Depending on your geography, your stores are either open or closed. However, the uncertainty around operating remains. Regulations are changing constantly based on COVID-19 infection rates, which means the open or closed status of your stores could change with immediate effect. Many nations are in the midst of an additional lockdown and are waiting for opening status.
As countries emerge from lockdown, it is essential for retailers to create safe store environments for their customers to return to. Also, whilst store footfall is expected to be lower initially, customers are expected to be back in a big way once the uncertainty is cleared. It is vital retailers are ready to maximise conversion and basket size as well as delivering great customer experiences. Now is the time for retailers to invest in technologies and systems that support this.
Using this difficult time can be critical preparation time on getting back to business faster and better once the lockdowns are lifted. Understanding what retail will look like in a post-COVID world is vital, as things will have changed, and consumer behaviour will be different.
Sounds daunting, yes? Impossible? No. While you can’t control whether or not you’ll open or shut down again, you can control how well you and your team respond when you do open again.
Store teams are managing anxiety brought by the current lockdown climate. The question is: how do you effectively motivate and train employees in these times?
The Atobi platform offers a solution that helps your employees perform at their best with better communications and training – even at a distance. To facilitate staff learning and habit anchoring, we built the Atobi app with a focus on gamified training and competitions. Atobi’s philosophy behind the training is that your training should focus on knowledge and behaviour. That is how truly lasting habits are created.
“ATOBI is completely different from the traditional way of training. It helped us break bad habits while being fun at the same time”, – Mette, Retail manager at Skoringen
With Atobi, we have completely rethought the way you to do training if you want to get results:
Find out more about what industry experts from Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nike, and DK Company, among others, have to say about the importance of up-skilling teams with new skills and training and how Atobi has helped them.
Staffing reductions, new sales methods, and strict health and safety measures are part of the unfortunate reality of retail employees today and could change your business’s operations seemingly overnight. So being able to communicate quickly, openly, and honestly with your team in the months ahead is essential to avoid introducing any new chaos to an already stressful situation or work-life.
From HQ all the way down through branch managers and floor staff, your operations need a centralised communication channel to ensure everyone knows where to find up-to-the-minute messaging on the latest developments to continue providing excellent customer service.
With Atobi, your teams can communicate in real-time and in one place. Each day, your employees are bombarded with information. Intranet messages, emails, sales system notifications, etc. So how do you make sure that they see and read the really important stuff? With the News module, you can upload news and track how many have read it, and follow-up when needed.
In addition, the Atobi has a messenger module that allows you to communicate in a secure environment easily. One-to-one, group messages, or something in between, you can do it in Atobi.
With the Atobi Messenger, you automatically comply with your company’s confidentiality guidelines, as only current employees have access (contrary to many other popular communication tools where you have to handle access rights manually). And because communication does not stop at that, you can also check on your employees’ morale to better support them, simply by conducting instant surveys.
The unpredictable nature of the lockdowns means retailers have to juggle uncertainty in the coming months. By now, you have a better idea of what your business can expect. After building a good level of agility and strategic knowledge, you will now need to build a good level of resilience to absorb shocks for less business interruption.
At Atobi, we can help you build that resilience plan. Whether it may be communication, compliance, or even implementation, we can support you in identifying what you did well and which areas your retail business needs to improve on. With our experience, we can help you design safeguards to avoid reopening challenges in the future using Atobi. Our large library of retail processes that include opening procedures and checklists have, in fact, been created exactly for the purpose of making sure your stores can follow best practices without hassle.
The months ahead will continue to be uncertain times for everyone, and retailers can expect to face continued obstacles in their quest to stay open, productive, and profitable at full capacity. Fortunately, the unknown is a little less unknown now, and with the right preparation, you’ll be able to guide your business through whatever comes your way.
Lastly, one of the biggest aspects of planning for the future is going to be retooling and investing in the right tech.
Enhanced data and analytics can better help retailers to manage and engage with staff. So, by investing in the right tools early on, retailers can take advantage of employee engagement and enhance the customer experience.
But don’t just invest in the first provider you see. Careful planning and research can ensure you get the most cost-effective and useful tools for your business.
Take Atobi, for example; from ONE platform, you can improve insights, communicate with employees, offer training, and manage the retail journey. Choosing an integrated system and the right provider can help you to prepare for the lockdown to lift.
“Our full-suite app has all the functionalities that organisations need to onboard, communicate, train, engage, and retain employees”,- asserts Jan. D. Andersen, CEO of ATOBI.
Identifying the proper means to engage the new generations is becoming an ever-bigger problem for enterprises. Only about 18% of the workforce is properly engaged, so the potential economic gain is enormous. An unengaged employee costs the organisation 30% of their monthly salary in hidden costs (lost sales, brand damage, sick leave, theft, etc.). Often companies will turn to harder guidelines and more checklists in their efforts to get better execution, only to see this having the exact opposite effect.