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06/17/2022

World Market enhances mobile employee communication

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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World Market
World Market is using mobile devices in stores.

A specialty home décor retailer is connecting store employees and managers in real time.

World Market is creating consistent in-store communications between its stores’ managers, groups, and associates. Previously, the retailer’s store operations were constrained by internal systems that did not enable a fully connected workforce. As a result, store personnel faced gaps in communication that led to missed updates and other inefficiencies.

While World Market managers were connected via store VoIP phones, this led the other 75% of in-store associates operating in isolation and having to walk across stores to find assistance, product information or inventory data. In-store announcements were typically communicated via an overhead paging system, which disrupted the customer experience and often yielded no results in employee acknowledgment. 

In addition, store management had to individually relay critical internal communication from corporate headquarters to every associate, across all shifts and store locations. Frequently, not all store employees received these updates, creating additional gaps in communication and associate knowledge, which in turn negatively impacted productivity and the overall customer experience.

To resolve its store communications issues, World Market evaluated several different mobile technologies to create full inn-store connectivity, including walkie-talkies. The retailer ultimately decided to implement the Theatro Mobile Communication Platform as a cloud-based SaaS solution.

The Theatro solution runs off the Microsoft Azure cloud platform via an IoT wearable device with an intelligent virtual assistant. World Market runs Theatro as a subscription-based service to connect every associate to the enterprise, to managers, and to one another.

As a result, the retailer has improved labor productivity and the overall customer experience. Associates are also connected with critical back-office systems, giving them real-time access to product and inventory data via voice command, resulting in the ability to more quickly resolve customer inquiries. In addition, headquarters- and store-based management teams can communicate directly, in real-time, with all associates, which the company has found increases team engagement, collaboration, and alignment of store activities to higher-level business objectives.

Other specific capabilities World Market has gained include the ability for personnel at corporate headquarters to communicate with all frontline associates by leaving them voice messages that they hear when logging on to the system for their shift, using the Theatro Content Distribution Manager (CDM) solution. The company has also been able to automate and streamline its curbside pickup services and optimize store labor scheduling based on customer need.

“Theatro has digitally transformed our store communications, which helped us improve our associates’ productivity, knowledge and speed of service, which translates into better customer experiences and increased sales,” Scott Traverso, VP, store operations, World Market, said in a blog post.

Specialty outdoor retailer mobile-enables employees
Outdoor brand Roots Corp. is also leveraging mobile solutions to enhance employee performance in stores. As part of a broader digital learning transformation initiative, Roots is deploying Yoobic mobile technology to its 2,000 associates spread across its more than 100 North American stores.

Roots will connect and engage with employees across its organization, including corporate managers and frontline employees at its retail outlets, distribution centers, warehouses, and its leather factory, using Yoobic mobile communication tools. The platform also offers a social media style user experience, which Roots will leverage to provide employees with access to the latest corporate news and policies, as well the ability to collaborate with one another.