According to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the majority of work in retail can now be automated and people intelligence analytic tools are a crucial diagnostic instrument to closing the skills gap. People aren’t going anywhere and new research shows that combining people intelligence and technology to build the future of the retail workforce yields near immediate returns.

Upskilling does not always have to take the shape of formal training. For example, targeted interventions that rely on behavioral science can unlock creativity, drive innovation, and enhance employee performance.


Below are three key takeaways of the report and what they mean for retailers:


1.Two Key Drivers Of Revenue: People and Automation

According to the study, more than half (52 percent) of all activities in retail can be automated with current technology. While this has been a focus to leverage the best out of people, the next key driver to unlock revenue (48 percent) is powered by understanding people’s behaviors.

That’s why best-practice retailers are leveraging people intelligence analytics as a diagnostic tool for learning and development programs as well as talent acquisition. Retailers were closing the skills gap, but it can’t work as a standalone effort, separated with what fuels skills: behaviors. Retailers need to define success based on objective data about behaviors, consistently and at scale. Data-driven decisions then mean you can then take the guesswork out of coaching, and spend resources developing the specific behaviors that contribute to exceptional performance. 

2.Investments in Tech and People Analytics Yield Returns Now

Across all sectors studies show that leveraging people analytics and technology can improve store productivity by 10 to 20 percent immediately. The current crisis leveled the playing field for many retailers and the ones that could adapt their supply chain, their workforce, their operations, and move their operations online the fastest saw early returns. 

People analytics helps leaders leverage the tech and performance data they already have to get the right people in the right roles. With this intelligence, retailers can improve training and hiring efficiency, increase retention when the market improves, empower better employee performance, and heighten customer satisfaction. Also known as internal hiring, getting people in the right roles it is the most cost-effective way to see returns during a down market and solidifies a head start on your competitors when the market picks back up – without upending your current labor model. 

3. Shifting Buyer Expectations, Shifting Buyer Experience, Shifting Retail Roles

72% of consumers list accelerated checkout, including checkout-free shopping, as their favorite retail innovation. What is the impact on the retail experience and deployment of the workforce? Successful retailer have to rethink the employee’s role in brick-and-mortar shops, and what impact digital has on the experience. This means a move away from purely transactional to more relationship building, expert advisor your customers trust to guide them to the right decision, taking the guesswork out of their purchase.

Just as you have behavioral analytics to predict what and when your customers are most likely to buy, people analytics give retail the same insights for employees so they can understand which behaviors are most impactful in supporting business objectives. As a result, retailers can better forecast not only how to get the most out of their current employees, which behaviors to coach to close the gap, where they need support going forward, how to map behaviors to performance projections during the recruiting process, and most importantly reduce attrition by predicting when a valued employee is about to “abandon cart.”

How to: Put Modern People Intelligence Analytics Frameworks in Place

Retailers’ reskilling and recruiting efforts have helped them weather the storm thus far, but stabilizing revenue and setting your organization up for future growth without changing your labor model means taking advantage of people intelligence analytics now.


People Intelligence Analytics platforms can maximize revenue without changing your existing tech stack or your existing labor model. Intrigued? Start with a free 15 minute evaluation today.