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Empowering employee excellence: the impact of a digital workplace in the retail organization

Brad Rooke

February 15, 2024 · 3 min read

In today’s rapidly evolving retail landscape, the integration of a digital workplace is paramount for driving efficiency and cost savings, enhancing customer service, and improving employee retention. Designed to cater to the needs of frontline retail workers, knowledge professionals, and management teams, a digital workplace revolutionizes traditional operations.   

The current economic climate is driving retail organizations to look even harder at cost reductions and margins. From a financial perspective, a digital workplace can deliver significant cost savings to a retail organization. A 2500-person organization with 80% deskless employees can expect to see more than $900,000 in reduced employee turnover and absenteeism.

We calculated this assuming a 1.5% absenteeism rate, 60K average deskless worker salary, 10% employee churn rate and 30K new hire cost, all of which are well below industry norms. Alongside these savings organizations will also see significant improvements in sales, reduction in shrinkage and an overall reduction in IT costs.  

Let’s look at some of the key roles in retail operations and the benefits a digital workplace can bring to each. 

A digital workplace for frontline retail workers optimizes task management, ensures timely communication, and offers quick access to product and company information. Common use cases for frontline retail workers will include using mobile devices to search inventory or location-specific information, access training modules and viewing tailored and relevant communications. A mobile-first digital solution benefits frontline retail employees by ensuring they always have the latest information at hand and feel a sense of inclusion in the organizational structure.

An Igloo customer operating franchises in over 30 states created roads to inclusion for their franchisees, building a social hub that serves as a gateway to the wider organization, fostering connections among employees regardless of their geographical locations. 

A digital workplace enables retail knowledge workers to generate compelling and dynamic content, facilitates data-informed decision-making through advanced analytics tools, and accommodates flexible work arrangements. This results in more meaningful communication, operational efficiency, and adaptability to evolving retail dynamics. Common use cases here include the creation and distribution of targeted content, project collaboration and content governance.

For example, Igloo customer Saje Natural Wellness uses their digital workplace as a source of truth for time-bound, evergreen and campaign-based communications, ensuring their storefront employees have all the information they need, when they need it.

Watch the full Saje testimonial here →

A digital workplace enables retail management teams by providing analytics for data-driven decision-making, fostering seamless communication and collaboration, and streamlining task coordination. This leads to enhanced strategic planning and operational efficiency, improving the management’s ability to navigate and succeed in the dynamic retail landscape. Common use cases for retail management teams include corporate communications, managing the employee lifecycle and knowledge management.

As an example, an Igloo customer with a global retail footprint established a product knowledge base for their employees, solidifying their digital workplace as a central repository of truth and a vital resource within their organization. 

Embracing a digital workplace revolutionizes the retail industry, benefiting frontline workers, knowledge professionals, and management teams alike. With common use cases spanning frontline mobile access, strategic planning, unified communication channels and the employee lifecycle, the digital workplace not only adapts to the changing needs of the industry but also yields substantial cost savings, making it a cornerstone for success in an evolving retail landscape.