Winning with Microsoft Teams in Retail

Winning with Microsoft Teams in Retail

Looking into Microsoft Teams as the central hub for your retail environment? You’re in the right place. Today, Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular tools for collaboration, communication and productivity in the current landscape. Not just suited for people sitting behind a desk, Teams is built to address the needs of every kind of company, from retail organisations to frontline workers and government professionals.

Microsoft Teams for Retail is an enhanced version of the standard Teams experience, equipped with tools and services intended specifically for the retail landscape. You can access unique Team templates to help you build the most influential landscape and access high-level frontline worker tools for managing the workforce. Here’s what you need to know if you want to get the best results from Microsoft Teams for Retail.


Building a Teams Environment for Retail

Retail companies, just like many other modern groups, are more in need of effective collaboration and communication tools than ever before. In the retail environment, front-line workers and back-end administrators need to work seamlessly together to drive profitability and boost customer experience. What’s more, retail professionals need to ensure they’re constantly keeping track of important information, like customer retention and inventory.

Microsoft Teams offers an environment where companies can break down the common walls between staff members in a retail space, and effectively transform the modern workflow. Silos disappear, and teams learn how to work more effectively together in a shared creative space. Currently, Microsoft says that active users in retail grow by around 280% year over year on Teams.

So, where do you begin building an agile store?

The best starting point may involve using Microsoft Teams templates to help you roll out a design specifically suited to retailers. The Teams admin centre has templates built for retail companies, with access to everything from shift management to Wiki store knowledge sharing. You can even build different teams for retail managers, retail employees, and store supervision.

For instance, a retail manager team might have channels on Operations, Shift management, and General conversations, as well as Apps like time tracking, recognition bots, and Wiki support.


Building Better Stores with Teams

As retailers continue to face challenges presented by the pandemic, tools like Teams are growing increasingly valuable. A Teams environment provides an agile space where retailers can be nimbler in the way they manage their supply chain, track shifts, and examine customer service strategies. Microsoft even has a “task publishing” feature in Teams to help with agile management.

Task publishing allows business leaders to coordinate tasks at scale, while maintaining easy task management in a single location. Managers can easily assign tasks to specific people in certain store locations, and track when assignments are completed. Other handy features for retailers to take advantage of include:

Shift management: Frontline worker features like shift management are often highly valuable in the Teams landscape. With Microsoft Teams, supervisors and employees alike can track when they’re set to be in and out of the retail environment, with access to things like shift change request, reminders, and even schedule or time tracking

Integrations: Integrations with third-party tools make it easier to unlock new levels of productivity. Solutions like the ServiceNow platform can allow employees to set up effective modern workflows, improving customer service. You could also offer your retailers virtual agents to help them find information on products, services, and stock levels fast

Planner: Microsoft Teams has a host of tools built-in specifically for retailer workers. The Planner feature, for instance, allows workers to coordinate and set tasks effectively in one location. Planner has all the necessary tools required to implement task schedules, track their outcomes, and even request supervision

Push to talk: For retail employees on the shop floor, push-to-talk functionality makes it quick and easy to get information and feedback from other workers, or simply collect information to allow for better overall performance

Files and tabs: Teams makes it easy to create tabs and files full of information to make your retail team more productive. Tabs can include Wiki information about store products and inventory details, helping staff to make better decisions without the guidance of other supervisors and managers

To simplify the experience for frontline workers and retail staff, Microsoft is constantly updating its retail environment with new features and solutions. The company regularly invests in seamless access capabilities to allow retail employees to sign into the service wherever they are. There’s SMS sign-in for Azure Active Directory, and even shared device sign-out for security purposes.

Microsoft regularly collects feedback from staff in the retail space to determine what kind of updates and enhancements are most likely to have a lasting impact on the industry.


Connecting Teams in Retail

As various retail environments continue to evolve with a greater focus on digital technology, the retail environment in Teams could even pave the way for better-connected communications between off-site and on-site employees. Today’s retail administrators and supply chain experts can work at a distance using remote cloud connections, but still connect with the staff on the shop floor.

Connected communications help to reduce the silos in the retail environment which might otherwise stop team members from delivering their best work. Microsoft Teams builds a two-way solution for conversations between business leaders and their staff to ensure everyone can stay on the same page. Company leaders could even host huge webinars and large meetings with staff members all over the globe, in different retail locations when updates need to be issued about the organisation.

All the while, Microsoft is constantly rolling out new technology to take the guess work out of running an efficient staff environment. You can tag people in specific shifts to let them know when they need to be available to work and send requests for approval to members of staff about shift changes, with reminders to ensure that issues are dealt with quickly.

Microsoft Teams for Retail just keeps getting better.

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At Netcom, we are well-versed in helping companies in various sectors navigate the often mystifying, jargon-filled world of IT. With over 15 years’ experience and covering virtually all aspects of business IT, we can help guide your business to a prosperous future with the right IT at your side every step of the way. We can help you deploy cutting edge solutions that will not only help you weather the storm that is modern IT and also keep your business at the top of its game post-pandemic and beyond.

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