Benefits of Knowledge Management System for Retail Sector

By Hilee Avrahami   |   January 24, 2022
Knowledge Management System for Retail
Knowledge management in retail delivers a competitive edge unlike many other solutions retailers rely on. It helps retailers understand and retain their existing customers and develop strategies that attract new buyers. A retail knowledge management platform benefits traditional and eCommerce retailers alike, and organizations that implement one are positioning themselves for unlimited present and future success.

What is Retail Knowledge?

The retail sector is the largest in the world, with the global retail market generating sales of over $25 trillion US dollars in 2021. To remain competitive, retailers need well-trained employees and must provide exceptional customer experiences, including self-service options.

A retail knowledge base gives enterprises the centralized knowledge they need to keep corporate, call centers, and physical locations up-to-date. To appreciate knowledge management’s role in retail, it’s essential to understand how knowledge is gathered, stored, and applied in the industry.

To operate a successful retail business, you need two types of knowledge:

  • Explicit knowledge. Easy to articulate and share, explicit retail knowledge includes things like product specs, instruction manuals, return processes, and troubleshooting instructions. Employees typically receive this knowledge during their onboarding and training.
  • Tacit knowledge. More subtle than explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge reflects personal experience and wisdom. For instance, an organization’s employee manual might have defined guidelines for customer interactions, but employees often learn to use other phrases or behaviors to achieve better results.

A combination of explicit and tacit knowledge can be used to answer customer questions, develop new products, or optimize the shopping experience.

Benefits of Knowledge Management in the Retail Sector

Knowledge management helps retailers process collected knowledge into skills, improve the value of customer satisfaction, and create value that competitors can’t imitate.

  1. Streamlined staff onboarding and training. The average worldwide turnover rate is slightly above 60 percent. The high volume of employees coming and going makes it essential for retailers to implement efficient training resources that enable a smoother onboarding experience. A knowledge management platform makes information available on-demand so even new employees can stay up-to-date on the latest processes. It also can reduce training time and help employees get up-to-speed more quickly.
  2. Centralized source of customer insights. Consumer needs and preferences have changed dramatically over the past several years, and businesses must constantly evolve to stay relevant. Collecting customer insights into a centralized knowledge management platform makes it easier for leadership to make informed decisions about future products and offerings.
  3. Up-to-the-minute product knowledge. A knowledge management platform gives sales and customer service teams a trusted source of current product knowledge, translating into faster and more accurate responses to customer queries and ultimately contributing to a better overall customer experience.
  4. Continuously expanding knowledge source. A knowledge management platform is perpetually in motion. Retailers can, over time, continually add institutional and individual information to their knowledge base, which enables them to steadily grow and evolve.

Knowledge Management Challenges Retailers Face

Amid a digital explosion, retail concepts and practices are changing at lightning speed, and many retailers are struggling to adapt. While knowledge management’s benefits clearly help expand customer bases, build customer relationships, and enhance loyalty, there are challenges to putting an effective system in place. They include:

  • Effective use of technology. From eCommerce platforms to QR codes and automated checkout, technology is completely reshaping the retail industry. Yet, technology’s only helpful if employees and customers use it. To work as it should, a knowledge management platform must be intuitive and easy to use.
  • Converting information into knowledge. Information sources like product sheets, call center scripts, and training videos exist in multiple formats in various locations. To turn that information into knowledge efficiently, it must be collected in a centralized location and made easily accessible to everyone in the organization. Only then can employees or customers take and apply that information.
  • Tracking knowledge management success. Implementing a knowledge management platform is only the first step. You must then measure its success by looking at metrics such as employee buy-in, customer engagement, and overall performance.
  • Uniform knowledge management initiatives. This is especially critical for retail businesses with multiple locations, as it can be difficult to maintain consistency in knowledge management schemes. Employees at every level and in every location must understand how to use the software to acquire information and contribute to the company’s collective knowledge.

When combined with change management efforts, an all-inclusive knowledge management platform can prepare your retail business to rise above the competition. You can use it to centralize employees’ collective knowledge while equipping them to provide better customer experiences.

AI’s Rise in Retail

Experts predict that by 2026, AI’s role in retail will reach $20.05 billion, and automated customer service interactions will play a significant role in elevating customer experiences. The result is considerable growth in the number of retailers embracing AI-based solutions.

AI-driven knowledge management allows retailers to revolutionize the retail experience in incredible ways. It also enables them to track their customers’ behaviors more efficiently and automate customer service interactions. The fusion of knowledge management and AI also creates a more agile workflow and empowers call center agents to give customers the information they need in a more efficient and satisfying way. Moreover, it reduces agent error and ensures key customer service metrics are achieved.

Retailers who’ve adopted robust digital solutions to improve the customer experience are understandably outperforming their competitors. An AI-based knowledge management platform like KMS Lighthouse can help your brand do the same, all while improving productivity and making the employee and customer experiences more enjoyable.