How retail deskless workers can benefit from technology solutions

Learn how mobile technology can better connect retail store employees to their work, increase productivity, enhance customer interactions and provide real-time information updates.

October 20 2023 by

Chris Diaz

Retail worker uses iPad managed by Jamf to process credit card payment of customer.

Retail employees get their work done on their feet, not sitting behind a desk. Just like 80% of the employees in the world, this workforce is “deskless”, and mobile by necessity.

When deskless workers interact with technology, it’s usually in a task-oriented and time-sensitive fashion. Whether they’re using a mobile phone for inventory management, a tablet for point-of-sale, or a messaging app to communicate with managers, these workers need efficient, reliable tech that helps them do their jobs better.

Organizations have a lot to think through regarding the technology used by these mobile-first workers. Purposeful device deployments ensure critical safeguards are in place to secure customer and company data, provide solutions that excel in busy retail environments, and empower users with technology that doesn’t end up creating more issues in the form of IT help-desk tickets.

The solution: use Jamf for Mobile Device Management (MDM) and security of your Apple devices such as iPads, iPhones and Apple TVs, and look to our partners to provide retail use-case specific solutions.

Help me help you

The in-store experience has a direct effect on your bottom line. The interactions your customers have from the moment they enter the store to final checkout can help determine whether they leave satisfied or don’t come back at all.

As for these customers, in today’s fast-paced retail environment, savvy shoppers are often educated with online research and have high expectations for in-store employee service and knowledge. The point-of-sale workforce needs to be able to access and relay accurate, up-to-date information both quickly and efficiently.

And from the employee point of view, having the right tools available impacts not only their workday but their overall job satisfaction. As a critical factor in retail workforce management, it’s never been truer that what’s good for workers is good for consumers. There’s a positive correlation between frontline employee satisfaction and consumer experience.

At the same time, the high turnover rate – currently 60.5% for retail employees - regularly brings new employees into the mix, often with little training and the need for speed to independence.

Your more experienced leaders and associates also don’t want to have to spend time trying to troubleshoot devices, which takes them away from their core work of helping the customer in front of them.

And when it comes to the interaction with the customer, if they can’t trust the device to do what it is supposed to do, it’s frustrating for both parties.

When an MDM like Jamf is introduced, retailers see many significant improvements. Jamf enables you to allow leaders and associates to focus on customers, not worry about technology.

Simplify device sharing

For retail associates who share devices, Jamf helps unlock the power of shared iPhone and iPad.

You can provision devices via Jamf Setup and Jamf Reset to make sure each employee has the right apps, for the right use case, at the right time.

Jamf Setup is an app designed to instantly transform a device’s configuration and connect workers to the tools they need, completely over the air and without IT interaction.

Jamf Setup allows for immediate, purpose-driven device provisioning and re-provisioning. Created for shared device scenarios, this intuitive app customizes each interaction an end user has on a device, fit to their needs.

How Jamf Setup works:

  • An employee picks up any managed device to complete a task-based workflow.
  • The employee opens Jamf Setup and selects a configuration without having to log in or contact IT.
  • The employee is provided with a customized device fit to their needs and can go about their tasks.

Jamf Setup pairs with Jamf Reset. For use cases that require the removal of personal information, Jamf Reset is a companion app that helps a user perform a secure MDM wipe on their assigned device.

Jamf Setup and Jamf Reset also support the Single Login workflow that simplifies and secures shared-device deployments. With Single Login, a user’s cloud-identity credentials can be used to instantly de-provision on iOS or iPadOS device, ensuring that a user’s footprint is wiped from the shared device – wirelessly and without IT interaction.

Return to Service

You can further enhance simplified device sharing with Return to Service – available in iOS and iPadOS 17 or later. The Return to Service MDM Erase command allows organizations to send an EraseDevice command along with the previously selected language, region and critically — a Wi-Fi profile. Previously, these unskippable user selections had to be performed each time a device was wiped and reenrolled. With Return to Service, end users will be able to more quickly re-provision a device on Wi-Fi without requiring the end user to manually join the network.

Return to Service is offered in the Jamf Pro API. IT admins and apps can build workflows to automate the resetting and reenrolling of managed devices by erasing all data from the managed device, automatically reenrolling it into Jamf Pro and proceeding to the home screen, ready for use. In retail settings, there are a wide variety of use cases for this feature, including mitigating the number of Tier Zero IT tickets submitted.

Keep teams informed and connected

Employees are looking for clear communication when it comes to understanding goals and initiatives. And leaders need reliable tools to help deliver the information.

However retail employees may receive communications through a multitude of different avenues, sometimes with conflicting information, resulting in confusion about the focuses and goals for the day.

Providing a single source of truth for scattered retail employees can be as simple as using a literal sign – making use of Apple TVs as digital signage that can be updated in real time.

Digital signage uses include:

  • Keep organizational focuses and goals top of mind: From business intelligence data to employee of the month or new product information, Jamf's powerful “shrink-wrap to signage” solution with Carousel Digital Signage can support all of these use cases.
  • Give employees on-the-go regular communications: Because most retailers don’t issue company emails to frontline associates, formal communications are usually reserved for a training or communications app that requires a login. With digital signage, retailers can give clear communication to associates and itemize priorities.

Mobile devices can also provide secure access to offline corporate content when managed with the right partners.

  • Provide deeper dives into information. With an application like PlayerLync, you can offer more in-depth corporate content and data on mobile devices, such as standard operating procedures, compliance training and training videos.

Making it happen

By taking advantage of the technology available, you can help your retail workers be more efficient, provide better customer service, and feel more connected to your company.

Learn more about how Jamf can help you help your employees and improve your bottom line.

Make the most of your mobile devices with a free trial of Jamf.

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