How to Overcome 2 Common Retail Performance Challenges
When you own a large chain of retail stores, you must ensure each store is meeting its individual revenue goals. Despite using similar processes at each store, not all stores will perform the same. While one store might be doing great, another one might barely be scraping by. Have you faced this challenge?
The key is being able to identify what is causing the stores to get different results. Below are two common retail performance challenges and tips to rise above them.
Retail Challenge 1: Poor or Inconsistent Vendor Performance
Evalute your vendors on:
- Price — are the maintaining a competitive price?
- Partnering — how do they handle returns or credits for damaged merchandise?
- Reliability — are shipments received on time?
- Product line — does the product line offered continue to meet you quality standards? Do they stay up with hot trends?
Vendors have been known to start out great and then offer lower levels of service over time. Be sure to maintain a vendor scorecard and evaluate each vendor for every location they serve on a regular basis to ensure consistency in service and value.
For years, retailers have relied solely on compliance and deduction policies to manage their suppliers and encourage them to meet their supply chain requirements. However, scorecards offer a more proactive means of measuring supplier performance and enable retailers to closely align themselves with vendors who achieve the highest grades… — RetailWire.com
Since some vendors ship merchandise from one central location while others have shipping centers that are geographically dispersed, you cannot count on the same level of reliability at each store location.
If you are evaluating new suppliers, ask for referrals and utilize suppliers who have a long-standing record of success. Don’t risk losing customers by not having in-demand products stocked!
By choosing a company who has proven themselves to other retailers, you will eliminate the stress that comes with delayed shipments. You need a company who is familiar with all of the challenges you are dealing with as a brick and mortar store.
Incorporate your retail vendor scorecard into your retail analytics program. Using retail analytics, you can evaluate whether:
- Your orders are being delivered on-time.
- Products are received undamaged.
- Goods are in-stock when you want to order them.]
Retail Challenge 2: Collecting Data Without Proper Analysis and Application
You can have loads of data and statistics about your business, but that isn’t going to do anything for you if you do not apply it correctly. It’s what you do with the data that matters the most.
Many business owners end up collecting data from surveys, store receipts, and various other methods only to let it sit around and collect dust. Why waste your time collecting it in the first place if you are not going to do anything with it?
Analytics tend to be best utilized when you have data that is:
- Simple and actionable. Once you understand the data, it has to provide you with insight into how you can take action realistically.
- Delivered in a timely fashion. You want to be able to take action right away when given the data. Getting information about something that happened months ago isn’t going to help you take corrective measures. Timely data collection and review allows your store to make changes that increase revenue and prevent potential losses from occurring.
- Easy to interpret. Anyone can give you a complex spreadsheet loaded with numbers, but that doesn’t help if you don’t know what you are looking at in the first place. Data should be presented in a format that is easy to read and interpret.
Come up with a type of analytics program that provides you with data analysis that is easily understood by all.
A well designed retail analytics program includes:
- Customized visuals and reports.
- Real-time reporting.
- Specific information gathered for the sole purpose of retail analytics.
Retailers that overcome the performance issues caused by poor vendor performance and a lack of action from analytics data are in a good position to beat out their competition.
With so many benefits that stem from retail analytics, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to take your business to the next level. All of the data gathered and analyzed will give you valuable knowledge about where you need to make changes to help increase your bottom line. Using the power of analytics, you can overcome the challenges of today and succeed in an ever-changing world of tomorrow.