Something surprising happened on way to the unparalleled rise of e-commerce: the brick-and-mortar experience became better.
According to the US Department of Commerce, “physical store sales still make for 90% of the $4.7 trillion total retail sales in the US”. And Gartner predicts, “Brick-and-mortar stores will remain the dominant revenue-generating channel… for the foreseeable future”. What’s more, studies have shown that millennials and the Gen Z prefer brick-and-mortar store shopping to the online shopping experience! – The reason? “You want to touch it; you want to smell it; you want to pick it up.”
If a highly satisfactory sensory and personal experience can catapult physical stores to the limelight, the lack of the same can push it back to obscurity as well. One of the most important ways by which the brick-and-mortar retail experience can sustain itself is the inevitability of streamlined retail operations, that is, the seamless functioning of anything and everything in the store. A super smooth retail ops experience means everything works like clockwork. And that, in turn, leads to an enhanced customer experience.
Here’s a scenario: Today, when competition is close and options are plenty, the customer experience is paramount. They neither prefer waiting nor like poor experiences like inadequately stocked shelves or weak customer support. Such situations make retailers lose out on customers. Think about it: If a store is well-stocked, clean, neatly arranged and if it comes with highly trained personnel, personalized offers, and exceptional service, the footfalls will only increase. And that improves sales, word-of-mouth publicity, and brand value.
So now, how to create order in chaos? Retail ops creases can be ironed out in an easy, three-step process.
Automate operations: The days of manual tracking are prehistoric. Whether it’s keeping track of and managing supply chain, store security, sales or training, automating retail ops, through retail operations apps as much as possible, increases task efficiency, reduces errors and frees up everyone’s time to pursue other crucial work.
Onboard the right tools: Technology has made it possible for retail units to arm themselves with the right set of tools, ranging from POS systems and NFC-enabled beacons to self check-out systems and even assisting robots. Most importantly, since retail stores consist mostly of non-desk in-store workers and external partners, an easy and secure mobile communication app brings the disparate workforce together on a common platform. It becomes easier for team managers to track their work progress and keep a closer tab on their workdays. Such a tool can provide insights into sales performance, workforce management, costs, gross margins, and so on, and also help managers perform critical management tasks like inventory adjustments, checking stock levels, setting reorder triggers, etc. Integration with key business tools and detailed data analysis and reporting contribute to a steep rise in productivity.
Make data-driven decisions: Automating retail ops throws up a lot of in-store insights in the form of data. And data never lies. It guides managers on making the next decisions. Thanks to the data, they know what demands immediate attention and what calls for a longer-term plan. While 73% retailers consider big data initiatives important to competitiveness, a study says data-led businesses can expect 20-30% more earnings than their competitors.
Streamlining retail operations turns simple with Groupe.io with checklists, task manager, and data collection features that enable managers to get tasks done, track work progress, and collect various data necessary for smooth functioning of the store. Its dashboard is the go-to interface for making rich data-driven decisions.
Digital Checklists: The Checklist function is as easy as it sounds. Managers can create various checklists for daily chores like Store Maintenance, Security, Promotional Videos, etc. and come up with apt questions that employees can answer with a simple Yes or No (for example, ‘Are stocks stored in assigned areas?’) or by inputting a numeric value (for example, ‘How many new joinees this week?’). They can assign tasks based on various factors — roles, stores, city, users — and also set task deadlines and push out the checklists at a specific frequency. Alerts can be sent for delays, and there’s a separate area for comments if workers need to specify the reason for any delay or the like.
With the Checklist function, managers can ensure top-notch in-store scenarios (much to the satisfaction of customers!) and gain complete visibility into employees’ workdays and efficiency. For employees, it is an easy and efficient function to track work in hand and enjoy more accountability. Since the process is so transparent, it also helps the employees in avoiding inefficiency-based penalties.
Task Manager: With Groupe.io’s Task Manager feature, specific tasks can be assigned to targeted employees (individuals or in group) and their progress tracked till completion. Managers can effectively gain deeper visibility into employee workdays (at an individual or overall level) with the feature-rich and intuitive Task Manager. It also allows managers to set deadlines for tasks, set daily, weekly or monthly repeats, and stay updated on work progress through notifications.
Data Collection: With a flurry of activities going on in retail stores daily, a lot of data is also generated — daily sales, inventory in stock, supply orders, cash collected, refunds issued, training programs, etc. Retailers need a solid system that collects all this data and stores it safely. The Data Collection function of Groupe.io is a repository that enables employees to attach such data in the form of spreadsheets, images, and documents, and make it available for their managers.
This function allows store managers to stay on top of all data all the time. While they can detect irregularities and fraud activities, they can also pass on the data to corporate members when needed. Data Collection makes for organized and efficient workdays.
Rich Reporting: Groupe.io’s rich and intuitive dashboard presents one-glance and organized reports on the checklists and data collected. Thanks to the automatic reports generated, store managers and retail heads can notify non-compliance, delays, and inefficiencies, and also take insightful data-driven decisions. For example, if a checklist throws up a slow-moving item and it is required to be phased out, it could be clubbed with a fast-moving item as a part of an attractive deal for customers. On the other hand, specific datasets like sales figures can prompt more budget allocation for a particular outlet or those on personnel management can create more hiring opportunities. The dashboard can also serve as a ready reckoner for the managers to provide help at hand to customers — they might wish to know when a particular size of shoes is expected to arrive or the best-priced item in the same category.
Schedule a personalized demo to find out how you can get the most out of your retail workforce with Groupe.io. Any questions? Drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll be on it right away!