Having an efficient retail store doesn’t just improve the working experience of your employees but it also improves the customer’s experience and studies have shown that it could improve the retention.
A customer who leaves satisfied will tell 2-3 people about their positive experience. However, in the UK many retailers are struggling to accomplish this. In 2017 only 8% of British brands were able to witness an improved customer experience.
Also, a dissatisfied customer will tell 8 to 10 people about their poor experience which could hamper your growth significantly, especially when it compounds.
Okay, it’s okay saying you have to improve customer satisfaction, that isn’t exactly rocket science but how do we it?
Improve the efficiency of your store!
In just 7 effective tips, you will find the efficiency levels of your store will increase and off the back of that you will see improved customer satisfaction.
Here are 7 ways of making your store more efficient.
1. A tidy warehouse is a tidy mind
Keep the warehouse tidy. Clutter causes bad feng shui but more importantly it makes finding objects harder and longer. And this can create stressed-out staff. If your staff can find items more effectively they will be more at ease and way more efficient.
PLUS, let’s say a customer has requested something on the shop floor and is waiting for your employee to bring the item back, the less they wait, the better.
So how do you make your stock room more effective? Lable items clearly and organize your shelving.
Look at your purchase and shipping data, there may be clues in there that will help you optimize your processes further too. What products sell out? What items typically get bought together? You can use this data to arrange the shop better or arm your staff with the information they need to have a successful sale.
2. Simplify and improve store layout
Have you ever noticed that most of your big branded stores have a very similar layout? There’s a reason for this, they have optimized it for the consumer. Your store should be designed in such a way that makes the shopping process less stressful. A busy store can be a stressful environment and things can get pretty hectic unless it is optimized.
We recommend designing the store so that you can get as much natural light in as possible. Large Windows, Skylights and large glass doors will be great for this (notice most big stores have this). For areas that can’t get any natural light, we recommend ensuring there is sufficient lighting there. Any dull / dark spots have to go.
Keep the walls a light color too so that it helps your items pop.
Your store’s layout should be designed so that consumers can move about freely. If they are left feeling like their in a maze then the consumer’s experience isn’t all that great. Be strategic with your placements, is that mannequin tucked away in the corner or is it bang center in a prime position?
Speaking of mannequins, I hope there kitted out with the latest and most popular items?
3. Measure your success with a merchandising plan
Get your store a merchandising plan. This is a data-driven approach to choosing the best items to go on display. Your choosing items that sell the most or items that are commonly paired together. Analyzing sales data is crucial if you want your store to operate at its peak.
4. Work alongside your online retailer’s habits
Speaking of data driven, you’re able to gather more information on your online users. ITs way less intrusive finding out information on your online customers as opposed to your offline customers. This data can be used to optimize your stores however though.
For example, let’s say your online users frequently buy a scarf and jacket. Spotting this trend online allows you to ensure the scarf and jackets are close together in-store OR on a mannequin for display.
5. Deliver the goods
Consumers are so impatient these days and quick/effective delivery isn’t a luxury anymore, it’s an expectation. The one thing you can do to keep your customers happy and ensure they come back time and time again is choosing a good courier for delivery.
6. Use social media as a means for communication
Any business that deals with the public should have a well-refined social media plan. When consumers have a problem they take it upon themselves to have a good old vent on social media. This is where you have to make sure there’s a fire fighting plan in place to nip things in the bud before it maybe goes viral or the situation becomes more heated.
A good fire fighting plan can turn an angry customer into a happy one. All you have to do is calm them down and fix their problems. Sometimes it might even involve saying sorry, even if it hurts your ego.
7. Improve team communication
Internal communication in retail can be really hard. The pressure from the public, the multiple moving parts, protecting stock all while keeping in constant communication with your team, can get pretty stressful.
Good communication all starts with a pre-shift huddle. This is where you should be getting your team gathered round and fired up and ready to go. Set your objectives for the day and make sure everybody is clear about their roles. Each member should be operating as part of a team and not operating on their own.
The next thing you have to do is give every member of staff the tools they need to communicate properly. Running about trying to find someone can be a nuisance and a huge drain on time / resources.
Instead equip everybody with a two-way radio and a headset. Two Way Radios or walkie talkies allow your team to chat with somebody even if they’re at opposite sides of the store. Id recommend looking at websites like The Walkie Talkie Guide and choosing a two-way radio based on their reviews.
Your team can radio up to the stock room to check for an item without even having to leave the customer. This means your sales representative can engage in small talk and build rapport with the customer. Remember this person represents your brand so this reflects well and MAY / Probably increases your chance of a sale.
Now, this is all because of a walkie talkie! Walkie Talkies also gives your store added protection against thieves. Your team can use codewords to flag any suspicious behavior. Or you could buy a powerful walkie talkie that can communicate with other stores and warn each other of potential thieves.