Unified Communications Built for the Frontline Retail Workforce
Retailers need new solutions to drive greater sales conversion in cost-intensive brick-and-mortar stores. A culture of instant gratification increasingly influences the expectations of customers who are used to shopping online. These customers want product information quickly, easy access to inventory, and questions answered as fast as a chatbot does online.
In the era of labor shortages, supply chain fluctuations, and price inflation, retailers need innovative solutions that transform the frontline in-store retail experience — both for shoppers and retail employees like floor associates, cashiers, managers, stock pickers, and more. Organizations want to support a heterogeneous device environment. This means being able to leverage previous investments in smart devices and scanners, deploy new devices possibly from a different manufacturer, as well as support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) opportunities where possible. This is where Orion Voice Bots shine.
Our patented Voice Bots are a radical technological advancement that help retailers drive greater efficiencies and improve the retail store experience. Orion offers a suite of off-the-shelf or customizable voice-automated bots that listen, participate, and automate processes in Orion’s push-to-talk groups. Ultimately, retail associates gain the technology they need to increase in-store inventory sell-through and instantly access deep subject matter expertise to aid customer buying decisions. Not to mention the added benefit of employee satisfaction with the empowerment that such technology provides.
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Voice Automation for the Retail Industry
Orion Voice Bots support inventory sell-through and customer experience by amplifying team member knowledge and automating processes. To do this, Voice Bots connect workers with corporate systems, knowledge bases, and third-party services so they can voice-query for real-time intelligence no matter where they are. Retail workers use voice to retrieve information or kick-start processes — all while staying heads up as they assist customers, fulfill BOPIS/BOPAC orders, or restock shelves.
Here are a few of Orion’s Voice Bots for Retail:
Orion Bots and integrations use voice to connect on-the-go workers to the retailer’s inventory management system. Retail associates on the store floor gain instant inventory information, answering customer questions while remaining heads up and engaged.
The process is simple. A customer asks an associate if they have a particular item in a different size. The associate voice queries the inventory system. The Voice Bot retrieves the information, letting the associate know if the item is elsewhere on the store floor, in the stock room, another store, or available in the fulfillment center for shipping.
When associates have inventory knowledge at their point of work, customers leave happier, and retailers miss fewer sales. Orion’s voice-automation technology makes it easy to quickly and effortlessly find the correct products for customers.
When retail associates frequently lack access to information like the price of an unlabeled or mislabeled product, the customer experience suffers. Orion Voice Bots support frontline retail workers with price information via voice queries. An associate says, “Price check for item 791790.” The Voice Bot responds, “Price for item 791790 is nineteen dollars and ninety-nine cents.”
Store associates quickly verify prices while remaining engaged with customers. Workers remain heads up and hands free, enabling them to seamlessly support the customer experience with product recommendations, promotional information, and answers to additional questions.
Speed is critical when helping customers search for a particular item. Big Box Stores constantly manage high inventory turnover and large product catalogs. Product information and locations can be complex for associates to remember for each item or track fulfilled items for BOPIS or BOPAC. Orion Voice Bots make it easy for new or seasonal associates to quickly locate products. Item Location Bots also significantly reduce the occurrence of "phantom stockouts" with employees unable to help customers find specific products in the store. Employees know when items are in store and alert team members or managers to the occurrence of misplaced products.
Item Location Bots connect to backend systems and account for display changes and promotions. The Bots also support BOPIS/BOPAC fulfillment by helping associates locate items in the quickest order. Workers confidently navigate the retail floor or stock rooms, reducing customer wait times and improving customer service.
Long wait times at the register are a frequent pain point for customers, damage brand perception, and negatively impact purchase decisions. High-volume stores with heavy foot traffic can’t afford to keep customers waiting in long queues to purchase items. The ability to efficiently call for register backup is key to reducing these queues and creating a positive retail experience. Retailers need to move past the outdated register backup calls sent over a PA system. This method disrupts the shopping environment and adversely impacts a tech-savvy brand image.
Orion Voice Bots use an automated Register Backup Bot that quickly addresses this customer pain point and provides an immediate impact that is physically observable in the retail space. A cashier or manager notices a growing checkout queue and uses voice to request a “Register Backup.” The Orion Voice Bot automates the process of alerting available associates to provide assistance. If no associates are available or respond, the request is escalated to a manager. Orion offers similar processes to shorten queues by automating routine requests like ID Checks.
Order Status and Customer Arrival Notifications
As omnichannel order fulfillment grows, retailers must increasingly rely on automation to maintain or increase efficiency and meet customer expectations. Orion Voice AI Bots support faster fulfillment times for growing and developing omnichannel methods like BOPIS, BOPAC, and same-day delivery.
