2 March 2021
There’s certainly no doubt about it – remote working is here to stay.
It might have seemed like a temporary measure back in March 2020 as we entered the first national lockdown, but after a year of restrictions, it’s now likely some form of remote working will continue into 2021 and beyond.
In 2020, Growmotely published a study asking working professionals and entrepreneurs to share their thoughts on remote working. The research showed that 97% of employees didn’t want to return to the office full-time, with 61% of employees preferring being fully remote. Of those surveyed, 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard after the pandemic.
For businesses across all sectors, ways of working were forced to adapt, but it’s been particularly challenging for retailers.
Lockdown and the switch to working from home has changed our shopping habits. Certain products such as loungewear and home improvement items increased hugely in popularity, while other products like eveningwear have struggled. It’s also changed where we shop. Lower commuter numbers have meant shoppers have shifted from city centre locations to the suburbs as people are not travelling as far.
So, bearing all of this in mind, it’s key that retailers arm themselves with the tools to help them manage their stores with less in-person interaction.
A week in the life of a store sees new product lines being introduced, in-store promotions, product recalls and staff onboarding – making retail undoubtedly a fast-paced industry. To only add to the commotion, 2021 brings new challenges, additional procedures, more stringent health and safety measures and smaller teams in store.
There’s a lot of information your team need to know and they must be kept up to date. They need to be trained on a diverse set of topics, from customer service and policy and procedures, to brand awareness and product knowledge.
For the time being face to face training is on hold. Teams need to access training courses anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re a manager on the shop floor, an Area Manager in the field or a remote worker from Head Office.
The training platform needs to work for remote retail teams, across all devices, operating systems and modern browsers.
Getting your stores into shape in the coming months could mean the difference between profitability and bankruptcy. And to open stores effectively, it’s vital that you communicate clearly and efficiently with stores.
But you aren’t necessarily going to get your communication strategy right the first time. That’s why retailers need to adopt an agile communications strategy.
The key to implementing an agile communications strategy is the ability to adapt and innovate to whatever challenge is thrown your way.
You need a way to communicate with teams that’s effective from anywhere, so that your head office teams only need to focus on the information they’re sending out.
It’s important that it’s easy for them to amend and update existing information and to send instant, urgent messages directly to stores. They will be communicating a lot with stores, so whatever platform they are using, it needs to be easy to manage.
If you’d like some help driving productivity in stores, then get in touch with a member of the team by emailing email@example.com.