Retailers are facing tough market conditions across the UK, but if you look beyond the troubling headlines, you’ll find some success stories. How are some brands managing to swim against the current? What sets them apart from their competitors?
Often the key differentiator isn’t something you can see. It’s a thread that runs across the entire business – its operations.
Creating a point of difference
Products can be replicated, but brands cannot. The retailers that are bucking the trend and growing their business despite low consumer confidence and increasing costs have one thing in common – a brand that delivers on its promises. That will mean different things for different retailers – for Amazon, delivering for customers means rapid fulfilment, whereas for John Lewis delivering for customers means bringing new experiences into stores and committing itself to a people-first future.
When businesses look to attract customers by promising outstanding levels of service, simplicity or choice, there’s little room for the promise to go awry. Retailers can’t tolerate inefficiencies that prevent them from being able to deliver.
Retailers that continue to win despite endless external pressures usually have top-notch operations that can sustain their business through rocky trading environments. That isn’t accidental. Those brands have put their operations at the centre of their business. Forging a new relationship between logistics, resourcing and branding is vital to safeguarding – and growing – brand reputation.
That might seem a bold vision, but new technologies can support your business into an operations-first brand.
Predicting and meeting demand
Perfecting operations starts with properly understanding your business and its resources. Data-driven scheduling can help retailers accurately predict and meet demand, so the people on the ground can add more value where it really counts – delivering unbeatable customer service.
With 294,280 retailers in the UK, those that fail to connect brand experience with the operational ability to deliver on customer expectations will only succeed in pushing consumers elsewhere.
Through embedding this operations-first approach across their business, retailers can reap benefits ranging from increased brand reputation through to happier workers and reduced financial wastage. That’s because appropriately scheduling staff and resources to meet customer demand means customers have better shopping experiences, and employees no longer have stressful, strained shifts.
Delivering for customers and employees
Retailers know they have a fight on their hands to keep their brands profitable, and on the path to a successful future. As the marketplace becomes increasingly crowded, retailers need to ensure they remain a step ahead in delivering on shoppers expectations.
Failing to live up to brand promises is not an option. Shoppers have too many options at their fingertips to tolerate being let down. Proactively reassessing the relationship between operations and brand experience can prevent retailers from being caught out by snags in their internal processes.
Leveraging technology is the best way to make sense of often complex retail operations – helping to maximise resources so every employee can provide the best service possible. Why? Because doing this means loyal customers have no reason to look elsewhere.
Chief Operations Officer & Head of Product – Rotageek
Do not miss the Retail Recharged event, taking place in London on October 17th 2018. In just a few years, Retail Recharged has established itself as the not-to-be-missed half-day, highly curated and invite-only Retail event, which attracts a fantastic crowd.
Retail Recharged puts retailers and learning at the centre of the event. Every year there are talks, panel discussions and debates on specific topics. Some of the best start-ups showcase their products.
This year’s key topics are:
– Leveraging Artificial Intelligence
– Expanding Cross Border
– Evolving the Physical Experience
Unlike many other events, Retail Recharged is all about helping retailers surf the continuous waves of innovation.