Much like most organizations, the success of a retail business depends on the unity and orientation of three crucial elements: people, process, and technologies . This is particularly true once you’re running several retail locations. With numerous moving parts, shops, and teams, it is crucial that you maintain every part in sync to make certain your business runs smoothly.
To assist you accomplish that, we have assembled some pointers for keeping your teams, procedures, and technology in line. Proceed below and see how you can apply them in your retail stores:
Establishing and documenting solid processes
Repeatable processes are crucial to scaling and running a multi-store enterprise. Below are some action steps to make certain that your systems and processes are consistent and on-point.
Setup standard operating procedures
We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: As a multi-outlet retailer, you want to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the way your policies will be completed on your shops.
These processes will vary from one retailer to another, but generally speaking, you should have SOPs for the following:
Monetary transactions — This ought to cover whatever worries monetary handling at your shop, including the kinds of payments you accept, your procedures for processing refunds and returns, how frequently you shut the register, etc..
Customer support — Review directions and policies on how your employees should act, what they can and can not say, and what to do when clients get difficult.
Customer experience — Store environment and other items that bring about the experience ought to be standardized. According to Reese, such matters could consist of cleanliness or perhaps the type or quantity of music playing.
Security and safety — Be sure you have the right processes that would keep your employees and clients safe and secure. These procedures should cover basic issues, such as who is responsible for opening and closing the shop, in addition to more complicated situations, such as dealing with shoplifters or what to do in case of a natural disaster or another emergency.
Design and merchandising — Your design and merchandising SOP should detail how product should appear in your store. It should answer questions such as: How should things be displayed on the ground and what fixtures can you use? Should pants be folded or hung? How often should you update your own design and displays?
Document and communicate your SOPs
As soon as you’ve your procedures, set them on paper, then distribute them to employees to make certain that everyone’s on the same page. There are a number of ways to record and communicate your procedures, and it might behoove you to utilize a mix of tactics. These may include handbooks, organizational charts, regular catch ups, bulletin board reminders, and much more.
Reese recommends keeping these substances somewhere where employees from different locations can get them. Think about storing them in a shared cloud-based system like google Docs or Dropbox. This way, not only will people be able to get the materials easily, but you won’t need to be worried about having to update multiple files across different places or stations.
To find out which way to go, look to your employees and decide the best method to communicate together. How do they prefer to get information and how frequently? What materials and methods would work best for your type of company?
Get the answers to these questions, then use them to craft a communication strategy for your processes.
Assign individuals to communicate and execute your procedures
Do not underestimate the power of individuals when it comes to communicating and distributing your own processes. As you think of a plan, make certain to loop in your supervisors as they will play a vital role in it.
Consider what Wine Direct does. According to proprietor Ryan Quinn, they have a retail manager who has been key to running many stores.
“We have discovered that the physical separation of shops from HQ makes the task of maintaining customer support really high and constant that little bit tougher. And that identical separation makes it more difficult to keep staff motivated and engaged and with a sense of fundamental relevance to the corporation. Our retail supervisor has been crucial to making this work with continuous communication, visits, training and reiteration of store-specific and company-wide targets. ”
Ryan adds that their retail supervisor works closely with shop managers and part-timers to keep everybody moving towards their business objectives.
Do something similar in your enterprise. As soon as you’ve got a strategy for communicating and implementing your processes, appoint somebody who can coordinate with your other places and guarantee that things are performed correctly.
Setting your technology up for achievement
Next up is technology. Arming your company with the perfect tools and retail solutions can enable your employees and empower your processes to be executed easily.
There aren’t any 1 size fits all technologies for all types of retailers, so do a little research on what tools (or combination of resources ) ought to be utilised in your company.
To start with, look in the following:
Physical + electronic retail integrations — In this contemporary retail arena, multi-store merchants (or any type of merchant, for that matter) should have the ability to sell across multiple stores and stations, so select solutions that let you ring up sales online and offline.
Inventory management — Staying on top of stock for a single place can be pretty complex as it is, but if you are running multiple stores and stations, the task becomes a significant challenge.
That is why retailers should look into tools that could offer them a single view of the stock. It’s important your inventory system lets you see, monitor, and update stock levels for many outlets wherever you are or what store you are in.
To put it differently, you should be able to handle your inventory at store #2 if you’re in shop #1 or even when you’re on a business trip.
Customer relationship management and communication — keep your customers happy by using tools that let you save their information and monitor purchase histories and histories.
This will let you personalize the way you communicate and promote them, thereby strengthening your relationships in the procedure. And as Reese points out, having customer information handy permits you to re-engage them through slow periods or when they have not been to your shop in a little while.
Data collecting (reporting, analytics) — As a multi-outlet retailer, you will need to keep tabs on each store’s performance and be sure that everything’s on track with your targets. To do so, it is important to use adequate data and reporting tools that can provide you the advice and advice you need easily.
Figure out the metrics you need to be monitoring , then decide on a solution that can generate reports on the data points you require.
1 example of a retailer that does a excellent job with their analytics is Great Guy Vapes, which utilizes Vend to monitor sales and other important metrics.
“I look at earnings daily. I monitor trends to determine if there are any red flags that will need to be looked at more carefully. We do deep dives on information with the support of tools such as Vend,” stocks Shoaib.
“We look at things such as the most popular items across categories and attempt to find out why it could be the case. We look at which team members are working at places once the location appears to work best and vice versa,” he continues.
Technology is a critical part of any multi-outlet enterprise. If your shop is missing some of the above-mentioned tools, you may want to scout around for solutions you can use. Doing this will make things much simpler for you and your employees, and will allow you to better serve your clients.
An open ecosystem — As a multi-store merchant, you are likely using many different apps and tools to conduct your company. Maintaining your stores running smoothly requires you to incorporate several solutions in order that data flows seamlessly from one app to another.
As such, pick a retail management system that can work with the tools you currently have in place. Most contemporary solutions have existing integrations with other applications solutions, but the finest in class systems provide an open retail platform that paves the way for custom app development.
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