Five ways connectivity solutions boost your retail staff’s productivity.

Five ways connectivity solutions boost your retail staff’s productivity.

Staffing has become a nationwide crisis. Ask any retail executive what their No. 1 stress point is today, and they will tell you finding the right people to fill key positions is a serious concern. In fact, a recent study from Deloitte indicates 70% of retail executives worry labor deficits will hinder their growth, with nearly three-quarters saying they expect the main staff shortage to be in customer-facing positions. 

By embracing digital solutions supported by fast reliable connectivity and significant bandwidth, retailers can address common employee-related pain points.

Brick-and-mortar interactions are still extraordinarily important for retailers, given that more than 80% of retail purchases are still made in store. Considering the impact of foot traffic on sales, a lack of skilled employees can seriously hurt a brand’s reputation. 

This is where reliable connectivity solutions can help the retail industry. By embracing digital solutions supported by fast connectivity and significant bandwidth, retailers can address common employee-related pain points. Here’s a look at how brands can empower their 5G workforce and boost productivity in retail settings through the adoption of frictionless store experiences.

Leveraging IoT to manage tedious tasks.

Retailers relying on key digital tools enabled by fast, reliable connectivity can optimize operational efficiencies and remove many of the mundane, tedious tasks that previously consumed their team members’ time. This shift may be key to increasing employee productivity, while also attracting and retaining digitally savvy employees who crave a more fulfilling role and less monotonous responsibilities. 

An investment in digital signage and shelf tags allows your team to change displays with the touch of a button, freeing time for associates to do more meaningful work.

Here are two productivity technologies to consider to consider to promote a more engaged workforce:

  • Digital signage and shelf tags: Manually changing signs and price tags may soon be a thing of the past. An investment in digital signage and shelf tags allows your team to change displays with the touch of a button, freeing time for associates to do more meaningful work. Digital signage also has the added benefit of reducing errors and providing more up-to-date and useful information. This reduces the amount of price checks and information sharing sales floor employees will need to do and allows them to focus more on sharing their product expertise. Accurate pricing also helps improve sell-through rates and margins.
  • Automation for routine tasks: Managing inventory and stocking shelves doesn’t have to be a manual task in some cases. That’s because IoT in retail—specifically robot technology—is providing more efficiencies. Instead of an associate taking time from serving patrons to roam aisles checking shelves or stocking products, a robot can determine when a display is running low and even replenish the items. This digital transformation also boosts profits by making merchandise available for purchase more quickly (instead of letting it languish in the back room) and can provide a more accurate inventory picture to help with demand planning.

A visual representation of traffic flow and dwell time—how long a visitor lingers in each area of a store—can take planning to the next level.

An efficiency boost in retail productivity for all.

As in store shopping goes back to normal, businesses need to ensure they’re deploying staff in roles that have the greatest effect on shopper experience.

Here are three ways IoT productivity tools in retail can lead this change, freeing employees to apply their expertise instead of focusing on menial tasks:

  • Heat mapping: A visual representation of traffic flow and dwell time—how long a visitor lingers in each area of a store—can take planning to the next level. Reliable connectivity generates accurate analyses, using real-time data from in-store cameras and people detection software to build patterns over time. This information allows retailers to relocate the most profitable merchandise to prime positions while optimizing staffing to best serve guests where they congregate most. Understanding a store’s high-traffic areas—and how they evolve over time—can also help retailers optimize restocking and cleaning operations. 
  • Digital tablets: Equipping your workforce with digital tablets prevents frustration, as they can quickly determine the availability of an item without heading back to the storeroom. If the requested merchandise is out of stock, the associate can quickly order the item online for delivery to the store or to the shopper’s preferred address, an important element in satisfying today’s customers accustomed to instant gratification. Tablets can also boost employee productivity by making them more efficient in navigating aisles to retrieve items for curbside pickup, or allowing them to inform buying decisions by knowledgeably answering product questions on the fly. As retailers embrace and upgrade digital tools, associates will have advanced capabilities like showing customers augmented reality demos through their tablet screens. Making the customer experience more interactive will increase customer satisfaction and sales.


Fast, reliable connectivity solutions enable frictionless checkout, also known as scan-and-go technology, where patrons seamlessly purchase items with their cell phones and walk right out.

  • Self-checkout: Time is a precious commodity. And people are always looking for ways to be more efficient. Self-checkout is a wonderful option to save time as opposed to standing in a checkout lane waiting to pay. Fast, reliable connectivity enables frictionless checkout, also known as scan-and-go technology, where patrons seamlessly purchase items with their cell phones and walk right out. It’s ideal for those who prefer to quickly complete their shopping without interacting with an employee, which also frees up retail staff to focus their attention on visitors who seek personal assistance.

Leveraging technology for more rewarding experiences.

The goal of IoT productivity solutions in retail isn’t to replace employees, but to take advantage of enhanced connectivity to empower them through engaging assignments that reduce time spent on monotonous tasks. By redirecting the role of in-store labor, associates can enjoy more fulfilling roles while becoming more of a resource to the guest, further fostering customer loyalty.

Embracing the right digital tools to elevate your customers' experiences, powered by a reliable 5G network, can make all the difference.

Retail brands must optimize labor by removing barriers and providing teams with the tools and resources to do their jobs more efficiently and with less direction. But without the right in-store connectivity, providing improved experiences that meet customer needs could prove to be a struggle, risking both employee retention, customer satisfaction, and in the end, revenue. Embracing the right digital tools, powered by a reliable 5G network, to boost retail productivity and elevate your customers' experiences can make all the difference.

To hear more about how T-Mobile for Business is helping the retail industry improve connected customer experiences with the country’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network, take a look at this infographic, How 5G Can Fuel a Retail Industry Transformation, or learn 4 ways 5G in Retail will advance frictionless shopping. If you would like to talk to a live person, connect with one of our retail experts at 877-590-1813.

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