What technology do retail employees use to communicate?

BY Dan Berthiaume

Retail employees are using mobile communication technology in their jobs, but a more established channel is still most popular.

According to a study of 500 professionals within a variety of industries including retail from Infinite Convergence Solutions, 57% of retail employees use email most frequently for business communication. This made email significantly more popular than mobile messaging; (24%) or voice calling (19%).

The main reasons for employees who did not use mobile messaging most frequently were lack of paper trail (26%), preference for email or calls (21%), too informal (23%), not authorized by company (17%) and security concerns (14%).

Forty percent of retail respondents think email or phone is most secure method of business communication, compared to 21% who think mobile messaging is most secure. Thirty-four percent say immediacy of information needed to communicate matters most when deciding communication method

In terms of who retail employees are communicating with, 49% most frequently communicate with colleagues; 35% clients/customers; 16% external partners or stakeholders
Of retail employees who do use mobile messaging on the job, 62% use SMS/MMS text to communicate. The most popular messaging apps are Facebook Messenger, Skype and GChat. Ten percent say their company prohibits third-party messaging apps and another 9% prefer to not use messaging apps.

Opinions on the security of third-party messaging apps is mixed. Forty-eight percent of respondents think most of their business correspondence is secure in third-party messaging apps; 13% think it’s not secure; 36% think it’s completely secure

However, 54% of retail employees say their company does not have an official mobile messaging platform. Of that 54%, 69% say their company does not recommend a mobile messaging platform. Of the 31% who say their company recommends one, they most often recommend Skype; weChat; and WhatsApp.

In addition, 43% of retail employees who use mobile messaging at work communicate seven days per week regarding business matters with colleagues, partners and clients. Fifty-five percent strongly feel they have the necessary tech to communicate effectively at their jobs, and 48% are within arm’s reach of their phones seven to eight hours during the normal eight-hour workday.


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