How retailers can improve profitability through efficiency improvements
In the age of booming e-commerce, retailers need to combat challenges such as rising costs, economic pressures, stringent trade regulations, and changing customer expectations. As a retail manager, how can you get rid of the retail management inefficiencies that hinder your growth and success? Here are a few tips that will guide you to rise against your competitors and win the online onslaught for efficient retail operations.
1. Invest in hyper-customization
Smart retailers invest in technology that generates valuable insights from transactions and customer data. They apply analytics on data from beacons, camera feeds, Point of Sales (POS), Wi-Fi, and other places. The insights allow retail managers to make informed decisions.
An integrated CRM allows salespeople to keep track of their customer preferences and buying history. Personalizing the engagement is a sure-shot way to boost sales.
Beacons surpass human salespersons in many ways. When a customer is either close to a store or enters one, these small wall-mounted wireless devices target them with personalized messages. They welcome customers to the store, list down what is new and trending, and directs shoppers through the store by providing customized information and offers. The only requirement is that customers have to install the store app upfront.
Automating the retail workflow allows your employees to focus on omnichannel growth activities. When they start spending very less time on mundane administrative tasks, it improves your business productivity and profitability.
Related Reading: Why Retailers Should Adopt ReachOut’s Retail Audit Software
2. Enhancing mobility
A mobile point-of-sale (POS) system, delivered by tablet-toting sales associates allows you to take the transaction to your customer. The POS tablet systems synced with your inventory and other online data equips the salesperson to convert a hesitant customer as well as up-sell to customers who have completed the purchase. They could also personalize the service.
One of the main pain-points of physical stores is the long and slow checkout lines. A mobile POS system allows your staff to check out the customer without making them wait in queues.
An integrated POS spares the need to key in transaction information into the card reader or the CRM. The automated system reads the information from the product data and generates the invoice automatically. It can also update the accounts and manage the inventory.
3. Streamline scheduling
A field services supervisor need to spend a lot of time on assigning tasks to their field techs while using manual scheduling method. Cloud-based automated scheduling makes staffing seamless.
Automated scheduling tools consider workloads, regulations, ergonomics, and other factors, to optimize staffing. It assigns more staff during peak hours, and schedules leave during lean periods. It also empowers employees to take up and exchange shifts, even without supervisor approval. Push notifications through email, text, or in-app messages keep everyone in the loop.
4. Optimize warehouse layout
Optimizing the back-end warehouse layout offers scope for big efficiency gains.
- Place best-selling items near the packing station.
- Place items sold together next to each other.
- Conduct regular stock checks to sync inventory and detect issues.
- Invest in a retail management system with real-time inventory updates.
An organized warehouse enables logistics and fulfillment teams to work faster with lesser errors.
5. Invest in RPA
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows retailers to scale up at a low cost by automating mundane or routine retail operations.
6. Enable analytics-based sales and inventory management
Integrating your inventory management with analytics will empower you to make data-driven decisions. By acting upon analytical insights, you can:
- Have the best-selling and fast-moving items in stock always
- Reduce order quantity of lowest selling items or put promotional offers for such items
- Increase profits by promoting items with the highest margins
- Detect inventory shrinkage issues
An automated system integrates different sales channels and infuses transparency by keeping track of inventory levels in real-time.
Related Reading: Field Inspectors: How to Succeed in FSM in 2020 and Beyond?
7. Streamline Marketing
Retailers often spend heavily on marketing their goods. As a pre-budgeting measure, retailers need to:
- Calculate the ROI of each marketing initiative. Focus on high-reach low-investment options.
- Collect customer email addresses and other contact information at the point of purchase, and build up an email list.
- Be active on social media, and develop a loyal fan base.
Digitalization and automation deliver big efficiency improvements and cost savings. It enables retailers to compete and thrive amid the e-commerce boom. ReachOut’s retail management suite offers the perfect platform to digitize and automate your retail operations and make big-time gains. Contact us to learn more about how ReachOut can be a companion for your retail business.
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