A Retail intranet: best ways to engage employees

by Esther Daga

Did you miss our webinar on how a retail intranet can help engage employees on all levels in the company? Don’t worry. You can watch and re-watch the webinar webcast video NOW!

A retail intranet

During this webinar, we are going to talk about the retail sector and how a retail intranet solution can address different kinds of stakeholder needs reviewing site templates aligned to the retail sector to ensure employee adoption. First, we’ll go in-depth examining key challenges and possible solutions for concerned retail companies with special guest Lionel. Then we will review different kinds of technology that can increase store associate’s productivity.

Powell Software has brought in Lionel is a retail specialist as a guest speaker for this Retail oriented webinar. Lionel has held some top positions within different retail enterprises including, Sephora, Disneyland, and Victoria’s Secret. He is our expert in the retail industry and will bring some industry insight, answering our market-centric questions.

What are the key challenges that the retail industry is currently facing?

Many retailers are under pressure for three main reasons. The first and most obvious challenge is e-commerce. Retailors need to generate traffic in physical stores, as well as increase store and associate’s productivity. As you can imagine, stores are a significant investment for retailers. Since the rise of e-commerce, the number of visits every year to the mall has decreased, and the number of stores visited daily has decreased as well.

The second source of the challenge is the rise of the millennial generation. This target audience has shifted their purchasing habits. They are less into physical goods and more into life experiences. So basically, they have focused on owning fewer things. Also, they prefer spending money on electronics more than other types of physical goods.

The last and third reason is based on this generational shift we’ve experienced. The younger generation tends to live within major cities and has caused a revival of city centers. Meanwhile, past generations would relocate suburban areas targeted for families. Today, the main malls across the US and the Western world are in suburban areas. As the current generation has shifted their lifestyles, increasing the lack of traffic in preferred retailer physical stores.

How can the retailers increase store traffic and improve the customer experience at the same time?

Well, there are several different approaches but mostly Retailers must work to innovate the customer experience. The easiest way to achieve that is by staffing your company with the right manpower and deliver operational fundamentals. The key fundamentals of operational retail are:

  • Right people – Scheduling makes the right people with the right skill available at the right time, depending on what the expectation is whether that is a task or a service.
  • Right product – having the right product, arriving at the right time to need customer needs or wants.
  • Right merchandising – how to create a compelling brand and the best way to present it to the client

It’s paramount to recruit, develop and engage our team. Creating associate groups and engagements drive the empowerment of your staff. These are the people who are supporting the customer, on top of all the operational tasks linked to service and selling. They are the key stakeholders, the face of the company of the brand. This is why it’s critical for retailers to have efficient productivity and collaboration tools.

Retailers need to create a real connection between employees on all levels. The field operators, regional managers, district managers, store managers and the associates facing the customer as well as the home office partners, should constantly be collaborating, sharing data and communicating. Then and only then will employees have flawless execution. The best way to do that is through interactive tools.

This is where Powell 365 comes into play. Powell 365 in an intranet portal that is completely customizable to any industry. With our retail intranet vertical solution, it is possible to provide a portal solution that would fit with the needs of each employee in the retail industry and ensure increased information fluidity and store efficiency.

Retail personas to target

The intranet is essentially here to provide information for your employees and help them collaborate. What we’ve done is started broad with global pages, like the homepage, which is accessible by all users. Then the retail intranet is broken down into several different layers with more specific communities for each type of employee.

Powell Software has created site templates based on retail personas to address key roles out of the box. Today, we are going to review three of these ready-made templates stretch that has been designed with key populations within the retail industry in mind. They include the right targeted tools for different kinds of employees to be more productive and to deliver a better customer experience in-store.

Sales Associates

The first environment is dedicated to Sales associated and is all about delivering the best customer experience. Sale Associates are key employees within the retail industry. There are the people who are going to be in front of customers. One technology they will need is to have a mobile tool. This will allow them to walk across as a store with the right information at hand. The main goal of this template is to provide all the right and most information on one page for those working on the store floor. It includes all the essential features and tools are used to increase efficiency.

The pleasant and playful design includes features and widgets that are dedicated to engagement. As Sales Associates are in direct contact with customers their feedback is crucial. It is pertinent to provide them with a tool that will enable them to share their experience and have on-going discussions sharing their insight with others whether that be co-workers, area managers or headquarters.

Area Managers

The next environment that we can talk about is for area managers. An area manager can be in charge of a couple of stores. What they want out of their company portal is a central tool that will help them better collaborate with teams that are located in different stores. They need something that is cohesive but provides freedom.

This template will reduce your number of daily emails and offer better ways to collaborate and track team operation and store analytics. The right reporting tools give direct access to the performance tracking of each of the stores. Specialized communication features will leverage communication between area managers and their community of store managers or sales associates. Avoid sending emails with attachment and instead share images, videos or documents across store communities.

Corporate Teams

The last environment is all about promoting the future of the company and is dedicated to corporate teams. It is key to have up to date on the information coming from the headquarter trickle down to all employees no matter the level. Corporate teams like Human Resources and Marketing need to ensure that everyone is up to date on company initiatives that should be applied and executed at the store level. Retail organizations tend to be very spread out. This environment isn’t targeting a specific store or area but rather all cooperate functions who have relevant and targeted tools that facilitate communication company-wide. It includes innovative tools for broadcasting the right information to the right people in an efficient and collaborative way.

Choose Powell 365

Powell 365 increases communication and collaboration through a simple and easy-to-use intranet dashboard. It features the best retail intranet tools for teams to improve customer experience and stay competitive. With Powell 365, your employees will become more engaged, more motivated and stay informed on the latest campaigns, initiatives, KPIs and more. Internal communication becomes direct and day-to-day operations are greatly improved. A store employee can quickly fix any issue he or she is facing thanks to a business intranet.

Interested in getting a private demo of our ready-made retail templates? Contact us today and we will set up a meeting and answer all any questions you may have.


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