When you opened your retail store, you probably knew that there would be challenges. We’re in an era of big-box stores that put downward pressure on small retailers, even as advanced digital capabilities are altering customer demand. That doesn’t mean you can’t compete—it just means that you need to adapt to contemporary shopping habits so your goods can rise to the top.
Learning how to improve retail store operations and performance is critical if you are to compete with big-box retailers and digital competition that have flooded the market. This requires that you look into all areas of your store, from staffing to inventory, to determine if and where a refresh is needed and how technology can help streamline your operations. While you may not have the financial clout or resources of some of your competitors, there are steps you can take that could potentially increase your profit margin with a minimum of effort or financial investment.
Change the Customer Experience
Even if you expected challenges when opening your store, you probably didn’t anticipate “contactless shopping” or “curbside pickup.” But that’s the reality of today’s shopping experience. Even beyond the pandemic, customers will expect easy, simple ways to shop and buy.
That includes implementing QR tools for contactless shopping. If a customer can scan and shop and pick up without undue delays, they are happy customers. That requires a lot of communication between your POS system and your staff. This is the same when it comes to curbside pickup. People who want curbside pickup don’t want to sit around on the curb. This demands smart technology that keeps everyone informed and on the same page.
Get Rid of Clutter (Including Cash Registers)
Your store has limited counter space. How do we know that? Because every store has finite counter space. Too much of that counter is taken up by bulky cash registers, which can make the checking out and bagging process crowded and cluttered. That’s annoying for your employees and can lead to delays.
But going without a cash register or till system and using a cloud-based POS system can free up counter space. That can lead to a more refined and open aesthetic, or give you more of a chance to encourage last-second impulse sales. Either way, you reduce timely transactions and improve the experience for employees and customers.
Better Technology for a Better Staffing Experience
Improving retail store experience starts with staffing. Highly productive and motivated employees can add up to success across the board. When the opposite is true…well, let’s not talk about that. Unfortunately, retail sees a lot (read: a lot) of turnover. That means hiring and retaining top talent is incredibly important.
That starts with staffing. It’s not all about resume, but about attitude and work ethic. How do people stand up under stress or under dissatisfied customers? That’s hard to tell before they are in that situation, but you can make that situation less frequent with the modern POS system.
We talked about how you can make ordering and shopping much easier and faster for the customers. That also means less stress for employees. But that’s not the only way a POS system can improve staffing procedures.
You can also:
Institute more transparent, collaborative scheduling
Allow employees to access your schedule book
Run accurate and automated payroll
Establish an open commission system
Retail is still a people business. Technology can’t change that—but it can help make your people happier and more productive. You can help yourself by modernizing how you manage the hiring process and your staff as a whole. There are three crucial tasks that can easily be managed once pen and paper are ditched in favor of an all-in-one POS solution. At a minimum, it simplifies how you monitor staff performance, process payroll, and ensure appropriate scheduling during peaks and downtimes.
Encouraging Customer Engagement with Thoughtful Flow Control
Did you know your layout is a key component of how to improve retail operations and performance? Think about it.
What do your customers feel when they first open your door? Do they quickly reach for a basket or a cart and start exploring, or are they more like a deer caught in the headlights? Nobody wants to hear that their store is confusing, overwhelming, or poorly laid out.
The layout of your store needs to be inviting to your customers and must fit two sets of expectations:’
- Your regular customers must be able to easily find their favorite products
- A new customer must feel invited to browse without becoming overwhelmed
Watch and observe. How do your customers move around the store? Do they seem rushed, or are they paying attention to details? Do they stroll slowly but eventually speed up or skip aisles? Observing how your clients act while looking at your product selection can present you with important information. Are your top shelves too high? Do you need to raise the level of your lower shelves? Do some areas get missed or bypassed completely?
Sensory overload and messy shelves aren’t part of how to improve retail operations and performance. Your store layout must present your products in a way that draws the customer in for closer inspection. Clearly marked pricing and item details are oftentimes missed, and many stores contain a “jumble aisle” where items that don’t quite fit in any one particular area of the store end up creating a discount bin feel that may be a turnoff to shoppers. Unless you want your storefront to look like a haunted antique store, make sure that your layout makes sense.
Improve Inventory to Improve Retail Store Operations
There are two major ways that poor inventory management hurts your operations. The first is buying too much of the wrong thing. You don’t want to be saddled with last season’s overstock items, which is why tight inventory control is so important. Focus on what is important, and not what isn’t.
The second part getting the right items at the right time without paying too much. If you have a handle on your inventory, you will have more flexibility and less chance of getting stuck with items that aren’t selling.
Smart retail POS software can easily handle some tough inventory challenges, including:
Predictive analytics to discover emerging trends
Streamlining internal accounting
Improve customer service
You are your inventory. A retail POS system can make sure that your inventory is a reflection and realization of your dreams.
Incorporating a Next-Gen POS Solution
As the retail business model becomes less forgiving to errors and missteps, it’s important that smaller retailers leverage technology where possible to create breathing room for themselves. The days of POS consisting of a register, a card swipe terminal, and an excel spreadsheet have thankfully been replaced with highly capable, all-in-one solutions that can manage all aspects of your store operations.
The depth of functionalities available in a talech POS solution can replace the legacy setups many retailers still rely on, while accommodating less flexible budgets. Transaction and inventory management work to reduce product leakage, give you a snapshot of what items are trending, which are collecting dust, and if any emerging products would be a perfect fit for your shelves.
Staff management, shift scheduling, and performance tracking are just a tap away thanks to a robust mobile app suite that removes the need for you to always be onsite to perform administrative tasks.
Streamlining Retail Operations with an Expert POS Partner
Perhaps most important in today’s digital age is the ease in which you can create an omni-channel experience for your customers through the use of an innovative POS system. By making your store and products accessible all day, every day, you expand your revenue-generating hours without the costs of keeping your doors open long into the night. This takes the pressure off of you, your staff, and most importantly, the customer. It’s all part of how to improve retail operations and performance.
talech will help you to provide your customers with a positive experience, an inviting atmosphere, and the convenience of omni-channel shopping. We can help you learn just how to improve retail operations and performance with our feature-rich platform. Your new POS solution can reduce the daily stressors on your staff, which aids in increasing staff retention and leaves you better positioned in your industry.
Contact us to begin enjoying these great ground-breaking incentives to modernize today or sign up for a free demo to learn how to improve retail operations and performance and get your point of sale to do the heavy lifting for you.