Empower the store associate


Core components

Microsoft Cloud for Retail uses a combination of Microsoft products to address the industry-prioritized scenarios that are focused on empowering store associates. The following illustration reflects the required and recommended capabilities.

Diagram showing Empower the store associate product dependencies.

Real-time store communications and collaboration

Real-time store communications and collaboration can help you use modern tools for connecting your team.

With real-time store communications and collaboration, you'll gain productivity by putting empowered associates on an equal level with deeply informed customers. Additionally, you can provide modern communication, streamline work, and maintain an engaged, inclusive workplace.

Mobile screenshots showing chats, channels, and teams.

Real-time store communications and collaboration can help you offer your team real-time collaboration:

  • Provide effective communication tools, such as walkie-talkies, to facilitate real-time collaboration across the floor and expedite customer service.

  • Equip workers with more secure messaging and file sharing to access key information in one app.

  • Use Microsoft Teams to create channels to connect your workforce, coordinate planning and tasks, and streamline communications.

Additionally, you can enhance your experience with secure and rich messaging and file sharing:

  • Take advantage of priority notifications, tagging capabilities, read receipts, in addition to sharing images, files, and praise over Teams chat.

  • Use shared or personal devices more securely and equip workers with your choice of purpose-built devices.

Retail workforce management

Retail workforce management helps you digitize managerial tasks, such as store scheduling.

With retail workforce management, you can manage shifts seamlessly, connect to your existing workforce, simplify task dissemination, and help your team complete tasks more efficiently.

Screenshot of a Teams calendar, showing scheduling and task management.

With retail workforce management, you can offer seamless scheduling:

  • Manage shifts seamlessly by giving managers the ability to create and manage their team's schedule and by letting employees set their availability and adjust schedules to accommodate fluctuating business needs.

  • Track time and attendance with simple Clock in and Clock out options with geo detection and digital time tracking sheets.

  • Enable the Shifts connector with workforce management systems for real-time visibility into labor scheduling, time and attendance, and store operation scheduling in a single interface. This feature helps you ensure a seamless and accurate scheduling experience.

Also, you can experience near-effortless task management:

  • Enable corporate employees, such as corporate communications or the retail operations team, the ability to create, distribute, and track task assignments to a targeted location.

  • Equip managers with the ability to manage tasks regionally and assign these tasks to the correct individuals in the store.

  • Provide frontline workers with the ability to implement tasks locally with clear, detailed directions from HQ/Operations.

Process automation and career development

Process automation and career development help you expand what your stores and people can do through automation.

You can use a customizable and extensible platform and quickly implement new retail use cases. You can use automation so that employees can focus more on customers, and this facilitates employee growth and development.

Screenshot of Teams, showing My Learning and a mobile screenshot showing reorder options.

This capability can help you use automation with apps:

  • Use Microsoft Power Apps templates to start building and launching apps immediately in Microsoft Teams.

  • Learn how to build custom, low-code solutions with Microsoft Power Automate, allowing apps, bots, automated workflows, and data to handle repetitive tasks.

  • Gain access to over 700 apps in the app store, and integrate workflow apps and process automation apps into your daily Microsoft Teams workspace workflow.

Furthermore, you can equip people and processes to offer better experiences:

  • Enable virtual fittings and appointments that create a seamless experience for customers and workers alike with virtual visits.

  • Enable Approvals to make customer discounts run more smoothly.

Mobile screenshot showing the Contoso dashboard with the Shifts, Assigned Tasks, Contact Tracing, Approvals, and News tiles.

Finally, you can facilitate employee growth and development:

  • Connect everyone in your organization on a single platform with individually tailored feeds, personalized dashboards, and powerful targeting through Microsoft Viva Connections.

  • Keep your entire workforce up to date, quickly onboard new employees on the newest training, policies, and general learnings with the learning management system, and educate content providers inside Microsoft Viva Learning in Teams.

  • Focus on employee wellbeing and employee insights with Microsoft Viva Insights.