woman making a purchase with a credit card online while laying on a couch

Automation, collaboration, retail digitization: how retail thrives as a hybrid workplace

By Carl Rysdon, Vice President, Retail Industry


Here's how to adopt scalable, safe, and secured enterprise solutions that promote retail industry digital transformation.

Read time: 5 minutes

As the remote vs. on-site workplace debate continues to make headlines, those of us in the retail world know the retail workforce has always been hybrid. From retailers’ corporate headquarters to district and regional managers, reps in the field working from home offices, store associates, vendors, marketing agencies, and so forth — everyone in retail has always been collaborating from everywhere.

How often have you done store visits, distribution center tours, or factory trips? Unlike corporate employees, store employees have always engaged with corporate mostly via hybrid work tools such as mobile devices, apps, collaboration software, and more.

And although there can be challenges, retail industry digital transformation technology helps simplify various complexities — benefiting the entire retail landscape. Are you embracing these possibilities to help your most important resource in a very challenging time for retailers?

“The most important thing to attract and retain workers is the environment in which they work … how much you pay people doesn’t really move the needle in terms of how interested and engaged they are. They want to enjoy their workplace, to feel respected, and to believe that they have opportunities for advancement.”¹

- Ed Egee

NRF Vice President

Government Relations and Workforce Development

Retail digitization — streamline the hiring and onboarding of retail employees

Experts agree and studies show that positive employee experiences start as soon as they apply for the position – 58% of job hunters said they’ve declined an offer because of a negative experience with a potential employer during the hiring process.² And, with today's retail labor market as competitive as it is, hiring managers can't afford to risk losing a qualified and interested applicant because of inefficiencies within that application and onboarding process.

Not every prospective employee has the same personal technology. Make the store a place that elevates the hiring experience and helps to land the best hires.

Consider digitizing and automating hiring and employee onboarding by:

  • Offering in-store hiring kiosks and online applications

  • Deploying chatbots to assist with answering candidates’ questions 24/7

  • Integrating an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to route job applications, schedule interviews with candidates, automate workflows, and more

  • Incorporating virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to give applicants a better idea of what they’ll be doing or a feel for work environments — also great for training!

  • Digitizing HR paperwork and creating automated workflows to increase efficiencies, avoid errors and reduce redundant and monotonous paperwork.

Related content

Article: How technology is improving employee job training

Provide remote training to retail employees

By tapping into today’s technology, retailers can free up employees' time and create better recruiting, onboarding, training, and overall work experiences from day one.

And as everyone knows, retail employee retention is especially challenging now. A 2022 Korn Ferry survey shows a 75.8% turnover rate for all hourly in-store positions — up from 68% in 2021.³ Happier or more satisfied employees lead to happy customers.

Once hired, retail employees are already overtasked and “fighting for hours.” With the right video conferencing and collaboration tools, retailers can turn employee breakrooms into virtual training rooms to make required learning even more appealing.

Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and advanced videoconferencing equipment make training more engaging. Moreover, this innovative training style allows everyone — from corporate to store-level associates — the ease and flexibility of training on demand in the comfort of their homes. New hires won't have to commute, battle weather elements, or stress over childcare. Instead, they can complete training modules and testing anytime, anywhere.

Explore communication and collaboration solutions

Automate and modernize the corporate mail room

How much time is wasted searching for misdirected mail and packages while working remotely or on the road? An intelligent or smart delivery mail room service can increase productivity and give retail employees another option for keeping up with their inbound mail and delivery. Secured digital mailboxes can be accessed from an employee’s mobile device anytime, anywhere.

Digital records support accountability and compliance. Mail analytics help improve mail management and information flow by providing insights into the types of mail your organization receives.

Explore Intelligent Delivery to discover how to streamline the intake and delivery of physical inbound communication, regardless of where employees work.

Ricoh — supporting your retail industry digital transformation

Adopting scalable, safe, and secured enterprise solutions that promote digital transformation should be manageable. Ricoh’s dedicated retail account team takes a holistic approach to the entire retail ecosystem and provides end-to-end solutions and services designed to support and grow your business.

Contact us to discuss additional ways to elevate your digital transformation journey within the retail industry or visit Ricoh for Retail.

Carl Image.jpg
Carl has and continues to successfully partner with many of the top global retailers and CPG brands to help them better serve their consumers and improve their bottom lines via a wide range of business transformation solutions in all areas of operation.

Carl Rysdon

Vice President, Retail Industry

Ricoh USA

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  1. 1https://nrf.com/blog/respect-relationships-and-stability-engaging-workers-takes-more-money
  2. 2https://www.careerplug.com/blog/reasons-candidates-turn-down-job-offers/