Revolutionizing Retail Communication: Convergent's Solution for the Critical Fourth Quarter

November 21, 2023

“Staff turnover creates significant execution problems. Convergent helps minimize the negative impact by changing the way staff communicate, allowing retailers to keep up with the demands of the business and focus on enhancing the shopper's experience. This is particularly true in the critical 4th quarter.” - Jeff Reine, Auki Labs CRO

In the world of retail, the fourth quarter is a double-edged sword. While it brings the festive season, bustling stores & high sales potential, it also presents unique staffing and execution challenges for retailers.

Among these challenges, onboarding seasonal staff, high staff turnover, rising operational costs, and the perpetual threat of stockouts remain common issues. But what if we told you that these issues, often looked at from an economic perspective, have a deeper common root? They're fundamentally communication challenges. This is where spatial computing, and Convergent in particular, steps in as a game-changer.

The Fourth Quarter Challenge:

During the holiday season, retail operations are pushed to their limits. According to Deloitte's annual holiday retail forecast, holiday retail sales can account for up to 20-30% of a retailer's total annual sales, making efficient operations during the fourth quarter critical to a retailer's success.

In addition, the fourth quarter also sees a spike in staff turnover. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that the retail industry often experiences a turnover rate of around 60-65% for part-time retail employees during the holiday season, significantly higher than the average turnover rate of 30% for other industries.

Research by IHL Group reveals that retailers lose an estimated $1.77 trillion globally each year due to out-of-stock items. Furthermore, “when customers come ready to buy but don’t end up making a purchase because they can’t find an item, those out-of-stocks account for $1.2 trillion in losses.” - The Food Institute.

Simply put, stores are flooded with shoppers, and the demand for efficient service is at its peak. This is coupled with high percentages of seasonal workers, increasing operational costs, and the ever-present risk of holiday stockouts.

The losses mentioned above result from missed sales opportunities, customer dissatisfaction, and the costs associated with restocking. These challenges are intertwined and often exacerbated by a lack of effective communication.

The Convergent Solution

Convergent, the spatial computing platform for retail, tackles these challenges head-on by empowering retail staff with digital information deeply rooted in physical space. Here's how Convergent addresses the issues prevalent during the fourth quarter:

1. Onboard new & seasonal employees faster:

  • The holiday season sees a higher influx of seasonal or temporary staff. Training these new employees efficiently becomes paramount.
  • Convergent Search, one of the platform's applications, provides SKU-level search and navigation. Even first-day staff can have perfect knowledge of the store's layout. This reduces training time and ensures temporary employees can quickly find items, minimizing the learning curve.
  • The platform's shelf-level navigation and route optimization feature make it easy for staff to locate products and complete online orders efficiently, a crucial aspect during the busy holiday season.

2. Fight back against increasing operational costs:

  • Staff turnover, along with inefficient communication and workflow, can lead to higher operational costs. Effective communication and collaboration are essential to streamline processes.
  • Convergent Notes allows staff to leave well-placed reminders and annotations in their correct physical context. This improves knowledge transfer, streamlines everyday tasks, and reduces the time spent on tasks.
  • By having private and multi-lingual notes, Convergent ensures that teams can communicate effectively and quickly across distances without physically locating each other. This improves communication efficiency and cuts down operational costs.

3. Minimize stockout risks:

  • Stockouts can result from poor inventory management and a lack of timely communication. The consequences of stockouts during the fourth quarter can be particularly detrimental.
  • Convergent Search helps staff find products quickly and efficiently. This reduces the chances of stockouts as employees can locate items faster and restock shelves in a timely manner.
  • By empowering staff with the Search "superpower,” Convergent ensures that stockout risks are minimized, protecting retailer margins during the crucial holiday season.

Picture this: using Convergent, new seasonal workers effectively handle put-backs from fitting rooms overflowing with items that weren't "just right.” Shirts and skirts move swiftly back to shelves where they can be for the next shopper.

Furthermore, staff can navigate and communicate more efficiently to restock the aisles from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and beyond. In other words, Convergent can help better manage the chaos created by the rush of shoppers on the sales floor.

Communication is the Key

The issues of staff turnover, increasing operational costs, and stockout risks are indeed rooted in communication challenges. With its innovative spatial computing platform, Convergent addresses these challenges by providing efficient, location-based solutions for retailers. This reduces training time and costs and streamlines everyday tasks, ultimately improving the customer experience and profitability during the fourth quarter.

As the fourth quarter intensifies, retailers can rely on Convergent to transform their operations, mitigate the challenges of staff turnover and operational costs, and ensure a successful and profitable holiday season. With Convergent, retailers can turn communication challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

Learn more about Convergent here.

About Auki Labs

Auki Labs is at the forefront of spatial computing, pioneering the convergence of the digital and physical to give people and their devices a shared understanding of space for seamless collaboration.

With a focus on user-centric design and privacy, Auki Labs empowers industries and individuals to embrace the transformative potential of spatial computing, enhancing productivity, engagement, and human connection.

Auki Labs is building the posemesh, a decentralized spatial computing protocol for AR, the metaverse, and smart cities.

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