By Phil Dawsey, Senior Product Marketing Manager
Retail is a business of buying and selling, which makes contracts foundational to how retailers do business. In fact, every aspect of the retail business involves contracts: HR, procurement, sales, service, and franchising, to name a few. And each of these processes has its own pain points. For example:
- Seasonal hiring with the regular onboarding and offboarding of numerous employees each year
- Signing new customers up for service, especially for highly regulated products like telecom subscriptions
- Onboarding a new vendor due to geo-political instability (read more on this in Why digital contracts are a must-have for retailers during a trade war)
That’s why in this final installment of my four-part retail blog series, I dive into the top six benefits that digital contracts offer retailers – all of which address the key issues retailers face.
What is modern digital contracting?
Before I dive into the benefits, it’s good to understand what digital contracting encompasses. A modern system of agreement means digitizing everything related to contracts from beginning to end: preparing, signing, acting on, and managing contracts, as well as integrating with other tools you use (e.g., SAP, Oracle, and point of sale).
This in turn gives you a system that automates contract generation, streamlines negotiations, routes contracts to the right parties for signature, triggers communications and workflows, and stores contracts securely. The end result of modernizing contracting in retail is greater productivity across departments and a better customer experience.
Benefit #1: Get everything done faster
Whether you’re hiring 20 seasonal employees, onboarding new vendors, or signing up customers for a new service on Black Friday, you’ll do it faster and more efficiently with digital contracts. One large retailer cut employee onboarding time in half at all locations after implementing digital contracts; and a self-storage provider reduced the time it took to sign up new customers by 67%.
Benefit #2: Eliminate errors
With digital contracts, you can make fields required and designate people to sign in a specific order, eliminating the errors that typically happen with paper and manual processes. After implementing digital contracts, Yamaha had zero contract errors, down from 70% of contracts containing errors previously.
Benefit #3: Automate processes
Paper-based processes are inherently slow. You can eliminate the associated manual work and increase productivity with guided forms, provisioned services, and more. T-Mobile created a fully digital truth-in-lending document so they could process contracts on tablets in the store, leading to a 20% increase in in-store close rate.
Benefit #4: See and control what’s happening
Digital contracting gives you visibility into where contracts are and allows you to nudge signers with automatic reminders. This was critical for Sunrun, a leading residential solar installer, who needed to guide customers through many complex documents and then provide full transparency and access to each agreement for the 20+ year life of a solar system.
Benefit #5: Deliver a convenient experience
With a modern system of agreement, people can sign anytime, anywhere, on virtually any device – which is exactly the type of experience that customers, employees, vendors, and partners expect. Aaron’s, Inc. digitized their leasing agreements for e-commerce shoppers buying furniture, allowing them to provide a frictionless experience shaving 1.2 minutes off every transaction, resulting in a 6% increase in orders created.
Benefit #6: Say goodbye to stress
The retail business isn’t easy – there are never-ending deadlines with holidays and other special occasions like back-to-school season. You have to deliver a superb customer experience every time if you want to keep your customers. Digital contracts are one way to remove some of that stress and do more with less.
Retail has changed dramatically in the last few years, and technology plays a huge role in retailer success today. The challenge is, there are so many options for managing that change that it’s hard to know where to focus your priorities. Certain technology choices, however, are no-brainers – like digital contracts. All retailers can benefit from implementing them across departments.
To learn more, check out the following resources:
- The 5 critical digital transformation initiatives retailers miss
- 5 low-risk ways to modernize your customer experience
- Why digital contracts are a must-have for retailers during a trade war
- The Retail Makeover: New Systems for a Changing Retail Landscape
- The DocuSign Agreement Cloud for Retail