How to Assess Store Operations in Retail
Retail Store Operations: A Guide To Optimizing Sales By Improving Store Operations Through Technology
Retail has a lot of moving parts – Are yours working together?
The brick and mortar retail store has gone through some dramatic changes in recent years. Naturally, some of this has to do with the growth of online sales. Much of it, however, has to do with a new Retail 4.0 way of doing business that brings digital capabilities into the physical store space.
For brands and retailers, doing Retail 4.0 well can have a game-changing impact on store operations, performance, and bottom-line success. To understand why let’s first discuss the broad definition of retail store operations.
Essentially, store operations encompass every area of business impacting sales. This includes staffing, training, merchandising, marketing, field team performance, inventory, store appearance, customer engagement, promotions, email programs, pricing, and other retail areas.
That’s why leveraging Retail 4.0 technology is so important. This new wave of solutions, when implemented properly, provides visibility into virtually every aspect of store operations.
We asked the retail management experts at The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC) how new solutions are impacting retail operations. Here are some highlights of what they had to say.
Insights Are Invaluable
The primary advantage of Retail 4.0 solutions is the efficient way they capture operations data and allow businesses to analyze this intelligence to make more informed and impactful business decisions. Retail companies that learn to leverage this new intelligence most effectively will have a tremendous advantage over their store competitors. Here’s how digital solutions can help you optimize your own retail operations.
Track & Measure Field Performance
Incorporating the right intelligent data solution automates field team responsibilities and management, making life easier for those doing the job, while also providing actionable insights to those back at the corporate office.
“Our smart digital solution improves operations in many ways,” says Eduardo Santaella, who leads the development of T-ROC’s data solution. “Field teams can capture and track store inventory and product sales with one touch. Plus, they can detail merchandising displays and overall store appearance with real-time photos that can be viewed by the folks back at the office. Everything is distilled into customized reports that allow our clients to uncover real insights into their businesses. What’s selling? What’s not selling? How is a given store performing? Is my merchandising in compliance? How efficient is my inventory management? It’s all right there.”
Personalize The Customer Experience
A good data solution doesn’t just guide store operations and management. It also allows brands and retailers to connect with the customer in more meaningful ways. Today’s shopper expects a personal experience and designing one means understanding exactly what they want and how they prefer to shop.
Once again, data drives the program. A complete solution will include intel from door swings, store sensors, geographic data, traffic and weather data, RFID, AI, robots and other retail technologies. The point is to gain an indelibly clear understanding of customer needs and wants, and to make sure your store is the place that meets them.
Staffing – Make Your Good People Great
Your staff represents the look, feel and personality of your store. So, why not incorporate tools to maximize their potential? For example, automated scheduling based on peak traffic hours, store location, and seasonal factors makes it easy to ensure stores are always staffed optimally. But don’t stop there. Use technology to improve employee training and customer service.
For example, T-ROC often incorporates a mobile engagement platform that provides store staff with instant access to product features, available options, frequently asked questions, available inventory, and other critical information, so that they can provide customers with answers on the spot.
It even allows salespeople to capture a customer’s email, phone number and other personal information in minutes. Now, your poised to reach out with email coupons, free demo offers, new product intros and other relationship builders down the road.
Seamless Omnichannel Operations
It’s no secret that retail has blossomed into a multichannel business and your operations need to reflect it. Ask yourself, “how well do your store experiences and online experiences align? Can customers to shop easily across both channels? Can they browse online and find the same product inventory in your store? Can they buy online for pick-up in store? Can they return online purchases in a nearby physical store, or are they forced to return them by mail? Does your website look, feel and shop like your store, or do the two experiences seem very different?”
Leveraging Retail 4.0 technology answers these questions with actionable insights that can help you make the right moves to improve operations.
This Is Not A Volume Game
Learning to use data more effectively will certainly improve operations. But only if you’re using the right data. It’s not about the volume of the intel you gather, but the quality. The right data – precise information critically relevant to your business – will drive operations. Extraneous data, on the other hand, will only complicate things further. Make sure your Retail 4.0 solution delivers the right data and insights and the rest will fall into place.
TROC is the leading provider of premier staffing outsource, software, managed technology services, and consumer insights for the top global brands, retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and distributors. The company’s distinctive solutions address the entire lifecycle of brick and mortar brand and retail operations by combining retail expertise, best practices, and technology to help its customers achieve sales and operational excellence as well as a sustainable competitive advantage. As a Retail 4.0 thought leader, T-ROC enables companies with high-value products in the physical world to thrive through the digitalization of the physical shopping experience. To learn more about T-ROC, visit www.trocglobal.com.