Meeting current and new in-store service demands within a challenging omni-channel retail economic environment is putting a squeeze on the store associate and their role within the store. From helping customers with self-scanning, to picking and assembling orders for click and collect, there is far greater diversity within a job role that didn’t used to exist, which, whilst resulting in a positive change for customers, can cause distraction and resourcing challenges within the day-to-day store activity.
Whilst retailers may have a number of processes in place to manage price and promotions across their store estate and there might be some level of automation, invariably the process relies on manual processes and the prioritisation given in a store on a given day. Even if there is a system driven communication instructing stores to add or remove a promotion, the execution is dependent on in-store management or store associates walking around the store to add / remove labels and letting everyone know.
Promotion management requires military precision in ensuring the right product is available to buy through the right channel, at the right price. It’s vital that head office can have visibility of the management of promotional labels, from printing, application and deployment, to pushing the tasks down to stores and then at the store level, having visibility to compliance and knowing that the activity is actually being actioned in all stores.
Through some process refinement, retailers can unlock potential marginal gains; driving up the consumer experience in store and improving store process efficiency with the associated resource savings, whilst ensuring that promotions are applied and removed in real time.
An example of an optimised process might be a solution that guides store associates through the store for both the application, removal and checking of promotion pricing (and non-promotional pricing as part of wider price check or due diligence procedure). Such a system will typically provide a management overview of process execution, both store and global compliance and efficiency KPIs.
From empowering store teams through real-time task, inventory and promotions management, to embracing electronic shelf edge labels, technology can extend the capability of the significant investment in retail systems to make sure that consumers can buy what they want, when they want it at the price they were promised.
But it’s not about having a complete system change, it’s about extending the capabilities of retail systems and having integrated layers within the processes that are enabled by the technology.