Retail store operations include all of the activities that keep a store running smoothly. Many aspects go into operations, such as store design, display placement, customer service, the handling of money, credit, shoplifting prevention, premises maintenance, staff management, inventory optimization, and dealing with the entire supply chain. 

Retail Management – Store Operations

A well-run store carefully considers, plans, and executes all aspects of its operations. Below we provide an overview of the precautions you need to take when operating and managing a retail store:

1. Pilferage Prevention

An annual theft cost of over $15 billion is reported in a whitepaper by Cisco-Eagle titled “Industrial & Warehouse Security: Stop Theft and Pilferage” Here are some of the ways to prevent it:

  • a. Cash Counter Positioning: To prevent theft, place the cash counter or the cash wrap near your store’s exit. As a result of this placement, you will be able to greet shoppers as they enter, signaling to them that you are aware of their presence. In addition, you will be able to observe anyone leaving the store as well. 
  • b. Theft Sensor Tags: Retailers can protect merchandise and reduce theft with innovative, comprehensive anti-theft sensor tags. There are a wide array of genuine sensor tags available to securely protect most items in any retail setting. These tags work on innovative technologies and protect high-risk product categories, packed items, and delicate items.
  • c. Stock Count Every Month/ Quarter: On an immediate, weekly, or daily basis, you count small subsets of inventory and as a result of stock counting, you can ensure the accuracy of your inventory without interrupting your workflow. Besides being more efficient and productive, this method of inventory control makes it easier to detect theft since discrepancies are more obvious sooner rather than later.
  • d. CCTV Surveillance: CCTV surveillance systems are the most obvious security technology option. A video security camera not only allows you to monitor your customers and employees but will also deter potential shoplifters. Furthermore, cameras record criminal activity, giving you photographic proof if you need to prosecute a shoplifter in the future.

2. Customer Experience (CX) Evaluation:

96 percent of customers will leave you if you don’t provide them with good service, according to Forbes. And that’s why now it’s hard to imagine a world without customer experience management (CX). Over 5,000 organizations now have a dedicated CX leader, nearly half of whom report directly to the CEO. Nevertheless, it can still be difficult for brands to control customer experience because customers can act, respond and react in unpredictable ways. To maximize customer satisfaction, brands should assess and optimize each customer touchpoint.

Loyalty Programs can offer some help to improvise CX. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) increases when your loyalty program keeps existing customers interested in doing business with you for an extended time. Your loyalty program can generate a more reliable and constant revenue stream for your business, whether it offers loyalty points per spend or free shipping. By enhancing engagement and incentives, you can encourage customers to spend more and spend more often, thus strengthening their lifetime value.

3. SOP for Retail Business

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly one in five U.S. businesses fail within their first year. Across the nation, there are 32.5 million small businesses, and poor management is bound to lead to some failure. The process of drafting SOPs for your business is worth every minute of effort you put into them. As a precautionary measure, SOPs should ensure your store maintains the desired standards and you can avoid situations of poor management. Though it may not give you immediate gratification, you will be glad in the long run that you did not overlook retail store SOPs.

4. Inventory Reorder Management

As a result of poor inventory management, 27% of retail businesses fail; 30% of excess stock becomes dead stock or incurs extra costs to sell, which is a direct loss for the business. A facility’s inventory control is extremely important, regardless of the type of business it owns. To avoid out-of-stock and excess stock situations, inventory standard operating procedures should be implemented. The degree of reordering needs to be defined. An organization that places a new order too soon may receive the units earlier than expected. It is also important to note that if an order is placed too late, the company may be liable for costs associated with stock-outs, such as revenue losses. To run a profitable business, you must establish standard operating procedures for inventory control.

5. Store Checklists: Daily housekeeping

The following checklist will help you maintain your store’s cleanliness every day, especially during COVID times:

  • Sweep and mop the floor daily
  • Clean your glass displays as well as door & windows 
  • Dust off those items you have displayed as a showcase
  • Make sure to clean and sanitize your fitting room regularly
  • All your lights, electronics, and appliances should remain switched on
  • Keep temperature checks, hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves in your store
  • Check that your customers practice social distancing
  • Check that everyone has their mask on at all times and is vaccinated

6. Regular training to store team

If you don’t already give regular training to your staff, it’s time to start. Regular training can help streamline store operations and assist in business growth. Training opportunities make sure that your team knows how to handle different situations. Regular training also ensures that your staff is aligned and adequately equipped with the necessary resources they need to do their tasks. It can be a great way to discuss how you and your team can improve store operations overall. For instance, discuss what went right and what went wrong with notable customer interactions or events the previous day. With regular training, you can also offer incentives to your staff to motivate them. When your staff is professional and highly trained, your customers are also likely to come back. Hence, regular training for your staff also helps to grow your sales. 

7.  Regular Process Audits (Monthly/ Quarterly)

It is common for inefficiencies to occur when processes are not examined and streamlined. Often, department heads and employees leave processes unattended after they have documented them. It is never attempted to improve a process unless there is something seriously wrong with it. The core of any business is its processes. Your core should always be operating at a high level of efficiency to enable quick processing and more rapid progress. Maintaining the efficiency of your processes requires regular audits.

About YRC Consultants 

It is vital to manage your store operations and management and sometimes, it is best to get in touch with a professional firm for retail business consulting and get the job done. Outsourcing the operations management for your store to an experienced consultancy ensures that your store runs at optimal efficiency. Your Retail Coach has years of expertise in managing retail store operations and management using proven technologies. We understand that efficient store running requires accurate coordination of various aspects like sales, operations, accounts, human resources, and inventory. We have been offering retail management consulting services to help our clients streamline their business processes. This includes the development of SOPs, inventory management, layout planning, business tools and automation, IT strategies, theft prevention, etc.