Retail Technology Insights Features Orion’s PTT 2.0 Collaboration Platform on the Benefits of Using Voice-First Communication This Holiday Season
Logistics bottlenecks, lean inventory, high demand, and a tight labor market collided to create a complex retail holiday season. As retailers enter the endgame of the pandemic’s second holiday season, they’ll need to sustain the in-store momentum that has been building since October.
National Retail Federation found 49% of shoppers started making purchases as deals began in October and November. Even with early shopping, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend saw 105 million people make in-store purchases, almost 14% over last year. While online shopping continued to thrive, brick and mortar stores continue to play an integral role over the more extended shopping season.
Driving Success During the Holiday Retail Season
The frontline retail workforce is a crucial component of bringing customers back time and time again to the brick-and-mortar store. Orion’s Roopa Misra recently shared her takeaways on this holiday shopping season with Retail Tech Insights. Here are her thoughts on how push-to-talk (PTT) collaboration technology empowers retail teams to deliver superior service in a holiday season like no other:
“Each worker is critical to generating an outstanding customer experience from their first day on the job. Retailers must empower their existing, new, and seasonal employees to meet high-customer expectations with solutions that support the experience customers expect at every moment and touch-point in the store.”
Supporting the in-store retail workforce is key this busy time of year. Misra proposes that retailers examine the voice technology that underpins and connects retail operations from warehouse to retail floor.
“This holiday season, retailers face numerous challenges across their operations that are easily addressed with a voice-activated, intelligent, digital communications and collaboration platform. Organizations that unlock the benefits of digital transformation with intelligent, voice-first collaboration will create a responsive and resilient retail store that will drive profit and productivity unmatched by their competition.”
The Benefits of a Voice-Activated PTT Collaboration Platform for Retail
Retailers who implement intelligent collaboration technology will reap transformational benefits this holiday season and the year to come. Here are a few:
Improved Customer Experience: A quick, seamless customer experience requires retailers to equip their employees with technology that provides quick access to the information they need, whether that’s retail and inventory systems, best practice guides, training manuals, and more. Real-time voice push-to-talk (PTT) technology also enables instant access to SMEs to personalize recommendations for each customer, taking their experience to the next level.
Improved Employee Engagement: Engaged employees are critical to exceptional customer service, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. Communication and collaboration platforms engage employees by empowering them with automation and access to information or SMEs that support them at their point of work.
Decreased Phantom Stockouts: HBR estimates nearly 17% of stockouts are phantom stockouts. Communication and collaboration platforms help retail associates tackle the issue with greater precision for inventory lookup, item location, in-store picking, and real-time communication between store employees and managers. During a holiday season plagued by logistics bottlenecks, retailers can avoid the phantom-stockout pitfall and ensure every customer finds the items they need.
Increased Operational Control: The high foot traffic and purchasing volume of holiday shopping add significant complexity to holiday retail operations. To compensate, managers need greater visibility and operational control. Successful teams use each voice, text, image, or video captured by their collaboration platform to analyze and enhance productivity. Advanced location services also show the location of each team member, providing invaluable information and increasing productivity.
The Orion Collaboration Platform for Retail
Orion’s powerful PTT 2.0 cloud collaboration platform captures each data point to create a voice operations system of record. The Platform provides voice-first multimodal collaboration that includes high-quality push-to-talk audio, text, and visual media available across any retailer’s device. Retail associates seamlessly communicate in flexible ad hoc, 1:1, or group environments and stay connected and engaged with their teams.
AI Voice bots participate in talk groups, performing routine tasks, complex workflows, emergency alerts, and integrating with the third-party software that retail workers rely on every day. Retailers gain unmatched coverage over any distance, on any network, and on any device. Managers improve decision-making with Orion’s operations console, advanced location services that show the geolocation of each employee, and archiving and compliance abilities that record, playback, and store all staff messages and interactions.
Ultimately, retailers implementing Orion’s PTT 2.0 collaboration platform unlock innovation organization-wide and set themselves and their frontline retail workforce up for success during the holiday retail season.
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