The next stage in retail evolution?

Alexandra Franco

17 August 2017    |   

The advances in credit card technology and the creation of the of the electronic payment terminal in 1982 revolutionized payment processing for businesses around the world. It leads to better cash flow management, and an increase in sales processing efficiencies, ultimately influencing customer spending behavior. Over the years the technology has developed, and advancements like contact-less payments, NFC, and card-free payments have emerged. However the next technological wave of retail evolution is upon us, and it’s time for businesses to dive in head first. Cloud software has been the latest revelation in technical advancements. POS, Payroll and Workforce Management, the list could go on. While each of these individually represents a leap in innovation in their own right, the true value lies in their interconnectedness. On one level integrating Workforce Management software and Payroll software makes sense. It’s practical, efficient and creates order in what can potentially be a frustrating and time-consuming process. However, integrating POS and Workforce Management software goes further as it enables the user with the ability to make smarter decisions, such as: 1. Create schedules with the right amount of staff every time Ever look at the store to see staff twiddling their thumbs or a huge line at the checkout? Welcome to the complex world of accurate shift management, where you’re either increasing your staffing expenses or losing potential revenue. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. By integrating your scheduling system and sales data, you can make smart decisions to have the right amount of staff every time. 2. Make decisions in real time Thought you were going to be run off your feet this week, only to find that sales are slowing and business is quieter than expected? Once you’ve integrated your sales data into your scheduling system, you can make real time decisions on staffing levels, rather than reviewing at the end of each month. Track your revenue and wage percentage costs in real time, so you can alter and adjust the roster as the day or week changes. Of course, all your staff is immediately notified of changes, so everyone’s kept in the loop. 3. Be future oriented, move your business forward Stop looking backwards at last week’s schedules, timesheets and payslips to make next week’s decisions. Workforce Management software has come along way from the paper schedules and timesheets. It’s now possible to not only forecast future costs, schedules and staff requirements but also automate the entire scheduling process with cognitive scheduling software. The rise of internet shopping and retail giants like H&M and Zara means that traditional ‘brick and mortar retailers’ need to be using every edge possible to stay competitive, relevant and front of mind for customers. Businesses that fail to embrace technology as a tool for success, are likely to struggle under the weight of the world that is rapidly embracing a more digital and connected world. How many times have you walked into a store, only to find that you can’t be served because the company is understaffed? While the economic benefits that come from an optimized roster are apparent, the value that comes from roster optimization is expressed tangibly on a daily basis through customer service and customer retention. According to customer experience research conducted by thinkJar’s Esteban Kolsky, 66% of consumers who switch brands do so because of poor customer service and 85% of this customer churn could be prevented. Kolsky also notes that attracting customers is an expensive exercise costing businesses approximately six to seven times more to attract new customers, rather than retain existing customers. Building on this, further research shows that you’re 14 times more likely to sell to an existing happy customer than a new customer. It is therefore essential that retailers are providing the best customer service experience, to ensure customer retention. Businesses that optimize staffing rates for peak sales periods, will have the correct staff to customer ratios, creating efficient and favorable customer service experiences, resulting in higher customer retention rates. For traditional retailers, customer retention is paramount, as it not only ensures business continuity but also becomes a significant channel for acquiring future customers. Differentiating your business through excellent customer service and optimized staff efficiency, not only provides the competitive edge but also allows for financial stability and security as you can confidently make future oriented decisions to grow your business both financially and professionally. POS software integration is the next step in retail evolution. Like the payment terminal revelation before it, POS data integration will change the way businesses operate and what it means to be a traditional business in a digital world.

The advances in credit card technology and the creation of the of the electronic payment terminal in 1982 revolutionized payment processing for businesses around the world. It leads to better cash flow management, and an increase in sales processing efficiencies, ultimately influencing customer spending behavior.

Over the years the technology has developed, and advancements like contact-less payments, NFC, and card-free payments have emerged. However the next technological wave of retail evolution is upon us, and it’s time for businesses to dive in head first.

Cloud software has been the latest revelation in technical advancements. POS, Payroll and Workforce Management, the list could go on. While each of these individually represents a leap in innovation in their own right, the true value lies in their interconnectedness.

On one level integrating Workforce Management software and Payroll software makes sense. It’s practical, efficient and creates order in what can potentially be a frustrating and time-consuming process. However, integrating POS and Workforce Management software goes further as it enables the user with the ability to make smarter decisions, such as:

1. Create schedules with the right amount of staff every time

Ever look at the store to see staff twiddling their thumbs or a huge line at the checkout? Welcome to the complex world of accurate shift management, where you’re either increasing your staffing expenses or losing potential revenue. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. By integrating your scheduling system and sales data, you can make smart decisions to have the right amount of staff every time.

2. Make decisions in real time

Thought you were going to be run off your feet this week, only to find that sales are slowing and business is quieter than expected? Once you’ve integrated your sales data into your scheduling system, you can make real time decisions on staffing levels, rather than reviewing at the end of each month. Track your revenue and wage percentage costs in real time, so you can alter and adjust the roster as the day or week changes. Of course, all your staff is immediately notified of changes, so everyone’s kept in the loop.

