Big Lots!, Inc. is an American retail company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio with over 1,400 stores in 47 states.
Big Lots was in need of a solution that would empower retail store associates and management with tools to better serve customers, improve communication, and disseminate information to the employee-base providing them with the latest information and customer insights from any device.
The previous communication methods were broken and outdated – relying on email, spreadsheets, and phone calls to gather data, improve processes, and oversee company policies. An abundance of disparate business systems across the organization led to key business initiatives being under-developed with unproductive and disconnected processes including store monitoring, employee onboarding, and promotional roll-outs.
Engagement levels for field workers was low, Big Lots was looking to deliver its corporate mission and vision to all employees regardless of role to ensure they felt connected. Big Lots also sought to empower employees with data-rich experiences that allowed for real-time access to information when handling customer inquiries in order to provide the very best customer experiences.
Big Lots partnered with Akumina to build an employee digital hub that delivers a connected user experience to all employees. The experience for users is personalized and contextual for each individual, whether the user is a store manager, corporate HR leader, or retail store employee. Information can now be disseminated to employees with alignment to Big Lots’ corporate culture.
Right from a device on the sales floor, Big Lots’ employee digital hub grants store associates easy access to a range of product information allowing for real-time access to information necessary when handling customer inquiries. Without interrupting the customer shopping experience, employees are provided with assisted selling applications that enriches the customer experience to enable employees to research pricing, inventory level, and product queries on the spot. Prior to the digital hub, employees would walk to a counter where a computer desk resided in order to look up the customer’s request which often required a long wait time.
The employee digital hub improves scheduling and task management for employees. An online scheduling system allows employees to collaborate and connect with other employees to check schedules and alert team members with real-time updates regarding scheduling.
Big Lots has also unveiled a corporate resource center to provide employees with quick training videos to ensuring new practices and best practices for customer experiences is being consumed by employees.
Since launching the digital hub, employee motivation and engagement has significantly increased. Floor associates who normally would not have had access to corporate sales numbers now have insight into their store’s sales reporting and other corporate analytics.