Derek Jones, VP of Enterprise Strategy for Deputy, joins us to talk about the shifting dynamic in retail and how it’s impacting workers. The retail storefront has forever changed due to the explosion of ecommerce. With convenience and ease, shoppers haven’t completely abandoned brick and mortar stores, but the in-store experience has to evolve. This evolution includes how associates work and interact with customers.

Employee engagement is critical for any business.

“Employees show up to work to be part of a community, not just for a paycheck. They want to know how they can participate in the process,” Jones said.

Retailers need to not only sell to their customers but also their employees. Jones speaks about a Deputy customer, Everlane, which began as an online retailer only.

“They are now opening up physical stores and empowering their employees to interact with customers for feedback. They then offer that feedback to the company, which could influence future products. They see their role in the big picture,” he said.

Another example is Draper James, a fashion retailer that started as just an eCommerce company. They have extremely low turnover, and Deputy wanted to know why.

“Draper James now has stores, but they realize their consumers interact with brands differently and want their sales associates to do so as well, by using technology like Facetiming customers and taking them through the store,” Jones said.

Beyond changing how employees engage with customers, scheduling of employees has also transformed.

“Retailers once could look at historical transactions to schedule employees, but retailers can no longer solely depend on this. We overlay things like local events, weather, and on-demand orders. All these data sets now can inform better scheduling,” Jones said.

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