What is Retail Execution?
Retail Execution is a series of critical business-focused activities that goes into making a successful retail store. There are numerous stakeholders involved, from product merchandisers, store planners, stock fulfillment teams, in-store marketing teams, sales staff, and visual merchandisers. All of them work in tandem with one goal, which is to achieve a successful retail execution that is critical to driving brand strategy and customer experience for a flourishing business. Above all, the success of an in-store execution strategy lies in its consistency and ability to adapt to the necessary changes.
Why is flawless in-store retail execution important?
In today’s highly competitive retail environment, business is all about pleasing the customer. The ability to execute flawlessly in all aspects of a retail operation is absolutely necessary in order to succeed. Not only does it help in ensuring that customers have a positive shopping experience, but it also helps to increase customer loyalty and improve the overall reputation of a business.
With the growing e-commerce businesses, shoppers are always looking for the best products at the lowest prices online. However, customers still prefer a physical experience when choosing their product-specific brands. This is where the retail shopping experience overtakes price focused online shopping experience. And this is the key opportunity where retailers need to put their best foot forward in their in-store execution and customer service.
In-store execution challenges faced by retailers
Now that we understand why flawless in-store retail execution is important, let us delve into what challenges arise and require attention during this key business process.
Brand strategy compliance
Following the product and merchandising guidelines set by the brand is an important aspect of proper in-store execution. The brand’s value and aesthetics cannot be experienced with mismatched execution, and will directly impact how the customer connects with the brand and its service. Studies show that appropriately executed retail displays have shown up to 193% sales growth.
Shrinkage and product losses
Whether it’s a big or small retailer, loss prevention continues to be a very big and real challenge. Shoplifting, administrative errors, and product write-offs directly affect the bottom line of businesses. Apparently, 20% of the annual global retail shrinkage occurs due to administrative errors. Streamlining e administrative processes, and using proper tech systems and data automation methods can greatly help in reducing losses from shrinkage.
For any successful retail execution, effective communication is paramount. When communication is erratic, it’s more likely that relevant and seasonal products don’t reach the store in time to execute marketing and merchandising initiatives and activities. Therefore, effective communication is key to saving retailers time and money while executing in-store strategies.
Health and safety risks
Work-related injuries are pretty common in retail stores. Besides the expense of treating injuries the collateral damage through indirect costs associated with it are overwhelming.
Inadequate customer service
Happy customer is equal to a robust bottom line! Today’s customers have lesser patience and attention span while shopping. It takes a maximum of two bad experiences for a customer to stop shopping with a brand. While gaining new customers is expensive these days, customer retention rates can be managed with excellent customer service. Moreover, satisfied customers tend to spread brand awareness organically across their social groups.
Components of a great retail strategy and perfect retail execution
A robust retail strategy is one that can elevate the in-store experience to become a customer’s delight! Besides boosting sales numbers and conversion rates, the store automatically builds brand loyalty and value. The sales staff is motivated to focus on their skills and earn more incentives keeping attrition at bay.
Strategy and alignment
A retail execution strategy is an amalgamation of brand guidelines, standard expectations, and specific initiative or promotion-based guidelines. It is a one-stop document that contains all the details required for store executions. You can also digitize your entire workforce with Know to help them be on top of their respective deliverables, to ensure an end-to-end plan of attack!
Again, communication plays a key role in ensuring a proper understanding of the deliverables. Training, demonstrations, etc., are necessary for 100% clarity of thoughts and information. Also, after execution is complete, store audits by senior staff or brand personnel is critical to review the store’s compliance with the guidelines provided.
What are the components of perfect in-store execution?
A good communication Strategy
Interestingly, the execution plan doesn’t begin in the store! It starts from finding the store location on Google Maps, then a warm welcome as they enter your store, a comfortable and easy-going interaction, and service, and finally them for their patronage of your business before leaving the store. Other key aspects like pleasant lighting, store temperature, and safety precautions are all mandates to be followed diligently in the stores.
Follow display guidelines
It is a normal tendency for store staff to ensure shelves are well stocked with the current products. But what needs to be implemented is the displaying guidelines from the brand. Their intent is always to make a visually appealing and operationally friendly environment, make elevate the in-store experience for the customer, as well as simplified stock manoeuvring.
Measure, analyze, and adapt
The brand and management teams must constantly visit retail stores to audit overall store maintenance and performance. Tracking compliance is easy with tools like Know with its digital forms dashboard to understand the points of improvement. With this knowledge, store staff can be trained accordingly to help them level up and maintain consistent service and environment.
How to implement a successful in-store retail execution strategy?
Here are some key steps to consider while implementing a successful in-store retail execution strategy.:
Identify your target customers
Before you can effectively execute a retail strategy, it’s important to understand who your target customers are and what they are looking for. This will help you to tailor your strategy to meet their needs and preferences.
Set clear goals and objectives
Determine what you want to achieve with your retail strategy, and establish clear goals and objectives that will help you to measure your success. This will give you a clear roadmap to follow as you implement your strategy.
Develop a plan of action
Once you have identified your target customers and set your goals and objectives, you can begin to develop a plan of action to achieve them. This should include details on how you will implement your strategy, who will be responsible for each task, and what resources will be required.
Train your staff
Your staff are the face of your business, and they play a crucial role in the success of your retail strategy. Make sure they are properly trained on your products, services, and processes so that they can effectively assist customers and drive sales.
Monitor and adjust your strategy
As you implement your retail strategy, it’s important to monitor its effectiveness and make adjustments as needed. This will help you to ensure that you are meeting your goals and objectives, and will allow you to respond to changing customer needs and market conditions.
Switch to a digital tool to automate your in-store operations
Digital transformation of retail operations is becoming a necessity for businesses looking for growth in today’s competitive landscape. By streamlining retail execution through digitizing and automation of store tasks, retailers can maximize their efficiency while providing a better customer experience – creating a win-win situation for everyone involved!