to achieving digital transformation in retail is providing employees with the tools to manage the details of their working lives and job benefits—and managers have the tools to engage and develop employees.
Investing in employee experience is therefore good for business.
- Customer Service representatives are always on the move, meaning for many retail businesses, having mobile access is imperative! A model Workday has a proven track record of supporting, giving employees the ability to access many tasks at a touch of a button.
- Front line services are not necessarily the most technically savvy users. Workday clients can rest easy knowing that all it’s employees will be accessing and operating from the same version of the product. With 2 set yearly product upgrades minimally impact users.
- The Retail sector typically has a high volume of turnover. A welcoming & smooth Onboarding Process is imperative to reducing the need to re-hire. Workday offers transparency & ease of access to contacts in HR or within the store that can help them navigate their new surroundings, operating procedures in their job or store, and goals for their role.
- There are many cases still of retailers growing from within. Workday offers talent insight dashboards which allows a retailer to see what positions they have an internal option for promotion for & if that individual is ready (by comparing their current deliverables against some of their goals outlined in their role duties established at the onboarding process).
Retail is one of, if not the most competitive sector, therefore investing in the employee experience and providing the systems and tools to allow quicker adaption to change and handle workforce expectations is imperative.
The Power of One?
By opting for a single system to view people data, Workday claims to have seen some retailers make annual savings of over $1 million from the automation of onboarding processes.
In addition, increasing self-service by over 20 percent enables managers to spend more time on the sales floor influencing sales activity.
By bringing people data into a single system, one retailer has been able to reduce overtime costs by over 12 percent, simply by getting greater insight across shift patterns, regions and individual sites.
Given the benefits, as we progress into 2019, we should not be surprised to see the growing adoption of cloud-based technology. With a customer satisfaction score of 97%, the frontrunner that Retailers would lean towards is without doubt Workday as they attempt to keep up with the competition and everchanging consumer expectations.