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Retail tools to ease the Christmas rush

The festive season is chaotic but there is a plethora of digital staff collaboration tools to help businesses stay organised and running smoothly this christmas. LILIAN SUE reports.

Christmas can be a mad scramble. Every year, businesses must hire extra staff, order more inventory and ensure that each customer goes home with the perfect gift.

Not only is finding staff an issue but new staff must be trained on the store systems and briefed with adequate knowledge of the products available on the shop floor. It all takes time, which is one commodity retailers rarely have during this period.

That’s where software can assist, by allowing owners and managers to gain more time for their business without sacrificing productivity or profit during the busiest shopping season of the year.

Online team collaboration tools help staff stay organised and well trained while they are contributing to increased business productivity. Here are three free, digital, team-collaboration-and-organisation tools that are efficient, easy to use and sure to give business owners and managers much-needed time and breathing room during the festive season.

On the same page

With a cloud-based collaboration platform like Same Page, business owners can sign up for free and log into their team account on their phones, laptops or tablets, increasing organisational efficiency.

"Online team collaboration tools help staff stay organised and well trained while they are contributing to increased business productivity."

‘Team owners’ can directly message staff, post in team chat windows and even use video calling to host remote conferences with staff members to assist businesses with stores situated in different locations.

Staff who are added as team members can easily upload diagrams and charts that show sales progress and even upload videos and photos of new jewellery and watches on the team page. Tasks can be given due dates and reminders can be assigned to relevant members, while the team task list can filter duties accordingly so they can be evenly distributed.

Staff members are able to keep track of their progress with the official task tracker and calendars – both team and individual – are available so everyone is aware of deadlines, meetings and special events.

Hello, Trello

Unique to Trello, the platform uses a card-based system to make project management as simple as possible. Customised columns such as ‘in progress’ and ‘completed’ can be easily created on a project board to organise individual tasks. Each task is added to a column as a small card that lists individual tasks that can be assigned to different staff members. Space exists to add comments and an official deadline.

Once a manager signs up for free, each team member is able to add checklists and attachments from other platforms such as Dropbox or GoogleDrive. They can also create more than one board for each project.

Checklists make it easier to track progress as tasks can be crossed off once they’re completed. Each project board is also eligible for one ‘power-up’, a choice of specialised extras that have features such as allowing team members to see the tasks that haven’t received attention in more than a week, add video meetings, edit their e-newsletter campaigns or attach company surveys for other staff to complete.

Trello is compatible with Mac and PC computers as well as Apple and Android mobile products.

Stress-Free Freedcamp
Team collaboration tools can reduce stress at christmas
Team collaboration tools can reduce stress at christmas

Freedcamp prides itself on being an all-in-one solution for team collaboration and organisation. Business owners can have discussions with their staff in one place instead of dealing with scattered email threads and staff members can organise files in a state-of-the-art file system, backing up all information offline. Managers can also control staff rosters, tracking time on multiple staff members across multiple days.

Freedcamp gives staff members the option to assign tasks and set a goal by a certain date, notifying the team with progress updates as the goal moves closer as well. The software allows retailers to duplicate project templates, which increases productivity and eliminates the need to spend time and energy recreating homogenous project types.

Freedcamp has unlimited storage and allows for unlimited projects. Business owners and team members can take the tool on the go through the iOS app on Apple products.

With the right team collaboration and organisation tools, retailers can better manage staff tasks. The aim is to avoid drop-offs in productivity by allowing staff members to spend time on what matters: keeping their customers happy during the holiday rush and expanding business.

Investing a little time and energy in the short term to find the best team collaboration tools will pay dividends in the long term and ensure the holiday rush is smoother and far jollier.

Lilian Sue

Contributor • In Retrospect Writing Services

Lilian Sue is a social media and PR strategist. She operates In Retrospect Writing Services. Visit:

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