Next-gen technology platforms help retail associates communicate across store floors, manage inventory and better assist customers

In the digital age, brick-and-mortar stores are not only continually reinventing themselves and finding new ways to better serve retail strategy, but also upping their game to deliver high-caliber experiences that incentivize foot traffic. Delivering high-touch, personalized and one-to-one service from optimally educated employees is one tactic retailers are employing to give customers more reason to visit their stores as well as streamlining their online experience, increasing their value to shoppers.

Accordingly, here's how three top retailers are investing in fluid communication platforms that allow employees to share real-time information with each other or across organizations to ensure better customer service and more informed assistance:

Clothing-retail company H&M is using a tool that lets employees communicate in real time through a collaboration with Convo, a team communication platform. Through its Retail Social Collaboration Platform, employees are about to be kept informed and connected with management at all times. Information appears on employee’s mobile phones in a social media-esque feed, providing on-demand, real-time information and updates. The goal of the platform is to provide multiple functions in a centralized place, combining task management and chat apps and replacing corporate email for non-desk employees to help them better organize their different channels and eliminate switching between apps.

Pharmacy retailer Walgreens is outfitting in-store staff with handheld mobile computers and tablets from Zebra Technologies to help workers with their daily tasks, as well as helping customers. Using the technology, store associates can look up product data, check planograms, or set up orders for home or direct-to-store delivery. The technology aims to help employees have time to assist more customers.

Department store retailer Kohl’s added the Actionable Analytics program to the store’s existing associate dashboard, which shows sales data and other daily stats. With Actionable Analytics, Kohl’s uses local customer data, comparable store data and machine learning algorithms to serve managers weekly tasks that they can check off to improve store conversions.

These are just a few examples of retailers who are investing in their store associates by enabling a networked knowledge exchange. For the full list, download PSFK's report, Enhancing Service Based Experiences Through Automation.