How to Turn Physical Stores into Profit Centers
Retail store spaces’ roles have been changing for good regarding how store associates are positioned, how each square meter is used, and what to achieve out of it. While the outcome retailers expect to get is more or less the same, there are tons of strategies to implement in order to serve best to meet customer expectations and of course increase the operational profit. Between all those strategies, turning stores into mini fulfillment centers is a hot topic even the biggest retailer brands consider and adopt lately. It seems to require hard work. Isn’t it? Because apart from it, there is an important part that retailers shouldn’t miss out on, according to IBM’s latest research, 72% of customers still rely on stores as a primary buying method. It shows that before adopting new methods to transform physical spaces, retailers also need to keep physical stores as sales channels and in the best way, as customers still rely on touching, seeing, and feeling the products before making a purchase.
In the real world with the existing traditional ways, providing the best customer service, transforming stores, and gaining new functionalities can be costly and requires hard work. With all the conflicts and expectations, what should be retailers’ next move to have the best running operations?
Identify your customers and what you are missing out
Before executing a new method that holistically changes the role of stores, retail decision-makers need to come up with a solid action plan, to access accurate forecast to know any type of costs -labor cost, delivery cost, transfer costs- and get to know their expectations and what they want to offer to maximize the efficiency. In order to decide on the new functionalities, they need to know their customer’s shopping habits and their demand. Customers vary and the best move is to find the right technology to offer a variety of options that makes them free to choose whatever they want.
Mini-fulfillment centers are the next big thing in retail
The key here is that while retailers focus on the transformation, they might forget offline customers which would be a huge mistake. In order to add new values to physical stores, retail decision makers make sure that their customers are happy being in the store and have a seamless shopping experience until they leave the store. Empowering store associates to accelerate their service time, and minimize the workload while providing the best experience might not be impossible with the right technology. If store associates have the right device that removes them from cashiers, and access what they might need to guide the customer, retailers have proper conditions for transformation.
The latest changes in big retail brands’ operations show that turning all physical spaces available into fulfillment centers seem like the next big thing in retail. There are two strategies that retailers implement; they either turn their existing stores into fulfillment centers, or both use their stores and buy new small spaces near city centers for faster and cheaper delivery. Executing both plans require the right technology.
With a robust order management system, retailers can easily control each sale and distribution center in a single place of control. Fulfillment processes are not simple enough to only ship from the nearest location but there are other metrics to consider like stock availability, the delivery cost, and the busyness of the channel.
Shopi’s Omnichannel Retailing Platform eliminates any friction during the shopping journey and the fulfillment processes. With a strong Omnichannel OMS in place, retailers can determine their priorities based on their customer habits, costs, and business strategies without needing a hardcoding but a simple and user-friendly configuration panel and let the algorithm works and find the best location to fulfill an item. Once retailers decide to turn their stores into fulfillment centers, all they need to do is use Shopi’s fulfillment application to complete any fulfilment tasks automated.
Retailers can also place Omnichannel POS in the store to minimize store associates’ workload so that they can focus on other works to add more value to the operation while increasing customer satisfaction as the application seamlessly help store associates to access and provide the full catalog, sell from everywhere and complete checkout right in the aisle. If you’d like to find out more about how Shopi can help you through your digital transformation, get in touch with us and ask for a demo that is customized for you!