This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.

Social Media Links

| 3 minutes read

Headwinds in the Retail Labor Market: Mastering Decision-Making and Metrics for Omnichannel Efficiency - Part 4

How Can Retailers Refine Their Omnichannel Strategies Through Effective Decision-Making and Precise Success Metrics?

Current headwinds in the retail labor market present formidable challenges and hurdles for retailers in effectively managing their workforce. These challenges arise from dynamic shifts in economic landscapes, evolving consumer behaviors, and rapid technological advancements. 

In the fourth installment of our seven-part series, we delve into the critical roles of clear role delineation and the establishment of precise success metrics.

Optimizing Workforce Strategies for Omni-Channel Success

Clear delineation of roles and responsibilities across all organizational levels and departments involved in customer-facing omnichannel initiatives is crucial for effective decision-making. This clarity ensures alignment with Key Performance Indices (KPIs) and customer expectations, enhancing performance and overall success.

  • Data-Driven Workforce Planning
    • Utilize data and analytics for labor demand forecasting and scheduling optimization
    • Align staffing with peak shopping times, seasonal trends, and omnichannel service needs using customer behavior data
  • Invest in Employee Training and Development
    • Design training programs tailored for omnichannel operations
    • Promote continuous learning to keep up with technological advancements
  • Technology Adoption and Integration
    • Deploy workforce management systems for scheduling and forecasting
    • Integrate automation for enhanced efficiency without sacrificing service quality
  • Focus on Employee Retention
    • Establish clear career paths and advancement opportunities
    • Offer competitive wages and benefits to attract and retain top talent
  • Customer-Centric Service Design
    • Align labor strategies with customer experience enhancement goals
    • Gather and implement customer feedback for service refinement
  • Flexible and Scalable Workforce Models
    • Implement flexible staffing models for rapid scalability
    • Utilize staffing agencies or gig economy platforms for temporary needs
  • Regular Review and Adjustment
    • Continuously monitor success metrics and adjust strategies accordingly
    • Conduct regular performance reviews to refine labor strategies
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration
    • Foster collaboration between HR, operations, and IT departments
    • Share insights and data organization-wide to enhance decision-making

Defining and Measuring Success in the Omnichannel Era

Establishing clearly defined success metrics and utilizing easily understandable exception-based dashboards with mobile alerts is often neglected but crucial for staying on track toward overall objectives. Here are key metrics retailers should prioritize to gauge performance and effectiveness:

Employee Productivity

  • Sales per employee
  • Units processed per hour in fulfillment and logistics roles
  • Transaction times for Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS), Same-Day Home Delivery, and ship from Store (SFS) services

Labor Costs

  • Labor cost as a percentage of sales
  • Labor cost per type of transaction 
  • Overtime costs, causes, and their impact on overall labor expenses

Employee Retention and Turnover Rates

  • Average employee tenure by role
  • Turnover rates in key roles, especially those impacted by omnichannel strategies

Training and Development

  • Time and cost to train new employees
  • Effectiveness of training programs (measured by post-training performance improvements)

Customer Satisfaction and Service Levels

  • Customer satisfaction scores, particularly in areas directly impacted by labor (e.g., in-store service, BOPIS, Same-Day Home Delivery, and SFS)
  • Speed and accuracy of order fulfillment

Employee Engagement

  • Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS)
  • Participation in voluntary training and development programs

Health and Safety

  • Number of workplace accidents and incidents
  • Compliance with health and safety regulations

Adaptability and Responsiveness

  • Time taken to implement new processes or technologies
  • Flexibility of workforce scheduling

Other articles in this series: 

  1. Headwinds In The Retail Labor Market: 9 Critical Challenges Facing Retailers Today - Part 1
  2. Headwinds In The Retail Labor Market: Adapting to the Evolving Workloads of Omni-Channel Retailing - Part 2
  3. Headwinds in the Retail Labor Market: The Role of Technology Advancements and Shifting Consumer Expectations - Part 3

Ankura Performance Improvement Fundamentals

We have a proven record of helping companies execute strategic plans to achieve sustainable performance improvement and targeted operating results aimed at maximizing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), cash flow, and shareholder value.

We work side-by-side with management and other stakeholders to guide companies through periods of uncertainty and subsequently accelerate growth and value creation.

Winning companies map their workforce management strategy and initiatives against their customers’ journey to develop a customer-focused approach to align and manage labor. Ankura has the unique skills to identify and quantify benefits, as well as implement our proprietary labor planning, forecasting, and scheduling tools while facilitating implementation across all facets of workforce and field management.

Our Approach To Helping Clients Respond to Critical Workforce Demands Include:

  • Human Capital Design – Create a human capital assets plan in accordance with an overall strategy
  • Labor Utilization - Align labor utilization to meet demand, and focus on customers to improve conversion
  • Performance Management - Apply a data-driven and talent-centric performance management approach

Our Workforce Optimization Experts:

Mike Casey
Managing Director 

Eugene Kim
Senior Director 

Matt Sgrignari

© Copyright 2024. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of Ankura Consulting Group, LLC., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. Ankura is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.


headwinds-in-retail, performance, retail labor market, article, f-performance, operations, retail, performance improvement

Let’s Connect

We solve problems by operating as one firm to deliver for our clients. Where others advise, we solve. Where others consult, we partner.

I’m interested in

I need help with