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Optimizing the Retail Opportunities in Covid-19 pandemic

Navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for most industries, including retail has witnessed the impact of COVID-19 over the past few months. The widespread health and safety concerns, travel restrictions and local movement limitations, retailers in India started feeling the heat.

During this period, retailers are looking to change their current working strategies to generate revenue as usual without deploying more manpower in order to abide by the government guidelines.

Even the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has predicted that it would take at least 10-12 months for India’s retail industry to recover from the impact of the COVID-19. Their recent survey for June 2020 shows that Retail employs ~40-50 million people directly of which the Modern Trade sector employs more than 6 million Indians. This staggering number of retail employees has forced 20-25% of the industry players to require a capital infusion to stay afloat. But even then, 25% of jobs in the industry may get impacted in one way or another.

Only 7-8% of the retail industry is functioning at the moment, as the retailers are selling only essential items, said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, which represents 13,667 member establishments with 500,000 stores employing 43 million people.

Although the country slowly relaxing the lockdown regulations on a monthly basis with precautionary measures, only 20% of the retailers are expecting to start earning profit from August 2020.

But the real question for retailers is whether they can flexibly respond to the diametrically opposed challenges?

Well, it is clear that the response to this virus has fundamentally changed the reality for retailers irrespective of whether it lasts for weeks or months. It’s time to face the fact and start adapting the best practices and innovations.

Best Practices for Retail during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1.    Stay informed and manage employee safety

Update your employees regularly on the current COVID-19 situation and take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the health and safety of the workforce are not compromised.

  • Check for symptoms associated with COVID-19
  • If an employee feels unwell, ask them to go home immediately
  • Ensure that safety measures like the following are in place to reduce transmission among employees: –

1. Practice social distancing

2. Have regular temperature checks for everyone in the workplace

3. Wearing a mask and gloves at all times is mandatory

4. Employees in high-risk areas like billing counters, customer assistance, etc. should be provided and equipped with face shields at all times.

It is recommended to share easy to fill operational checklists like the PAZO COVID-19 Checklist to measure the understanding of the operations being relayed to your employees from the headquarters in real-time. Using operational solutions like PAZO, the data collected from these checklists across all retail branches get collated automatically to generate reports you can rely on and make successful business strategies.

Check out the full COVID-19 preparedness Checklist ready to be implemented.

2.   Be transparent

Your customers trust you and want to stay informed on everything that is happening and will affect their experience. And so, do your employees. Keep them informed at all times – for example, if there is a change in any operation from the headquarters, or a new business process is being implemented with the current safety guidelines in mind, etc.

See how PAZO can help your business to stay well connected and updated during the COVID-19 Crisis.

3.   Personal Hygiene for Employees
  • Emphasize on hand hygiene during work hours
  • Encourage the use of gloves to avoid direct contact
  • Ensure their daily self-hygiene so as not to compromise the workforce
  • Educate them on the proper way to dispose of their masks, tissues, and gloves

Solution for Manpower Rationalization

Going forward, small scale retailers are looking to lay-off 30% of their manpower while it reflects for the medium retailers as 12% and 5% for large retailers. When nearly 20% of the overall retail manpower faces the possibility of unemployment – Retail operational solution tools like PAZO helps to rebuild the changing scenario. With low operational costs, it’s easy to adapt for retailers small to large.

3 Steps for Retailers to Respond during COVID-19 with PAZO 

As the contributors for 40% of India’s consumption and ~10% to India’s GDP, all retailers play a crucial role in protecting employee and customer health. In helping retails to adapt to smarter solutions and cope with large scale loss of manpower, companies like PAZO are developing following practical solutions that will shape the recovery and strengthening of a staggering economy.

  • Employee safety is the first priority. Ensure that all necessary steps are taken to keep the frontline store employees safe and healthy, as they attend to customers.

The PAZO can be used to host communication modules that educate all personnel about the safety precautions taken for the health of both employees and the customers.

  • Supply-chain resilience is the next important step. Disruption to the supply chain had a great impact on the industry. Build resilience by being agile, leverage extended ecosystems, and embrace risk for holistic revival and sustenance.

PAZO comes with an inventory update system that helps analyze real-time data so that there is a clear insight into business operations.

  • The third step is to enable an elastic digital workplace that minimizes business disruption. With a reduced workforce, retailers have to be more efficient than ever in making sure all crucial management tasks are completed.

PAZO also comes with the feature of raising issues to the right resources and having the accountability of resolving it within the expected time.

To achieve ultimate retail success during uncertain times, retailers have to adapt business models to complement the changing consumer behavior. Implementing advanced technology like retail operation software can be beneficial even when the pandemic has passed. It is time for Responsible Retail.

Incorporating technological solutions such as checklists to manage the logistical and workforce front can ensure that the customers follow social distancing, occupancy limits, and other safety and hygiene regulations as outlined by the government. Merging this with dynamic store navigation, mobile checkout, offering a wide variety of online payment options, and monitoring traffic into their store operations strategy can serve as valuable post-pandemic store operations tools.

Check out how PAZO can make retail operations more efficient

The COVID-19 situation is complex and evolving at lightning speed, and on a daily basis. Having a well-managed response will help retailers bring in some consistency in operations and maximize their revenues. Retailers should see this as an opportunity to out-perform competitors and build a strong foundation for digital, future-ready business.

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Industry News

Improve Retail Store Operations Efficiency

The market is rapidly evolving and maintaining operational excellence has become crucial to be successful. What does it mean to be an operationally efficient retail store? When your store or chain of stores maintain high brand standards, consistent sales and provide a great customer experience while saving time, money and resources, you can say that it is operationally efficient.

