Changing consumer shopping behaviors and overextended market footprints have forced retailers to rethink their brick-and-mortar strategies: In 2017, there were 7,000 store closing announcements.
Labor costs could rise over the next few years - several retailers, including Walmart and CVS Health, have either already increased their employees' minimum wages or plan to soon.
Given these circumstances, the next few years will be critical for the retail industry. Retailers need to become more efficient, streamlined, and strategic to minimize costs, maximize profits, and stay competitive.
Here are 3 ways to optimize retail execution:
Achieving granular insight into task completion and in-store execution requires field reporting tools that allow employees to document conditions and share information with other departments. Unfortunately, when frontline employees rely on time-consuming reporting processes like filling out spreadsheets, they are unable to dedicate time to more important activities like building relationships and resolving any outstanding issues.
What's more, such manual workflows often force field members to hold off submitting reports until the end of the day – or worse, at the end of the week in one big batch. Under these conditions, administrators will not receive data in a timely manner, and any insights that could have been distilled will be outdated.
Mobile execution management solutions like GoSpotCheck drastically speed up field reporting processes, allowing employees to complete and share reports while out on location. Image-capture features document real-time store conditions, such as retail displays, brand marketing materials, and product shelves. With the right tool in hand, field teams can quickly and efficiently observe planograms and displays, assess workflows and staff performance, and instantaneously file reports.
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Using structured field reports, brand administrators can identify specific areas for improvement, such as updating planograms, revamping employee training, and tweaking display practices.
To ensure that these tactical changes are implemented, frontline employees must schedule follow-up visits with each store. Carefully collected information from the subsequent visits can guide strategic data-driven decision-making.
Intuitive workflows help field teams keep track of their auditing tasks and document store compliance - or noncompliance. Customized notifications can alert the home office, store manager, or other important party when a critical task is completed or issue needs resolving.
Detailed data collection, regarding all components of execution, is absolutely critical to understand both team and account performance. If the wrong marketing materials were on display or SKU facings were incorrect, for instance, frontline employees can record this information for future analysis.
In this way, retailers can hold each store accountable.
With fierce competition, retailers need an edge to drive revenue and solidify their positions in the market. That's where data analysis becomes a critical practice.
Data-driven retail strategies can help accurately map out the customer journey, reveal emerging market trends, and eliminate costly inefficiencies—all which boost sales.
In-store data, in particular, is extremely valuable to retail analytics projects. Inventory turnover, foot traffic, and display figures all provide potential insight into evolving customer preferences and local retail trends.
Retailers must be able to gather a steady stream of real-time data to support their analytics aspirations. Administrators rely on the freshest data possible to extract meaningful insights and ensure that newly-created strategy remains relevant.
Analytics capabilities can range from pattern matching and analysis to more advanced approaches like machine learning. Regardless of how sophisticated an organization's current analytics strategy is, this is one critical area to plan around for the future.
To stay competitive in a constantly evolving marketplace, retail operations must become more strategic, streamlined, and data-driven. That all begins at the store level, and GoSpotCheck provides the reporting capabilities needed to comprehensively monitor location conditions, spot execution gaps, and identify opportunities for revenue growth.Request a Demo