3. Be future oriented, move your business forward

Stop looking backwards at last week’s schedules, timesheets and payslips to make next week’s decisions. Workforce Management software has come along way from the paper schedules and timesheets. It’s now possible to not only forecast future costs, schedules and staff requirements but also automate the entire scheduling process with cognitive scheduling software.

The rise of internet shopping and retail giants like H&M and Zara means that traditional ‘brick and mortar retailers’ need to be using every edge possible to stay competitive, relevant and front of mind for customers. Businesses that fail to embrace technology as a tool for success, are likely to struggle under the weight of the world that is rapidly embracing a more digital and connected world.

How many times have you walked into a store, only to find that you can’t be served because the company is understaffed? While the economic benefits that come from an optimized roster are apparent, the value that comes from roster optimization is expressed tangibly on a daily basis through customer service and customer retention.

According to customer experience research conducted by thinkJar’s Esteban Kolsky, 66% of consumers who switch brands do so because of poor customer service and 85% of this customer churn could be prevented.

Kolsky also notes that attracting customers is an expensive exercise costing businesses approximately six to seven times more to attract new customers, rather than retain existing customers. Building on this, further research shows that you’re 14 times more likely to sell to an existing happy customer than a new customer. It is therefore essential that retailers are providing the best customer service experience, to ensure customer retention.

Businesses that optimize staffing rates for peak sales periods, will have the correct staff to customer ratios, creating efficient and favorable customer service experiences, resulting in higher customer retention rates. For traditional retailers, customer retention is paramount, as it not only ensures business continuity but also becomes a significant channel for acquiring future customers.

Differentiating your business through excellent customer service and optimized staff efficiency, not only provides the competitive edge but also allows for financial stability and security as you can confidently make future oriented decisions to grow your business both financially and professionally.

POS software integration is the next step in retail evolution. Like the payment terminal revelation before it, POS data integration will change the way businesses operate and what it means to be a traditional business in a digital world.

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Here’s a question for you, what is the fastest growing under utilized resource in today’s modern society? According to Bernard Marr, we are creating data at an unprecedented rate, the likes of which have never been seen before in human history. So why then are we surprised to find that less than 0.5% of all data is ever analyzed? Can you even imagine what could be possible if we started to analyze even just a portion of it? For businesses, the ability to analyze data, particularly their own data, is crucial in ensuring their survival. Benchmarking is one of the most common forms of business data analytics, as it conveys information around market segmentation, competitor analysis and one’s own business’ performance. Despite its obvious benefits many businesses still struggle to benchmark effectively and efficiently. According to Baseline, increasing data accessibility by just 10% could result in an additional $65 million in net income for an average Fortune 1000 company. 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From there they translate it into comprehensible action items.The analytics may prove useful for the Leadership team in their decision-making process, yet they can be difficult for the store managers to interpret and implement into actionable items. There is a better way to do this. Implementing integrated cloud solutions, not only allows for benchmarking data to be compiled quickly but does so in a way that makes it a resource that can be used by the entire company. The best example is workforce management benchmarking data, which when done well, can lead to higher productivity, profitability and staff engagement. The Solution Tanda provides a comprehensive and clear snapshot of the entire business from one single location. It allows for Leadership and Executive teams to monitor the workforce and gauge the impact of future business decisions. It empowers management teams at all levels with actionable intelligence on core workforce metrics specific to their daily activities, such as creating schedules and calculating labor costs. As a cloud solution, Tanda offers unparalleled insight into your workforce. Data is automatically collected and reported on instantaneously within the system, which reduces the time spent collecting and analyzing the data. This allows time for higher level analysis to further the business’ strategic goals. Benchmarking labor performance in such an accessible way assists management to immediately identify performance issues and successes across the business. With this approach, you can remedy poor performance quickly, and recognize and reward good performance. Where previously managers may have had lagging or outdated performance indicators, they now have instant and tailored information. This assists them to make the best decisions on every occasion, whether it’s a last minute rota change or a future staff hire. Better Data Leads to Better Decisions Benchmarking in Tanda results in better performance, stronger teams and greater insight into the entire organization. Managers have the tools they need to improve store performance and profitability, as well as insights for Leadership to further develop their workforce. Live Snapshot Managers can view live reports into wage costs, revenue, and staff attendance to better track their labor spend throughout the day or week. This makes it easier to meet financial objectives and KPIs as set by head office. Insight and Clarity Into Your Team Benchmarking your workforce management data in one system improves the governance and oversight within the business, while also reinforcing positive compliance practice. Managers can access live staff attendance and labor cost data, giving them greater oversight over the workforce. As a result, the Leadership team has access to sophisticated reporting for the entire company, as well as remote oversight across the entire organization. Happier Staff = Happier Customers Providing managers with actionable intelligence to make better in store labor decisions results in improved staff performance, increased staff satisfaction and a better customer experience. Including store managers in important business decisions around staffing encourages them to take pride and ownership in meeting the business’ objectives. This results in more engaged staff delivering an improved customer service experience. As the business landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is crucial that businesses are able to quickly adapt in order to succeed. Capturing and utilizing data for benchmarking, allows businesses to make fast and accurate decisions so that they can emerge as a market leader. 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About the author

Alexandra Franco

Alex was a former Business Manager for Tanda.

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