Running a retail operation in the present day is much more difficult than it was 25 years ago. The significance of integrated systems and technology is ever increasing, adding this to staff training, customer service and everything else you have to stay on top of; you have a lot to think about. This is unfortunately not getting any easier. These seven tips to make your store more efficient may have the answer;
1. Automate and digitalise your store – While it’s true nothing can ever replace genuine and personal interactions with customers, there are a number of things retailers can automate. Any tasks at your grocery store that have the capacity to be controlled digitally should be doing so. Automation of selected tasks in addition to implementing new digital solutions;
• Install a Modern Point of Sale System- Electronic point of sale system (EPOS).
• Self-service tills in larger stores.
• Technologies that can support your employees. These allow them to search for information they need in real time, producing for better customer service.
• Get listed on Google Maps listings can drive real-life traffic to your store. If you have a detailed listing on Google Maps, you can reduce the rate of customers you lost to nearby competitors.
You can increase overall efficiency and improve productivity by embracing new technology at your store. It can also relieve your employees, allowing them to focus on more important duties.
2. Streamline your Staff – Organising schedules can be time consuming for both management and their staff, especially when there are several people/stores involved. Many stores turn to mobile apps which enable the user to set or cancel shifts using just their mobile device. Wheniwork is a great example of one of these apps.
3.Staff training and In-store support - As the faces of your brand, your staff are a main focus point of your business, it is important that you understand the importance of staff training as these people are representing your store and brand. Training shouldn’t stop at just initial preparation but continue to develop the employee’s knowledge of the company their role. It is key is to invest time and money into your employees to reap the rewards of strong sales associates and as a result.
Having the correct amount of staff on site is a major issue in retail stores; a healthy employee to customer ratio is essential. It is vital that you have enough staff on hand to help customers; however having too many associates on the floor isn’t very efficient, in terms of costs and space.
4. Employee rotation – Long shifts at work do not pay off. If your employees are at the store for longer than 8 hours, there will be a higher tendency to slack off. They will be tired and less enthusiastic about work. If you want your employees to stay focused and dedicated the longest shift you should allow is 8 hours.
5. Customer service and loyalty programmes – Businesses need constant improvement. Customer feedback is the best way to realise any problem in your store, customers are in the best position to tell you what they don’t like about your store. It’s a must to rectify these problems to keep appealing to new customers and to retain the current ones.
Loyalty programmes are a great source of gathering customer insights, these schemes allow you to look into your customers’ purchase history and shopping behaviour, making them easier to target with notifications, discounts and offers.
6. Measure KPIs and objectives – Store budgeting can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. It is important to measure KPI’s and set realistic objectives. Keeping on top of sales figures and other analytics in your business will allow you to recognise which areas are of concern and which are thriving. They key here is changing direction before it is too late and the issue cannot be reversed.
7. Inventory management – Knowing where your inventory is and knowing its status is vital .Stocktaking in your store is one task that takes more time than necessary. Whether you carry this out in-store or use an external service provide, plans need to be in place in good time leading up to the stocktake. Have a read here for tips on carrying out a stress free stocktake. A stocktake that’s quick, non-intrusive and has easy accessible results can make a huge difference to store efficiency.
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