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3 Reasons To Tap Into the Gig Economy This Back-To-School Season

A National Retail Federation survey estimates that about $83.6 billion will be spent on back-to-school needs, a more than a 10 percent increase from last year. Despite the retail industry’s general shift from in-store to online, many parents and students visit brick-and-mortar stores - with school-issued supply lists in hand - to choose and purchase new school gear. This uptick in traffic means retailers need more workers, including stockers, picker-packers, and cashiers.

How do retailers keep up with this seasonal demand? The gig economy can help by offering qualified workers for a short period of time.

Here are three reasons why your retail store should tap into the gig economy this back-to-school season.

1.  A Scalable Talent Solution

Whether it’s updating store branding with back-to-school signage, stocking shelves with the newest merchandise, or running a check-out lane, there are many ways that hourly on-demand workers can help meet higher demand. Whether a retail store needs only a handful of people for one day or 100 people over the course of five weeks, the gig economy is a scalable solution that provides qualified workers to meet each individual retail store’s needs.

2.  Operational Efficiency

Over-working current employees or hiring new ones to help during back-to-school season are not efficient workforce strategies. Current employees already have enough work to do and new employees brought on during this season will need training and then likely won’t be needed in a few short weeks. Using hourly, on-demand workers will help retailers on an as-needed basis without the long-term commitment, saving time and money recruiting candidates to hire.

Tapping into the gig economy can also help retailers during other upticks in seasonal demand, such as around the holidays, without the expectation to provide them work throughout the entire year when stores don’t need them.

3.  Ensuring a Good Customer Experience

Despite stores being busier than normal, it’s important that customers still have a good experience when shopping during back-to-school season. One way to improve the shopping experience is by ensuring shelves are organized and stocked, as well as having more open cashier lanes. All of this can be done with the help of more workers, which is where the gig economy comes in. On-demand labor can handle these extra tasks so that employees can continue completing their day-to-day duties and maintaining business as usual.


Do you need help staffing your retail store during this back-to-school season? Shiftgig can help. 

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July 24, 2017 | Shelby Eversole