Adapting Your Retail Operations Strategies to the Rise of Ecommerce
Ecommerce is already a potent force in the retail ecosystem and is only going to become more powerful. In 2019, retail saw $602 billion in ecommerce sales, an almost 15% increase from the previous year. This growth is expected to continue over the next few years, with $892 billion expected in e-commerce sales by 2022.
Ecommerce is going to continue to change the way that retail operates. As ecommerce grows as a percentage of all retail sales, customers who are accustomed to shopping online or using online channels will increasingly turn to multi-channel and omnichannel services in stores. This inevitably means that store associates will have more work to complete during their shifts, as they have to handle buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) orders, ship from store orders, and an array of other omnichannel services. With labor budgets facing the upward pressure of a tight labor market and increasing wages, how are stores supposed to make room for this extra work?
1. Optimize Omnichannel Offerings
Retailers can dig deeper into how to optimize their omnichannel offerings. Much of this can be accomplished by streamlining how store associates execute tasks and how communication flows through your organization. If store associates have real-time task management on mobile devices, they’ll have instant access to a prioritized list of their daily tasks and can receive tasks from omnichannel services in real time. By having immediate visibility into when BOPIS and other omnichannel-related tasks need to be completed, they can assist customers as quickly as possible. Store managers should also have real-time visibility into when these tasks are completed, so they can swiftly follow-up if there are any issues with BOPIS fulfillment or other omnichannel processes.
2. Improve Workforce Scheduling
Investment in intelligent workforce management solutions is key to expanding the amount of work that can be accomplished in stores without raising the labor budget. A workforce management solution can quickly generate schedules, accurately forecast a store’s labor needs, and optimize schedules to ensure that store associates are given roles tailored to their abilities. This ensures that there are enough employees scheduled to complete critical omnichannel tasks, boosting sales, increasing efficiency, and improving customer engagement at the store.
With ecommerce taking up a larger percentage of retail sales every year, it’s important to prepare for the impact that this will have on your brick-and-mortar stores. With the increasing ecommerce spend signaling that customers are turning towards omnichannel services, it’s essential to optimize omnichannel services while investing smartly in store execution and labor scheduling solutions. This lifts task completion rates and helps store associates provide customers with a world-class retail experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Reflexis can help retailers improve the customer experience with omnichannel services, read our white paper, “3 Strategies to Make Omnichannel Retail Work for Your Stores”.