Why do we talk about Collaboration Tools for Retail Stores?
With the advancement of digital technology, there has been an acceleration in the "digital transformation" of every industry. Especially since the global impact of COVID-19, there has been a movement to digitally transform all aspects of work. However, there have been many constraints for frontline teams, since their work is not predominantly done on PCs, unlike office jobs. Despite these constraints, there is still a growing trend of implementing collaboration tools in store management.
Should stores also use office collaboration tools?
Managing stores requires multiple operations tasks and direct communication with HQ, which is why it can benefit from implementing a collaboration tool.
However, many collaboration tools are mostly optimized for the office. Rather than features like simultaneous document editing and Gantt charts, various store management tasks require functions such as employee schedule management, attendance management, communication, and real-time issue tracking. So, is the adoption of office collaboration tools the best solution for diverse store management needs?
Here’s the reasons why store-specific collaboration tools should be introduced for store management.
Advantages of Store Management Collaboration Tools
1) Immediate response to on-site issues
Stores face a variety of issues such as display problems, cleaning requests, and even customer’s lost credit cards. Therefore, it is crucial for managers to communicate quickly with store employees regarding these issues.
By using store management collaboration tools, managers can have a clear overview of the issues that arise and the progress of their resolution. This allows problems to be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible. If certain issues occur frequently, it is also beneficial to create manuals and inform employees accordingly.
2) Simplified reporting tasks for both employees and managers
Reporting is a significant aspect of store management tasks. Since work is often carried out in different locations, reporting plays a vital role in store management. Currently, tools such as PPT and Excel are used for reporting tasks on PCs.
However, store employees primarily use smartphones, making it difficult to access and create files optimized for PCs. By utilizing dedicated store collaboration tools, both employees and managers can address their concerns simultaneously.
Shopl, a store management collaboration tool, supports performing all tasks using smartphones. Employees can easily write reports and posts on their smartphones, while managers can immediately save the data created by employees in PPT or Excel formats for further use. This enables convenient reporting for both on-site employees and managers.
3) Efficient tracking of employee attendance and schedules
The more efficiently store employees' schedules and attendance are managed, the higher the work efficiency. However, in store operations where shift work is common and schedules are often changed, office collaboration tools are not suitable.
Store management collaboration tools enable tracking of employees' attendance status, template-based scheduling commonly used by employees, and sharing schedules with all staff members.
4) Accumulation of customer experience data
Understanding customer experience is one of the crucial issues for store managers. For experiential stores, collaboration tools can be utilized to share real-time customer reactions.
In addition, by accumulating live on-site data, such as which products customers are interested in or receiving feedback and complaints, store managers can apply this valuable information to tasks such as store visual merchandising and improving customer experience.
5) Communication through chat without personal messaging
The chat feature of store management collaboration tool Shopl offers the advantage of communication without personal messaging. Moreover, as there is no mixing of personal messages, it is easy to find and reference work-related information quickly, while also maintaining privacy.
Businesses that have entered or plan to enter overseas markets, real-time communication with on-site employees can be achieved without installing major chat apps specific to each country.
Digital transformation - the key is to find the right tool
We have explored the reasons why store-specific collaboration tools should be adopted.
In a company's digital transformation journey, the key is to introduce collaboration tools optimized for each organization and task.
If you are considering the adoption of store collaboration tools, make sure to check whether the tools provide features for employee scheduling, communication, and task management that are essential for store operations.