Workers stay prepared and ahead of customers with easy access to order status by voice queries. Bots integrate with backend systems or apps and provide voice notifications that prompt workers of which orders to fulfill next. The Bots also provide alerts when customers arrive at the store or the curb, alerting retail workers to facilitate their BOPIS/BOPAC orders.
Orion’s PTT 2.0 is available via Wi-Fi or carrier network. This means associates, fulfillment workers, or drivers can always use voice to query backend systems and retrieve information with Orion Voice Bots no matter whether in the store or outside at a designated customer pickup location.
Locked Case Alerts
Retailers with secure, locked display cases know they must balance the need to reduce inventory shrink with sales of valuable merchandise and high-end goods. Orion Voice Bots is the tool retailers need to automate this process and ensure no sales are lost.
Triggers set off by voice command, integrated video surveillance, geofence breaks, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and connected machines alert retail associates to quickly respond when customers enter designated areas or push a button for assistance. Suppose no associate takes action to respond to the Locked Case Alert. In that case, notifications will continue to remind workers, increasing in frequency the longer there is no response. If no associate responds, the floor manager receives an escalated notice, ensuring the Locked Case request does not go unanswered. Retailers can be confident that no sale is ever missed.
SME Access or Information Retrieval
Fast, superior customer service sets leading retailers apart. A big part of exceptional customer service is knowledgeable employees. Retail associates must know store return policies, the latest promotions, and product insights customers can’t get anywhere else. Orion Voice Bots instantly connect employees with the information they need while staying heads up and engaged with customers.
In the case of the store return policy, a new employee uses voice to query backend systems, and Bots quickly retrieve the information. In another case, customer questions may be too specific for a backend system to retrieve user information. A customer may ask complex questions like:
- What wine in their price point pairs well with a certain dinner they're planning?
- What is the best printer for their home office?
- Which paint is best for certain kitchen cabinets?
In cases like these, floor associates use Orion Voice Bots to connect to a particular subject matter expert located in any store, regional headquarters, or global division.
Orion Voice Bots integrate with security and loss prevention systems to help retailers reduce theft. Having a security system for access control is common, as is video surveillance for monitoring in real time and for post-hoc analysis. Retailers have also been deploying video analytics for the detection of anomalies within a normal operating environment. Increase situational awareness and reduce response times with the help of Orion Bots which can be employed to aid in the workflows associated with incidents.
As an example, a video surveillance system has been deployed within a store, and in particular the stockroom. That same system, in an after hours situation, detects movement. It may still be working hours but there should be no one in the stockroom at the time. A workflow likely exists to alert the relevant loss prevention personnel. However, that same workflow can now include an Orion Voice Bot that triggers a voice alert to active users that can include response protocols that are enabled with voice.
Emergency Response and All Call
Customer and staff safety is mission critical for any retailer. In natural disasters, health emergencies, and other emergency preparedness events, managers can alert staff to follow protocols, escalate the crisis to senior management, and alert authorities with 911.
Orion Voice Bots also enable employees dispersed across a store to escalate a call for help. Bots triggered by voice commands like “Help-Help-Help” ensure workers can instantly alert managers to an emergency, theft, or incident. The procedure alerts predetermined management regardless of their location, identifies the location of the incident, and deploys members to assist. Emergency Response and All Call Bots ensure all messages and data are archived for analysis and compliance needs.
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Radically Modernize Frontline Retail Operations With Orion Voice Bots
Orion Voice Bots are a game-changer in retail worker performance and the customer experience. Our bots radically modernize and innovate real-time communication and provide the digital transformation that retail operations require.
Early adopters will quickly realize the profound impact of transforming their frontline workforce. Retailers that embrace the transformative opportunities in Orion Voice Bots gain the competitive advantage they need to stay ahead of the competition, grow revenue, and reduce costs.
Voice Bots are also a critical part of what differentiates Orion’s PTT 2.0 platform from every other provider that came before us. Our PTT 2.0 is a next-generation solution that interoperates with modern systems, integrates with third-party services, offers end-to-end encryption, and deploys securely in the cloud. Voice, text, photos, videos, and files such as PDFs create a multimodal experience on one device. Workforces communicate with unmatched coverage over any distance, any network, and any device.
Retailers that embrace the innovation of Orion’s next-generation PTT 2.0 Platform will transform their operations and build a frontline retail workforce ready to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Learn More About Orion’s PTT 2.0
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