GameStop's modern retail operations

GameStop’s Quest for Modern Operations: How Unified Tech and AI Transformed their Frontline Experience

Feb 20, 2024 5:59:14 PM

Retail | Operations

Founded in 1984 in Dallas, Texas, GameStop has grown from its smaller retailer roots to include a diverse range of consumer electronics, gaming merchandise, and digital products. GameStop has a significant global presence in gaming retail, with more than 3000 locations in the U.S. and beyond.

Amidst a rapidly evolving retail landscape, GameStop has been steering toward digital transformation. This includes revamping its e-commerce platform, exploring new market niches, and integrating advanced technologies. One such strategic move is adopting YOOBIC solutions to enhance store performance and customer engagement, marking a significant step in the company’s ongoing evolution. 

We recently sat down with Matthew Goodfriend, the Senior Manager of Learning & Development at GameStop, at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Conference to discuss how GameStop continues to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the retail sector. Here are some top takeaways from the fascinating discussion and how GameStop created an employee-centric approach to drive an immense digital and operational transformation.

NRF 2024: GameStop and YOOBIC's Big Idea Session

>> 📹 Watch the full recording of GameStop and YOOBIC's Session at NRF

Bridging support center and stores

GameStop’s partnership with YOOBIC significantly enhances the synergy between its corporate support center and store operations. This initiative, launched in March 2023, was not just about upgrading technology but transforming the way GameStop connects its diverse ecosystem, including 3,000 stores and distribution centers. It was a comprehensive project that impacted the connected enterprise, including headquarters, distribution centers, and stores. This holistic approach aimed to streamline operations and improve communication across all levels of the organization.

The motivation behind GameStop’s move to YOOBIC, as shared by Matt Goodfriend, stemmed from the challenges posed by a “disconnected tech stack.” The company previously relied on various point solutions that lacked cohesion and did not offer streamlined functionality. Goodfriend pointed out the critical issue of being unable to harness real-time analytics effectively, which limited their ability to make data-driven decisions. The fragmented nature of their previous systems made it difficult to track and improve key performance indicators (KPIs) and overall store performance efficiently.

The shift to YOOBIC’s unified platform addressed these fundamental challenges. Goodfriend emphasized the importance of improving the employee’s experience as a core objective of the integration. He described the previous setup as “clunky,” with limited visibility for district and regional management, making it challenging to understand task completion details, timeframes, or any encountered obstacles. YOOBIC’s solution offered a more integrated and user-friendly platform for tasking, communication, and learning, all in one place. This consolidation facilitated a more transparent and efficient workflow, providing better support and feedback mechanisms for employees at all levels.  

Centralizing operations on YOOBIC’s platform allowed GameStop to bridge the gap between their corporate support center and individual stores, ensuring a more cohesive and responsible operational framework. This approach streamlined task management and communication and enhanced the ability to track and act upon real-time data and analytics. The project’s success, bringing 23,000 users on board the platform, underscores the vast scale of GameStop’s ambition to drive connectivity and efficiency across its entire operation. 

Fostering a Collaborative Culture

GameStop's integration with YOOBIC has streamlined operations and created a dynamic platform for secure and efficient communication. Goodfriend, discussing the transformative impact of YOOBIC on GameStop’s communication practices, emphasized the critical need for timely responses and the importance of building strong connections between the Store Support Center and the stores themselves. Recognizing store associates as the frontline ambassadors of the GameStop brand, Goodfriend emphasized how the introduction of YOOBIC revolutionized how information and knowledge are shared across the company.

Retail Communications Platform Gamestop- YOOBIC-1

YOOBIC’s solution, likened to a “Quora-style” question forum, allows employees to ask questions and crowdsource answers, leveraging the collective knowledge and experience within the organization. This approach not only speeds up the resolution of queries but also democratizes knowledge by enabling associates at all levels to contribute and validate information. Goodfriend pointed out the efficiency gains from this model, where the burden of answering queries does not fall on a single individual but is distributed among many knowledgeable associates. This system fosters a sense of community and collaboration and ensures that the information shared is accurate and reliable, as the company can verify answers.

Moreover, GameStop’s strategy to foster tool adoption by nominating ambassadors among the associates has been instrumental in driving engagement with the platform. The company empowered its workforce by giving associates ownership and a voice within the tool, encouraging a bottom-up approach to communication and problem-solving.

Beyond facilitating communication, YOOBIC enabled GameStop to professionalize and streamline various operational tasks. Goodfriend mentioned significant improvements in-store visits, audits, and loss prevention efforts. By moving away from cumbersome processes like using Excel spreadsheets and PDFs, YOOBIC’s platform allows more nuanced and impactful task management, with built-in logic to address not just whether tasks are completed but also their implications and necessary follow-up actions.

Retail Task Management Platform Gamestop- YOOBIC

This strategic use of YOOBIC provided GameStop with a professional platform for communication, avoiding the pitfalls of informal or unprofessional channels. It forged a sense of community among employees, improved the efficiency of store operations, and enhanced the overall quality of communication within the company. Through these initiatives, GameStop improved operational efficiency and also strengthened the connections within its workforce, laying a foundation for a more cohesive and responsive retail operations.

Efficient Training with AI

GameStop’s decision to volunteer to test YOOBIC’s AI-powered NEO Suite beta program has been pivotal in creating a more efficient and effective training environment, fundamentally transforming how knowledge is shared and training is conducted. This shift is particularly evident in how YOOBIC streamlines its communication and learning processes, making the company more agile and responsive to the needs of its workforce.

