In the ever-changing world of retail, global brands are rapidly transforming to meet the evolving demands of today’s digital landscape. As an essential industry, the pandemic forced retailers to pivot their strategies, turning to cloud-based solutions such as Google Workspace to enable hybrid work environments while supporting consumers, frontline workers, and a surge in digital demand. For many companies, there’s no going back.
Retail organizations that adopted cloud technologies weathered the storm and embraced a new day. Through Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), businesses are unlocking new revenue streams while improving customer experience and satisfaction. Whether it’s connecting store employees and unifying processes across locations or streamlining operations online and recruiting and managing employees virtually, retailers are more agile, productive, and busier than ever — all thanks to Google Workspace for retail.
Amid global brick-and-mortar reopenings, retail executives must not get caught off guard. By harnessing the power of Google Workspace, retailers will continue to meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders despite future circumstances. With that said, let’s take a look at the top five ways Google Workspace for retail is improving customer experience while enabling retailers to go to market faster.
1. Streamlines Retail Processes and Operations
Retailers across the globe are seeking to increase speed while streamlining processes. To achieve this goal, leading retail companies have successfully integrated Google Workspace into their framework to move operations and processes online. In fact, Google recently introduced a new Google Workspace tier specifically for essential jobs such as retail. This new tier makes it easier for teams to digitize and streamline their work. Whether it’s collecting data in the field, reporting safety risks, or managing customer requests, this new Google Workspace tier provides enhanced collaboration and flexibility for the retail industry.
With AppSheet, Google makes it simple for teams to build and distribute custom applications directly from Google Sheets and Drive. To speed development, there are a number of templates to start with such as automating on-site/curbside pickup, managing inventory, or tracking workplace safety issues. AppSheet provides a no-code solution that is easy to use and fully integrated into Google Workspace.
When it comes to critical processes (e.g., collecting sales data during peak periods when it’s vital to keep stores adequately stocked), Google Workspace enables retailers to automate the process. Additionally, businesses can drastically save time and resources with Google Workspace by having store managers simply enter sales data into Google Forms. From there, it automatically flows into Google Sheets, is turned into dynamic graphics using Google Workspace Script, and can be shared instantly between headquarters, stores, and distribution centers.
2. Enables a Faster Retail Go-to-Market Strategy
In retail, growth is powered by speed and contingent upon market demand. To meet these demands and provide customers with the latest and greatest, retailers regularly introduce new products. By leveraging Google Workspace, retailers are keeping widespread teams connected and on schedule with approvals and production to meet critical deadlines. To keep team collaboration going from virtually any location, Google Sites can provide a one-stop destination. Here, companies can store project schedules, store-wide promotions, online forms, and internal news to keep up with the pace of a rapidly evolving retail industry.
To foster a broader culture of collaboration, where teams can share product designs, quality guidelines, and KPIs, retail teams are turning to Google Drive. Internally, Sheets, Rooms, and Calendar can help manage tasks and keep track of important deadlines. When communicating outside of an organization, Google Workspace also improves collaboration with suppliers via Meet, Sheets, Calendar, Drive, and more. And when it comes to digital content to showcase product lines and drive sales, Drive simplifies the way retailers manage rich-media assets like images, logos, and videos across retail channels and agencies. Drive syncs to the cloud, so everyone’s always accessing the most up-to-date content while its sharing features and access controls make working with external agencies and vendors simple and secure.
3. Simplifies the Interview Process and New Hire Onboarding
Today, retail organizations need the ability to hire and train employees from any location or device. With Meet, businesses can streamline the hiring and onboarding process by conducting interviews on one of the world’s most secure video conferencing solutions. Once the interview process is complete and you bring new hires onboard, it’s time to train and retain.
Onboarding processes are traditionally time-consuming and tend to pull leaders away from innovation and other critical tasks. By leveraging Google Sites, retail organizations can effortlessly create their own self-service training portal. Here, organizations can host training and product launch videos, marketing campaigns, promotions, return policies, and safety procedures that can be stored for on-demand access across the organization. Not only does this give time back to key stakeholders, but it also provides an efficient way for new employees to access training and other resources at any time from any location or device. Moreover, users can easily manage sharing permissions and ownership in Sites with just a few clicks.
4. Improves Customer Experience and Satisfaction
In today’s digitally-driven environment, delivering delightful customer experiences is more critical than ever. At the same time, improving customer experience and satisfaction has become increasingly challenging. While this area has always been at the forefront of the retail industry, meeting these goals to satisfy today’s tech-savvy shoppers is a whole new ballgame. Next-gen retailers need to ensure they are reaching customers across digital channels as well as in stores. To help solve these obstacles, Google Workspace enables retail organizations to provide employees with the information they need to answer customer questions from any device.
When it comes to providing a consistent experience across every location, Google Workspace for retail offers employees the ability to use phones or tablets to access product specs, promotions, videos, and FAQs stored in Google Drive. By providing employees with information on-demand, they can ultimately improve the company’s overall customer experience and satisfaction.
5. Creates a Happier Retail Environment
The happier the employees, the happier the customers! Google recently announced a new set of features for Workspace to help employees manage their working lives. This new integrated feature set includes “segmentable working hours,” which lets employees indicate when they are online and available to their coworkers. Retailers can now create a better work-life balance with features like:
- meeting availability indicators
- out-of-office/PTO events
- a “focus time” feature that limits notifications during certain periods
- location indicators that share the days an employee is working from home
There’s also a time insights feature that offers metrics on how employees are spending their time.
Retail organizations that want to thrive in a highly competitive landscape realize the future is digital and the future is now. While we may not know exactly what lies ahead for the evolving world of retail, one thing’s for certain: the shift to the cloud will continue to soar. Developed with the retail industry in mind, Google Workspace holds the key to critical transformation across an essential industry.
With dedicated retail practice and a portfolio of 11 Google Cloud Partner Specializations, including Cloud Migration, Security, and Enterprise Collaboration, Maven Wave can provide your retail organization with a more flexible, productive, and collaborative environment to meet evolving retail demands in a Google Workspace environment. Contact us to get started.
To learn more about how Google Workspace enables collaboration in retail, stream our on-demand webinar “Opening Up the Supply Chain in Retail via Collaboration.” Our experts provide an overview of the platform and demonstrate the notable difference between an organization using a legacy collaboration system versus an organization working in Google Workspace.
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