Why is store operational efficiency critical for retail success?

Making your retail store operations effective will help you:

  • Reduce costs while achieving better results
  • Make better decisions based on the data received from individual stores
  • Make in-store teams more efficient
  • Maintain consistency across all stores
  • Provide a better shopping experience to customers

Why do retailers find it challenging to make their operations more efficient?

Retail store operations can be made more efficient when you look at the right factors that need improvement. Here are some of the challenges retailers expressed when we had a chat wit them:

  • Low visibility into store operations – Many retailers mentioned that they don’t have a clear picture of what’s going on in their stores, especially the outlets located in different regions across the country. 
  • Inconsistent communication – Due to lack of communication between store teams and the head office, the complete information doesn’t get passed on to the concerned teams in time. 
  • Limited evaluation of individual store performance –  Due to managing multiple outlets across different cities which entails a lot of paper-based reports, retailer can’t evaluate store performance easily, making it difficult to spot efficiency problems.
  • Manual follow ups and reports – When daily store tasks are being carried out by the team without proper assignment, it is time consuming to relay information from one member to another. Store managers then need to compile reports manually and send it to the head-office teams.

Looking out for best Solutions: Check Here

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How PAZO Can Help In Making Retail Operations Efficient

1. Easy Communication

Task management and internal communication between teams at individual stores and the head office make operations more efficient and transparent. Synchronize task assignment and completion, surveys, feedback and compliance across all outlets

2. Store Audits And Compliance’s

Area Managers can now easily monitor store operations and ensure that there is consistency in brand standards and compliance’s. With a personalized dashboard, get consolidated data or routine operations including task completion efficiency, issue resolutions and reporting

3. VM Implementation

Easy checklists with photo uploads allow you to keep track of product placement and display, complete with the aesthetics and ambiance to ensure that customers have the best shopping experience in all your stores. 

4. Store Opening and Closing

Define routine operations run efficiently without any glitches with scheduled checklists, especially for store opening and closing. With tasks assigned to the right people at the right time, field managers can track execution standards and accountability.

5. Documents and Training

Maintain brand standards by training staff across all stores and having the resources and issues documented. With PAZO, documents in the form of images, videos, PDFs etc. can be uploaded and shared with the right users and departments.

Increase profits with data-driven decisions and improve customer experience at every store with having your daily operations on auto-pilot with PAZO.

Categories
Industry News

4 Major Challenges in Managing Retail Store Operations

What are the retail marketing challenges? Lets dive deep and figure that out.

In this article we will also discuss how can retail management be effective for a small/medium/large retail store format? especially when it has stores divided across different geographies. Unlike management in other industries, comparatively retail management faces a lot of challenges in this fast-paced and competitive environment.

retail marketing challenges

A Retail management System goal is to maximize productivity. Ensuring that employees are on the same pace of productivity regarding promotions. Store operations can be a challenging process as the business expands. Customers are more intelligent and demanding which increases the operation managers pressure to exceed their expectations with regards to the quality of the product, service and overall experience.

To help operation managers improve on this, PAZO has compiled this list of the top 4 challenges in 2020 for retail operations and explained how to overcome them. 

NOTE: BONUS list at the end of article. 

4 Major retail marketing challenges:

Below mentioned are the challenges which have spanned decades. These challenges are collected from our interviews which we had with various stalwarts of the industry:

Management/Leadership Problems

Management is completely in the hands of the company’s owner(s). Without prior experience in retail management, many wholesale retail store owners are the very reason their company fails. Managing on-going business policies, long-term strategies, adapting the technological advances etc. all these are interrelated and interdependent. Retailers should have the ability to spot, address problems and find an effective retail management solution to avoid halts in the business.

Work Management

Every Retail company requires careful maintenance of day to day operations to maintain that peak performance. Retail Managers must be dealing with staffing issues, aligning staff people and their roles, conducting appraisals and performance reviews, providing or organizing training and development events etc. They expect a solution from which they can organize and accomplish these aspects within time.

Retailers may have challenges with team collaboration and sharing information across departments. Struggling with redundant tasks may eat away the company’s productivity. Identifying inefficiencies within retail operations and maximizing efforts with collaborative work management is very important.

Multi-Store Management

When you are prepared to expand into a multi-store retail business, every retailer must be ready to manage Connectivity across all the stores, Cross-store operations, Data Synchronization of all stores, Multi-store reporting, New product launch activities etc.

A Retail Management Software must be able to supervise a sizable number of retail businesses to trim their costs, achieve higher productivity and deliver superior customer service.

New Product Launch

Managing the Physical Branding teams, Sponsoring and organizing events, networking with the local business communities, Guerrilla Marketing campaigns, etc. require a comprehensive retail management solutions. In order to reach potential customers, from establishing the proper messaging and creating the assets to enable your sales and marketing team in momentum, there’s a lot that goes into putting together a solid new product launch activity.

These were the few of many challenges faced by the retailers. Here is the Bonus list.

  • So Many advanced technologies in market to drive marketing and sales, but they don’t Seem to work together.
  • Customer Loyalty can be attained only by the experience that stands out.
  • Customers always expect a Seamless Experience. Solving this issue can be your key to success.
  • Communication

Also Check Out: What Causes Retail Apocalypse?

The Retail sector has always brought with it some interesting challenges throughout history, and these challenges are resulting in ever more innovative solutions. PAZO can be used as a solution to the challenges faced by the industry in managing Retail operations that will help you keep your Retail business on the path to success.

If you have any suggestions that can make a win win over these challenges, then do comment your thoughts in the comment section below. 

retail store management software pazo