Tips for More Efficient Operation of a Retail Store
Around 62% of consumers choose to buy from physical stores because they want to see, feel, and try out the items.
This shows that although e-commerce is popular, retailers should go the extra mile to make their store more efficient. Perhaps your retail store is struggling, and you’re looking for ways to improve how it functions.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here are tips on running an efficient operation.
Consider the Store Layout
If you’re after increased efficiency in retail stores, start by optimizing the physical layout.
Make sure that it’s organized as it will streamline the restocking process while helping your customers find what they’re looking for. For instance, keep all promotional products in one area or label items so that it’s easier for staff to find.
Simplicity is key, so hang banners to highlight each department and use your displays well. For example, if you sell clothes, drop your most attractive and expensive items over mannequins to entice customers.
The same goes for your warehouse. Efficiency is the lifeblood of your business, so analyze how the packing process works and make amendments. You should place your most popular items next to the packing station and bunch items that are frequently sold together.
Instead of choosing a larger space, go vertical. For instance, add vertical storage units and use equipment so you maximize the area to avoid expansion costs. You should also align the product with the shelving solution so items don’t get lost.
For example, store smaller items on shelves or order picking carts for easy access and mobility, rather than wide pallet racks as they waste space and make it easier to misplace products.
Determine Your KPIs
When running a retail outlet, you must track your performance. These are called KPIs, a metric used to measure how well your retailer is running and what is or isn’t working.
This means you should note your total sales, conversion rate, and how many products each employee sells. Plus, it’s important to track your worst and best-selling items so you can adjust your stock, especially around the holidays.
Optimize Inventory Management
The key to running retail better is having a robust inventory management system.
A major drawback is when small businesses manually enter data into a spreadsheet as it wastes time and increases the risk of error. Instead, retailers should invest in cloud-based solutions as it streamlines the process.
Choose software that is compatible with smartphones and offer access to your team so they can easily solve a customer’s inquiry about an item being in stock. You should also consider other robotic automation solutions for retail such as improving the store’s environment and customer experience.
Deliver Great Shipping Options
Around 58% of consumers add more items to their cart so that they can qualify for free shipping. This staggering statistic shows how customers expect fast shipping when they’re shopping online.
Many retailers struggle with this as they must find a courier reliable enough to handle all their shipping requirements. But you can use shipping software and connect with thousands of couriers to find the best match for each order.
As a result, customers get fast delivery, and you get a cost-effective shipping solution. It’s a win-win!
Retailers should offer simple payment solutions, so they don’t have a line of disgruntled customers waiting to make a purchase. To solve this, invest in an integrated card payment system to transform it into a simple process.
This means the total amount is sent to the card reader so you needn’t re-enter it. Your customers’ data is also protected as it’s encrypted while reducing checkout times.
Further, using an integrated card system processes refunds more quickly and accurately, eliminating the risk of human error.
Use Sensors and HI-Tech Tags
Stores in the U.S lose around $47 million to shoplifting every day, which shows how prevalent this issue is.
This shows how retailers must step up their security efforts by investing in sensors and high-tech tags. These are attached to each product before the cashier deactivates them.
It’s handy because the tags have a unique serial number that links to your inventory management software. So once the item is scanned, it’s removed from the store to prove it’s been paid for.
You should also take extra precautions to prevent shoplifting. For instance, place the cashiers near the entrance, so customers must pass you before exiting the building. And remove blind spots by installing mirrors or moving displays so it doesn’t obstruct your team’s vision.
Prioritize Employee Training
One of the best ideas for retail efficiency is offering regular training to your employees. Make sure your team is comfortable using the software and equipment as it will boost their efficiency too.
But aside from scheduling an entire day of training, offer casual 60-minute sessions so employees mention any difficulties they’ve had. You should also ask the team for feedback or if they have suggestions to improve the store’s efficiency especially those on the floor.
And to maintain great efficiency, offer monthly competitions so your team is motivated and passionate about delivering fantastic customer service.
Our Efficient Operation Tips
Hopefully, after reading this article, these efficient operation tips will help you.
Make sure you consider the store layout, keep everything organized, and determine your KPIs so you stay on track. You should also automate where you can and prioritize employee training to maintain optimal productivity. Good luck!
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