Data, design and digital – reinventing retail in 2022

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When it comes to reinvention, there’s no time like the present. Over the past few years, retailers have been disproportionately affected by fluctuating consumer demand, and the so-called “great resignation” is threatening to plunge the industry into further chaos.

In the face of this adversity, many leaders have recognised the importance of making a shift in thinking when it comes to the way they manage their workforces. In a recent survey by Roubler, up to 51 per cent* of participants said they are looking to invest in workforce management and HR software in the next 12 months, which means the much-needed change is already upon us.

In Roubler’s webinar with the owner and founder of HR Curator, Dave Millner, we examined why it’s so important that retailers adopt a new mindset, with a focus on data, design and digital to help affect a business reset this year. After all, as we move ever nearer to the resolution of the pandemic, it is vital that retailers ensure any momentum is amplified as much as possible by taking a timely approach when it comes to implementing best practices in the operations of their business.


As with most aspects of modern commerce, a data-driven approach is key to gaining a competitive advantage. Better workforce management based on broader data analysis and deeper insights into the dynamics of your in-house team can help align day-to-day processes with financial imperatives and commercial operations. This goes hand-in-hand with building revenue, as real-time workforce data provides both clarity and actionable analytics, and visibility across payroll, rostering and sales enables deeper insights to drive the performance of the whole team.

Leading-edge workforce management systems offer all-in-one solutions, as opposed to single-point systems, and incorporate everything from onboarding through to payroll in one interface. With complete access to all the relevant data, managers can gauge the cost of a roster while they’re building it, comparing staffing costs with actual sales and enabling cost efficiencies by enabling better decision making in line with forecast demand. These efficiencies are especially pronounced in an industry where staffing costs make up such a significant percentage of overall business costs.


Business performance is also very much influenced by elegance in system design. Without a seamless and sophisticated solution, many retailers struggle to stay on top of even the most basic processes and functions, instead relying on messy integrations – or worse, spreadsheets – to roster, manage and pay their employees. All-in-one solutions ensure day-to-day procedures are streamlined for managers and staff alike, and provide leadership with total clarity over their entire workforce.

At a time when employee experience is so intrinsic to business success, and retail employees expect more than ever from their employer, it is essential to equip them with tools that will genuinely make a difference. When so many people have already moved on from the industry, providing transparency and communicating effectively with staff is key to building a cohesive workforce. One way to achieve this is by providing a mobile app where they can access everything they need; this will help make a good impression on new hires and make sure they stick around once you’ve onboarded them.


The current degree of digital adoption has already created great momentum within the retail industry, with leading businesses embracing the latest technology and seeing commensurate improvements in performance. Those retailers who have not yet embarked on this transformation risk slipping behind, as more and more businesses realise the benefits of seamless, cloud-based solutions with built-in artificial intelligence. There’s no sign that the current rate of technological change is going to slow down, and retailers will need to be ahead of the curve to remain competitive.

When businesses are under such a great deal of pressure to find and retain staff, it’s no surprise that workforce management software is a key area focus for so many businesses. With so many looking to invest in workforce management software this year, leading retailers are set to leverage the benefits of seamless digital systems that do the thinking – and the repetitive administration – for them. By adopting and enabling these technologies, retailers can also stay ahead of compliance regulations and will benefit from the latest innovations as they happen.

Roubler’s workforce management software solution plays a key role in digital transformation in retail, providing the tools businesses need to gain a competitive edge. By having the right systems and processes in place, retailers can take advantage of all these key drivers and be better prepared for the dynamics of the coming year in business.

*Source: Roubler workforce management survey 2022, preliminary results.

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