5 Steps to Thriving When Prices Drop
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that sliding food prices are putting pressure on grocers. Grocers can succeed by attracting customers and increasing their average basket size per trip. Keep reading for 5 steps to do so!
Over the past year, commodity prices have dropped. This has given grocers the space to discount prices to attract customers. As the Wall Street Journal reports, this has had the consequence of creating a race to the bottom and lower profit margins for grocers.
Grocers, and any other type of retailer for that matter, can compete on more than just price. They can attract more customers and increase average spend per trip by following these 5 steps!
Step #1: Streamline Communications and Increase Compliance
Customers value consistency. Store execution solutions can ensure consistent execution of a supermarket chain’s strategy in all stores. This assures grocery retailers that their retail strategy, whether catering to local preferences or across the entire chain, is executed consistently in each store. Supermarket operators achieve consistency by having streamlined communication between corporate and stores and the ability to track task completion levels in real time. But with disparate communication methods like email, text messages, voicemails, and 3-ring binders going to stores, communications become too chaotic. This disrupts the consistency of the store experience.
Step #2: Automate Labor Scheduling
How many hours a week do your store managers spend drafting and editing schedules? When considering union rules, federal, state, and local regulations, employee preferences, store traffic forecasts, and other important factors, it can take well over 10 hours of a manager’s time. An automated labor scheduling solution powered by smart algorithms automatically takes all of those factors into consideration and generates schedules within seconds or minutes per store. With more free time, managers can do what they do best – get back to selling to customers and mentoring associates.
Step #3: Make Associates Mobile
A store employee’s most important role is to be on the sales floor, serving customers. How can they do that when mission-critical store systems can only be accessed in the back office? They can’t, and end up having to split their time between helping customers and being in the back office. Retailers need to unshackle their associates from the back office desktop by enabling them with mobile devices. With devices in hand, employees can review alerts from any store system in the palm of their hand while helping customers.
Step #4: Respond in Real Time
Your stores are constantly bombarded by unexpected events from inside and outside the four walls. Their response to these events is slowed by their need to read reports and analyze volumes of data in order to know what the issues are. Instead, retailers should move to enable stores to operate in real time. A real-time store execution platform delivers actionable information directly into the hands of your store employees. These actions are derived from store systems, and based on pre-defined exceptions. This could be as simple as moving shovels and rock salt to the front of the store when a snowstorm is incoming, or as critical as performing a Class 1 Product Recall and responding to alerts concerning food safety. Whatever the situation, responding in real time is the best way to keep your customers safe and your stores running smoothly.
Step #5: Refine Store Ops with Advanced Analytics
Implementing store execution and workforce management solutions help address many problems in-store. These systems inherently have lots of data and metrics that are important to look at. Analyzing this data illuminates trends that help your stores optimize various attributes and uncover profit. Deeper analysis answers questions like “Is my store labor properly aligned with customer traffic?” or “Why do certain stores have consistently low completion rates on corporate tasks?”
If your stores can complete the 5 steps outlined above, then you can succeed in attracting customers and increasing their average purchase per visit. If customers have a consistent experience and store associates have the time to be on the floor with them, then your stores will succeed, and be more profitable.
This blog is the first in a six-part series. In the subsequent blogs, we will cover each step more in-depth with case studies.