4 step framework: pivot to the retail store associate

Heather Narva, Senior Marketing Manager, Oracle Retail | June 1, 2023

Empowering the new retail store associate is not about hiring and forgetting. There must be processes in place, such as KPIs, that ensure employees are on track. If you’re not doing anything to follow up and monitor that things are being executed as expected, you risk the brand experience not being delivered. It also makes for a better environment for the associates when they understand the retailer’s motivation and are fully onboarded to processes. This can also lead to more insightful and beneficial career path discussions, further enhancing job satisfaction and better performance.

Rewards are another key element in creating job satisfaction. While they can be things like compensation, gift cards for future purchases, or discounts, it shouldn’t just be about money. The store associate can be motivated by more. It could be as simple as monitoring outstanding performance and acknowledging the associate with a distinct title. Or, it could even mean an audience with the head buyer to get insight into next season’s products. Retailers could consider applying the customer loyalty rewards concept to their employees by giving them points for excellent sales and outstanding customer service. These sorts of rewards recognize skills and behaviors within the retailer and encourage even better performance.

The four steps of the interaction framework

The store associate must be motivated and trained to represent the brand accurately. To put it in the context of a framework, retailers can think in terms of four steps:

  1. Educate: Develop the brand ambassador in every role, from clienteling to shipping. Build the right skills so retailers can fill any role quickly as operational demands and customer needs shift, allowing them to do more with less. Provide training on-demand and build confidence through knowledge.
  2. Manage: Use the right resources for all in-store tasks, such as in-store scheduling to align with forecasts, skills, education, working time directives, and employee contracts. Use AI-powered forecasts to address seasonal demands and utilize an associate’s skills inventory efficiently.
  3. Monitor: Create store associate-targeted visualizations of system monitoring to create awareness that “corporate is watching.” Dashboards for KPIs will provide managers with information on performance with configurable alerts and notifications for loss prevention, personal performance, and customer loyalty.
  4. Reward: Treat associates as customers. Recognize employee attributes for key profile elements beyond hire date/tenure, position, etc. Issue points for all types of desired behaviors. And implement a rewards program to keep employees motivated.

Empowering brand ambassadors

Luxury retailer De Beers Jewellers is adopting modern Oracle Xstore to enhance its customers’ shopping experience. The company prides itself on offering exquisite gifts and peerless diamonds for life’s key moments. Each of its 33 stores, located in 15 countries are equipped with the proprietary De Beers Iris technology that allows customers to see the unique characteristics of their diamond through the eyes of an expert. With Oracle Point of Service (POS), De Beers will further improve the in-store experience by empowering associates to engage customers throughout their purchase journey.

The role of technology

Technology platforms play a role in delivering unified training and performance monitoring. Oracle Retail solutions are designed to work together and provide the associate with the tools they need for success.

Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service empowers retail staff to provide memorable service levels and build strong customer loyalty. Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service provides store associates with seamless inventory visibility, pairing with workflows to provide visibility that allows users to access chain-wide inventory across all channels to fulfill customer needs by delivery, pickup, or shipment. It is easy to learn and allows employees to become productive quickly, resulting in a lower daily operating cost in every store. Whether utilized on the sales floor or in the back office, the Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service user interface is intuitive, mobile-enabled, and efficient.

Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services drive incremental revenue and profitability for today’s retail enterprise. The suite delivers a 360-degree view of all the customer’s interactions with the brand, including their purchases, preferences, and behaviors. It is a platform to connect all customer and associate-facing systems in real-time, creating a solid foundation to speak with one voice to customers and empower associates to be excellent brand ambassadors.

Oracle Retail Order Management Suite effortlessly bridges the gap between sales and ensures consistent and cohesive customer journeys. With Oracle Retail Order Administration Cloud Service, you can leverage customer information more effectively throughout the transaction and as part of marketing, merchandising, order taking, and customer service efforts. Oracle Retail Order Orchestration Cloud Service routes orders to fulfillment locations upon placement, and retailers receive status updates such as order rejections, cancellations, and shipment notifications.

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