Your new TV, online and social media campaigns are working perfectly. They are successfully driving a high volume of traffic to your physical stores. Great news! Particularly since most consumers still prefer to make their purchases in brick-and-mortar destinations. According to PWC’s annual survey of shoppers, “73 percent say they have browsed products online, but decided to purchase them in-store.”
But wait… you’re not seeing a rise in sales, and you can’t seem to accurately track what’s happening. How is this possible? Why are shoppers leaving your stores empty handed?
What you may not realize is that many of your store teams are dealing with imprecise merchandising. Unfortunately, in many cases, store employees are forced to dedicate too much of their time fixing merchandising and promotional discrepancies, rather than interacting with and helping customers.
Retailers can’t always keep track of what products are selling in each store
When store employees are prevented from carrying out their main focus, to engage the customer, it consequently affects customer satisfaction and hits your bottom line. So, what are the top four issues that take employees away from customers in stores?
Imprecise Store Materials
Every store is different. Yet retailers don’t always know the unique attributes of each store, like fixture size, store layout, customer demographics, and neighborhood culture. When store teams receive incorrect production quantities or merchandising setups that don’t properly fit, they are forced to make decisions. As a result, employees have little time to spend with customers, materials are wasted, and stores are not executed as planned.
Out of Stock Product
Retailers can’t always keep track of what products are selling in each store, and employees can’t easily reorder items to get supplies back on the shelves quickly. Store employees spend their time creatively moving merchandise, so shelves and displays aren’t empty.
Complicated and Dated Methods
Many retailers are still using manually inputted Excel spreadsheets and cumbersome paper-filled binders to maintain merchandising information and planning instructions. The spreadsheets contain human errors, and the binders become out of date quickly. Store employees must rely on these for store execution, and spend much of their time interpreting the inaccuracies.
No Communication with Headquarters
With no direct line between stores and headquarters, store teams can’t report back on compliance or any issues they’re experiencing. Headquarters can’t track or measure retail experience, and stores are left to face reoccurring discrepancies.
Your store employees are the faces of your brand. How they conduct themselves, their knowledge, and their availability on the floor all contribute to making a meaningful, more personal customer connection and ultimately create a lasting brand impression, but their time and efforts are being wasted on inaccurate merchandising. Your store employees can never truly be your brand advocates if their days are consistently consumed by merchandising issues.
As a retailer, you can fix these issues by adopting a single digital platform that can help you optimize execution. A digital application, such as Merchandising Cloud, allows retailers to create a model of every store, open real-time communication between stores and headquarters, deliver exactly what each store needs, ensure product availability, and measure performance for future growth.
With a digital application, retailers can simplify the process for employees, empower store teams, and deliver a superior in-store customer experience. Learn more about Merchandising Cloud’s capabilities at rbmtechnologies.com.
Did we forget anything? Have your stores dealt with an issue not mentioned here? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.