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Pazo Insights

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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Pazo News

PAZO Featured in Economic Times India

Since PAZO is amongst the 9 that have been selected for METRO Accelerator for the Retail programme Powered by Techstars, which has been helping out the large retailers identify and resolve retail business operational problems to save time and money.

Pazo is being implemented across all 25 METRO wholesale stores in India.

“Pazo provides METRO with a software that gives complete visibility across METRO’s businesses. By capturing all critical business data points, METRO receives full control of its daily store operations in real-time. This exercise helps in augmenting our operational efficiency, while helping us deliver a better customer experience.” said Arvind Mediratta, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer at METRO Cash & Carry India.

PAZO FEATURED IN ECONOMIC TIMES INDIA

Check out the complete article here: Pazo in Economics Times

Pazo is built to manage connectivity across all the stores, Cross-store operations, Data Synchronization of all stores, Multi-store reporting, new product launch activities etc. Collaborate with people from different store locations to share best practices helps fuel innovations across the company. Pazo helps to supervise a sizeable number of stores or branches to trim their costs, achieve higher productivity and deliver superior customer service.

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Industry News

What Causes Retail Apocalypse & How to get away from it?

Retail apocalypse refers to the closing of a large number of North American brick-and-mortar retail stores; especially those of large chains. Some of the United States’ most prominent retailers are shuttering stores in recent months amid sagging sales in the troubled sector. Over 12,000 physical stores have been closed. But,

Why do Retail Stores Fails?

Due to factors such as over-expansion of malls, rising rents, bankruptcies, low quarterly profits outside holiday binge spending, delayed effects of the Great Recession, Management problems, and Bad reputation in the customers etc. North American consumers have shifted their purchasing habits due to various factors, including experience-spending versus material goods and homes, as well as the rise of e-commerce, as well as competition from juggernaut companies such as Amazon and Walmart.

The rise of e-commerce outlets like Amazon has made it harder for traditional retailers to attract customers to their stores and forced companies to change their sales strategies. Many companies have turned to sales promotions and increased digital efforts to lure shoppers while shutting down brick-and-mortar locations.

People can buy almost anything online now and have it delivered within a few days—if not the same day.

Here we have listed various reasons behind Retail apocalypse:-

1. Over Expansion

Many retail businesses start off well and soon plan to expand in order for the business to flourish. While expansion certainly needs to be done, it must be done in moderation. Expanding too much, or too rapidly can lead to a variety of problems which a retail business may not be ready to face.

Before attempting to expand and capture a bigger share of the market, business owners must ensure that they are adequately prepared to meet logistic challenges, financing concerns, staffing issues, and supply chain management. Expanding without preparation can make retail businesses battle out for survival.

2. Labor Management

One of the prime factors in poor brick-and-mortar sales performance. That is basically a combination of poor retail management coupled with an overcritical eye towards quarterly dividends: a lack of accurate inventory control creates both under performing and out-of-stock merchandise, causing a poor shopping experience for customers in order to optimize short-term balance sheets, the latter of which also influences the desire to under-staff retail stores in order to keep claimed profits high.

3. Problems with Management / Leadership

Of the many reasons why retail businesses fail, problems with leadership or management are one reason, which is completely the business owner’s responsibility. While a retail business may have been started off by an entrepreneur, it is important to effectively manage the day to day issues.

Lack of proper experience and incompetence of retail management is one of the prime reasons why retail businesses fail. Business owners must ensure that they spot and effectively address any retail management problems before they go out of hand.

4. In-Store Customer Experience

The mall experience represents everything that is wrong with the modern customer experience—you walk into stores that don’t have what you are looking for or those aren’t relevant to you and see employees who aren’t engaged or excited to be there. Larger, well-invested, destination malls have tended to outperform unremarkable regional malls by mixing traffic-drawing leisure venues with retail.

Instead of being used for the old way of shopping, perhaps malls should transition into venues for live events where people can come together. Closed stores can be put to good use as exercise spaces, concert venues, or even housing for homeless people. We don’t need to be sentimental or dramatic about stores closing; instead, let’s get creative about how to use the physical space.

5. Customer Service

Poor customer service just doesn’t cut it anymore in the brick-and-mortar world. If a retailer wants to keep your business, they must treat you well and be willing to give you their time. They must do this because otherwise you can go somewhere else or order online to get the same products for the same amount of money or possibly less.

But with all of these reasons most brick-and-mortar retail business are dying out, retailers have no choice. They have to either change to “give customers what they want”, or they’ll eventually die. Ideally, customer experience should be consistent and seamless across channels.

These were the few reasons which make retail industry to dry out. Don’t worry we have solutions to bypass this but, before that get an gist of the challenges in managing Retail store operation in order to get the better picture.

How to get away from Retail Apocalypse?

Embracing a multi channel strategy make the Supply chain management to see avoid challenges like Customer service, Cost, Partnership with the suppliers etc. Multi channel retail is an approach in which retailers offer consumers multiple options for how and where they make purchases that encourage shoppers to research online but pick up purchases in person. The benefit is that it significantly reduce expenses while improving the ability to communicate with stores and monitor store compliance. By leveraging tailored retail store management solutions, retailers can skip the extensive training or large system configuration for easy deployment and implementation.

Solutions like PAZO Retail Store Management that are tailored to specific retail functions, retailers can maximize the efficiency of store operations and be empowered to accurately and consistently distribute information, plan, schedule, assign, prioritize, automate, communicate and monitor task compliance.

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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