Want To Reduce Turnover? Treat Employees Like Consumers

Retail has long been known as an industry suffering from high employee turnover rates, and in fact, retailers/CPGs have the second-highest turnover rate across industries at 13% per year, according to LinkedIn research. For hourly store employees, this total has been estimated to be as high as 65%.

Can retailers slash these high employee turnover rates? A Deloitte exec shared three steps to address the problem, by enabling retailers to build a digital workplace based on interconnectivity between departments:

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Retail’s Big Opportunity: 87% Of U.S. Consumers Grasp The Power Of Conversational Commerce

Natural language-powered chatbots and voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri are gaining traction for many retail-related tasks: 66% of U.S. consumers use voice or text agents in their daily lives, and 21% use voice or text agents to shop, pay bills, bank online or send money, according to a report from Mastercard and Mercator Advisory Group. This figure is likely to go higher, since consumer awareness of conversational commerce is climbing: 87% of shoppers are aware of these technologies and are beginning to grasp their benefits. So retailers have plenty of chances to experiment with conversational commerce.

Thus far, only 16% of consumers use conversational commerce platforms to initiate payments for goods or services. However, these early adopters aren’t just experimenting. The data suggests that they are forming new purchasing habits, the most common being using text or voice commands to order food or beverages and performing general e-commerce activities. In fact, approximately 60% of these early adopters perform transactions via natural language processing (NLP) weekly, or even more frequently.

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Survey: 81% Of Retailers Will Deploy Unified Commerce Platforms By 2020

Retailers understand that gaps between shoppers’ personalized experiences online and in brick-and-mortar stores are problematic, and they are employing technology to satisfy consumers across every channel, at any time and via the method of their choosing.

Boston Retail Partners (BRP) identifies cloud-based unified commerce — the use of a single platform to support commerce for stores, mobile and the web — as the linchpin to competing in a fast-changing, omnichannel environment. In an online survey of 500 top North American retailers, BRP found that 28% of respondents have already implemented unified commerce, more than three times the percentage (9%) reporting that capability last year. By the end of 2020, 81% of retailers will have deployed unified commerce.

“Retail and customer engagement models must transform,” said Brian Brunk, Principal at BRP in a statement. Because legacy retail applications and infrastructure are not equipped for today’s requirements, “retail winners in 2018 and beyond need to accelerate the transformation to cloud-based unified commerce.”

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58% Of Retailers Lack In-Store Technology For Viewing Shopper Info

In an age when retailers feel they need to know everything about their consumers, the brick-and-mortar store is still a blind spot for a majority of merchants. Only 42% of retailers have in-store technologies to view customer information across all of their touch points, according to a report from Kibo.

Additionally, 64% of retailers feel they are only somewhat effective at capturing in-store data on customer preferences.

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Only 37% Of Retailers Offer BOPIS: UK Merchants Lead The Pack

Despite the continued rise in omnichannel consumer expectations, only 37% of retailers worldwide are offering buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), according to OrderDynamics. Retailers with more than 250 stores are twice as likely (50.7%) as chains of 10 to 50 stores (25.0%) to offer these services, indicating that BOPIS is still a larger retailer’s game.

UK retailers are the most advanced when it comes to BOPIS adoption (referred to as click-and-collect throughout the market). These retailers have a 67% adoption rate, nearly 10 percentage points ahead of companies in the Nordic region (Sweden, Norway and Finland). In comparison, only 29.1% of U.S. retailers have adopted BOPIS. Among those U.S. retailers, only 28.5% actually informed customers about the offering on the front page of their web sites.

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The Rise Of Subscription Retail: Data, Community & Content Fuel Growth

Subscription retail first came on the scene as a disruptor to the industry in the early 2000s, and it continues to make waves as it grows. The sector began with digitally savvy startups popping up to offer consumers a monthly box of goods, usually curated based on a quick personality quiz. Today it has evolved to become almost table stakes for many different types of retail brands. In addition to the original disruptors that started the subscription scene, more traditional brands including Petco, Walmart and Gap are offering the services, alone or in partnerships, to provide consumers with a convenient way to discover and sample new products for a low price.

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Retailers Must Overcome Fear Of Failure To Infuse Successful Innovation Into Business Strategies

As changing shopper preferences continually push the boundaries of what retailers can and should do to improve the customer experience, they also need to address the ongoing challenge: What is the best way to foster innovation?

A number of retailers have addressed the challenge of keeping pace with industry shifts by creating innovation labs, with varying degrees of success. Whatever route retailers take, they should not be afraid to take chances on new projects — even though some of them will fail.

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To Fulfill By Amazon Or Not? Brand And Tax Implications Shared In Exclusive Q&A

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0aaJames-Thomson-2With major brands such as Nike, adidas, Disney and Victoria’s Secret all selling directly on Amazon, it’s clear that more of these companies are considering bypassing third-party sellers altogether to reach the customer. This could pose a big problem for sellers’ profit margins, particularly as many of these companies rely on the power of these brands’ products to stand out from other marketplace sellers.

As of Q3 2016, third-party sellers sold half of the total units on Amazon, indicating that the marketplace has grown popular along with the retailer. Now that brands are taking note of Amazon’s popularity, the third-party sellers that boosted marketplace sales must work even harder to build relationships with them.

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Study: Consumers Prefer Convenience Of BOPIS Over Experience

Even though mobile, social and e-Commerce sales are booming, JDA’s latest Consumer Survey revealed that more than half of consumers still prefer to and enjoy shopping in stores… as long as it’s convenient. Furthermore, experiences don’t top the list — respondents said they do not expect an “experience” when shopping in stores.

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Alibaba Supermarkets Blend Online And Offline Via Mobile-First Strategy

Chinese retail giant Alibaba is known largely for its e-Commerce marketplaces and its payments platform Alipay. But the nearly $400 billion company also is quietly building out a brick-and-mortar presence, opening up 13 Hema supermarkets in China since 2015.

The brick-and-mortar initiatives have for the most part flown under the radar, but they are serving as labs for Alibaba’s “New Retail” strategy. Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang noted in a statement that Hema “leverages data and smart logistics technology to seamlessly integrate online-offline systems, built to provide the unparalleled service of fresh food deliveries in 30 minutes.” The Hema supermarkets are designed to cater specifically to mobile consumers, particularly within a three-kilometer radius, to ensure fast, high-level service.

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