Retail Learning Platform Gamestop- YOOBIC

Before YOOBIC, GameStop’s approach to employee training was outdated and cumbersome, heavily relying on static PDF documents and basic quizzes. This traditional method lacked the interactive and engaging features essential for effective learning, leading to challenges in management and low knowledge retention among teams. YOOBIC’s capabilities to ingest SCORM content, allowing for integrating externally authored training materials, represented a significant upgrade. This feature, along with the platform’s ability to facilitate rapid content creation and analysis, has been crucial. Goodfriend emphasized the importance of agility and efficiency, stating, “Being able to create quickly, get results quickly, and then look at the analytics quickly around that content has been absolutely important.”

The introduction of the NEO Suite illustrated GameStop's innovative approach toward training and development. NEO Creator converts traditional documents into interactive training modules, including news, tasks, or quizzes, enriching them with AI-generated or existing illustrations. This automation significantly reduces the time and effort required to create engaging training content, saving up to 75% of time in content creation. Plus, the use of video content and the NEO Assistant chatbot for instant access to information like uniform policies or product returns showcases a leap toward modernizing and enhancing the learning experience at GameStop.

AI-Powered Learning - YOOBIC NEO Creator

GameStop’s decision to participate in the YOOBIC NEO beta was driven by a desire to keep the company at the forefront of technological innovation and aim to provide the best possible experience for employees. The results speak volumes, with efficiencies gained in content creation for learning being a standout achievement. The ability to transform a document into a comprehensive course, which would traditionally take up to 20 hours of development, into a task significantly reduced in time underscores the effectiveness of YOOBIC’s solutions. This process, as Goodfrined noted, involved the AI doing the “heavy lifting,” leaving only minor adjustments and refinements to be made by the team.

This was especially crucial as GameStop faces unique regulatory challenges, particularly in states like California, where stringent secondhand laws exist. These laws regulate the buying and selling model of used products, a core component of GameStop’s business model. Compliance with such laws requires the company to adhere to specific procedural and documentation standards when purchasing used merchandise from customers. Given the complexity and variability of these laws, which differ significantly from one jurisdiction to another, maintaining compliance while ensuring efficient operations presents a significant challenge. The need for agility in training and updating employees on these regulations is paramount. GameStop’s adoption of YOOBIC’s platform, particularly its advanced training modules, is a strategic response to these challenges. It enables the company to swiftly adjust to regulatory changes and maintain compliance across its operations.


Improving the HQ Perspective

YOOBIC significantly enhanced how GameStop approached task management and analytics, particularly from its corporate headquarters (HQ) perspective. Matt Goodfriend illuminated the transformative impact YOOBIC has had on operational tasks such as store visits, audits, and loss prevention efforts. Previously reliant on manual processes, GameStop’s shift to YOOBIC’s platform streamlined these tasks, incorporating unique logic beyond simple binary outcomes. This new system allows for a nuanced understanding of store operations, emphasizing not just completion but the quality and impact of tasks. 

From the HQ vantage point, the transition to YOOBIC’s comprehensive analytics has been a game changer. The platform’s capabilities extend beyond the binary completion status of tasks, enabling HQ to delve into detailed analytics about how, when, and in what manner functions are completed. Including features such as photo submissions and real-time annotations now helps facilitate immediate corrections and improvements within stores, bridging the communication gap between frontline users and the corporate center.

This advanced level of operation insight underscores GameStop’s commitment to leveraging technology to enhance efficiency and responsiveness across its network. The mere scale of this initiative, with the rapid deployment of YOOBIC to 22,000 users within just four months, is a testament to GameStop’s dedication to innovation and agility. Plus, the ability to synchronize the entire network, especially in the context of new game releases, showcases the platform’s capacity to align store operations with business priorities. This synchronization ensures that GameStop capitalizes on sales opportunities promptly, illustrating the crucial role of technology in maintaining a competitive edge in the fast-paced retail environment.


Streamlining Complex Business Practices

With a 6,000-page Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), GameStop’s operational complexity requires a sophisticated solution for quick and accurate information retrieval. The introduction of NEO Assistant, YOOBIC’s new chatbot feature, marked a significant advancement in how GameStop manages this complexity. Goodfriend shared insights into the effectiveness of this tool, noting an impressive 98% accuracy rate in providing answers to queries. This accuracy facilitates immediate problem-solving and enables GameStop to identify and fill gaps in its documentation, which continues to improve its operational procedures.AI tools for frontline workers: AI assistant Gamestop

NEO Assistant reduced the support team workload by offering immediate, accurate answers to common operational, technical, and customer service queries. The tool is crucial in enhancing efficiency by directing users to the right resources or contacts for further assistance. Goodfriend projected a 70% reduction in calls to the help desk, underscoring the significant impact of YOOBIC’s solutions on reducing operational friction and improving support infrastructure.


Leveraging AI to Work for Employees

GameStop’s strategic partnership with YOOBIC represents a transformative leap in retail operational efficiency and connectivity. GameStop not only streamlined its complex business operations with YOOBIC’s comprehensive suite of solutions but also enhanced communication and operational oversight. Implementing YOOBIC’s platform across GameStop’s vast network underscores the potential for digital tools to revolutionize retail management.

For retailers looking to navigate the complexities of modern retail operations and improved organizational connection, YOOBIC’s NEO Suite can help. Our solutions present a compelling opportunity for retailers aiming to enhance their operational agility, employee productivity, and overall store performance. If you want to take retail operations to the next level, check out YOOBIC'S AI tools for frontline workers or contact us today for a demo!