The Digital Dash

With the digital wave on the rise, retailers are closing their brick and mortar locations left and right. This is leaving many employees without jobs or forced to move to other locations. It's’ a scary time for those who work in the retail world and for consumers alike. There's a disconnect, and to be honest I've watched it happen and even played many parts in the progression of the Digital Dash! Keep reading because you may be playing a part as well. Here are the 7 things I have noticed leading up the digital age

1. Improper Training and Lack of Customer Service

How many of you have been in a store and it seemed like the sales associate wasn't able to help you with anything. I have witnessed this on and off the clock! There is a gap in employee standard and training procedures. Most training sessions boil down to a series of videos that aren't being retained or followed by hands on examples. This leads most customers not shop as often or shop online!

2. E-Commerce

Why would you leave your house just to have to search for a cashier when you can simply search the inter webs and have what you need come right to your doorstep. I know I love the convenience! Many stores have done away with the brick and mortar locations and opted for an online only option. By choosing to shop online, we help make that decision. 

3. Higher Education
Millennials are the most educated generation to date. We are also the leaders of the current economic makeup. With our education, we're opting for higher paying career paths or creating our own opportunities through entrepreneurship. The youth before us occupied the retail world at a much higher rate by being employees that grew with the company. The retail space is not what it once was. The trajectory for growth is slim and most millennials aren't sticking around without the promise of a secure future with the company.

4. Outsourcing
Many retailers have gone on to cut in-house positions such as, Human Resources, Loss Prevention, and Recruitment Services. The most current trend is outsourcing these positions to other countries through digital databases. This way, overhead is lowered and the job still gets done. But what does this mean for the actual real life people who are losing those jobs?

5. Designer and Vendor Relations
Because this entire ordeal is a snowball effect, most vendors are starting to feel the pain as well. Vendors and designers are pulling out from stores by not renewing their contracts and selling direct to consumer. If they haven't totally removed themselves, they have limited the amount of stock that they send to try to control their loses.

6. Health Insurance
Part time is the new full time! Because it is illegal to work more than thirty hours without the option of a company provided healthcare plan, many retailers only schedule employees for part time shifts. This is one of the cruelest things I've witnessed. They rather hire more employees and schedule them to work a few hours here and there, than to offer up health insurance.

7. Budget Cuts
What it all boils down to… Because we are educating ourselves and becoming financially literate, entrepreneurs, and avid online shoppers, the money is just not coming in the same for retailers. This means everyone gets cut in some way. This is why positions are dissolved and training is no longer a priority. Most companies are using their funds to cover past loses.

This is not good you guys. Even writing this I get sad, because I am employed in the retail industry. I see the changes, I feel the shift, and I believe that the digital era is only beginning. In the world of same day shipping, online grocery shopping, self checkout, and Apple Pay, I see the need for service providers becoming non-existent. 

To all my millennials, arm yourselves with some sort of digital or technology based skill. Move ahead of the change. I myself, am planning to get more education on skills that have a more employable value. Let’s secure our futures in the digital era!