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    Retail sales SOPs

    Retail sales SOPs

    In recent years, retailing hasn’t been easy, especially during this pandemic period. Moreover, many retail store activities have been disrupted by the rise of e-commerce, such as the behemoth Amazon. It is, therefore, vital that today’s retail operations professionals adapt to address that challenge. The key to success-in stores or online-lies in superior customer service, both today and in the future, as the retail sales professionals say it.

    Each company came with a distinctive style of management. And so are the retail outlets. This is why, in the long run, each retail outfit requires SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) across verticals, departments, and team members. This ensures sustainability for retail businesses. For retail sales growth, end-to-end SOP frameworks can be the solution that your business needs from SOP for a retail business to the standard operating procedure for warehouse, store operations, e-commerce, supply chain management, and logistics.

    Retail POS

    Point of sale (POS) refers to the place where a customer executes the payment for goods or services. The sales taxes may be payable at this point. It can be in a physical store where card payments or a virtual sales point, such as a computer or mobile electronic device, are processed using POS terminals and systems. All this helps in retail POS management.

    For retailers, Points of Sale (POS) is an essential subject. Automating the checkout process and controlling critical sales details, electronic POS software systems streamline retail operations.

    Using advanced POS data analysis monitoring technology helps retailers catch price or cash flow differences that might lead to loss of profit or disrupt sales.

    Customers, particularly in the hospitality industry, can communicate directly with the retail point of sales systems. The best POS and eCommerce integration systems also referred to as location-based technology, can process transactions at client locations. For instance, clients can display menus at several restaurants and place orders at terminals located at their table. In hotels, clients use identical terminals to place room service orders or to pay hotel bills.

    Retails Team Roles and Responsibilities

    While sales assistants are working in many types of outlets, including department stores, supermarkets, and specialist stores, their primary roles are identical, helping customers pick and pay for items in a shop.

    The retail selling process includes:

    Stocking Store Shelves

    Retail employees who stock shelves ensure that the right products are available for purchase at the right place. Their function is to monitor shelves and replenish supplies of any items that are running low. A store worker changes the price labels on the goods or the shelf if product prices change.

    Creating and Maintaining Merchandising Displays

    To increase sales of specific products or make customers aware of promotional offers, stores have to create product displays. The displays are prepared by retail workers with merchandising sales skills and ensure that they stay in good condition throughout the promotional period. In such situations, retail staff can ensure that the displays are consistent with the supplier’s orders.

    Providing Customer Assistance

    The roles and obligations of sales workers in certain stores include supporting consumers in buying decisions. The more complicated the product is, the more likely it is that customer service is required. Retail staff may show products or counsel clients about the most appropriate products for their needs. In self-service shops, such as supermarkets or electronic retailers, customer assistance is also relevant, where retail employees help customers locate goods or clarify product features.

    Customer Checkout Assistance

    Retail workers who work at the checkout accept payment from clients. Depending on the type of purchase, they can also help clients pack their items. Checkout personnel may arrange for the later delivery of the product to the customer’s home in omnichannel retail stores.

    Customer Service and Education

    The retail staff takes responsibility for many elements of customer care. They deal with grievances and clients who want to swap or return goods, applying the business’s applicable terms and conditions. Personnel with customer service duties often deal with the guarantee statements of consumers. Employees can be very active in the consumer education process in specialty retail stores and provide education about getting the most out of one’s purchase.

    Facilitating Store Operations

    Retail workers carry out essential operational duties such as opening and closing the store, visual merchandising, sales, supervising stock deliveries to the store, organizing the stockroom and customer grievance handling. Thus, having a Process Manual is a must to avoid error rates and ensure smooth functioning.

    Sales Promotion Management

    There are many uses of the term ‘promotion’ related to marketing activities. All activity related to sales communications and activities, including advertising, public relations, social media, discounts, rebates, coupons, and events, is a promotion in its broadest sense. In a narrower context, marketing entails direct consumer communication practices and excludes advertisement and PR.

    To be successful, some promotions don’t need to generate a profit. Even if it does not produce new revenue or revenues, a promotion that sends this message is successful if you want to keep your brand on the market and remind your customers that you are willing to satisfy them when they are ready to buy. Many promotions require goods to be sold at a loss to get consumers in the door so that they spend money on higher-margin items.

    Set a range of benchmarks to test each to evaluate the efficacy of your promotions. During a promotion, review your website and social media traffic to assess its impact on consumer behavior. Calculate the cost of running the promotion, including your staff time, media and printing costs, and the cost of opportunity.

    Opportunity costs are advantages that you have missed using your resources, effort, and cash to do something else.

    Study your promotions regarding how they have helped you meet other marketing objectives, such as your branding, delivery, and pricing plans.

    Online Retail Sales Management

    Consumers are now turning to Google more than ever to find shops and goods. Make sure that whenever they perform a search related to your company, you show up. For example, if you sell baby clothing, you want nearby customers to find your company whenever they look for a “baby clothing store near me.”

    Use a solution like Pointy or similar, which enables you to view your Google online retail sales without re-entering your inventory data manually.

    For example, if you use Vend, you can link Vend, and Pointy and your inventory data will be automatically displayed on your Google Search and Maps Business Profile when customers search for your business name or, probably, for a product that you have in stock.

    The first move is getting a great-looking shop. It would be best if you kept the visuals fresh to help boost traffic and sales. To keep up with the new trends and seasons, this means updating periodically.

    People are not going to buy unattractive goods, so it is essential to have good in-store visuals. Here are a few general instructions to follow:

    • Have a focal point so that people know which objects or things to concentrate on. Displays that are too noisy or distracting are only going to confuse your clients.
    • Make them interactive or useful. Help individuals see the goods in motion.
    • Develop displays that demonstrate the items in use or make it easy to shop
    • Keep things clean and organized. Not only does an arranged room look fantastic, but it also helps consumers to find what they need more efficiently, thereby helping the shopping experience.
    • Show front and centre with your favourite brands. As Piero Ferrari, a customer service representative at Premise LED Inc., says, “always have a show of your best items at the entrance to the shop, regardless of price.” According to him, doing so “communicates what you are able to do and is a great conversation starter for the sales team.”

    Retail Sales Analytics

    The process of using analytical tools to analyze business trends, patterns, and performance in the retail industry is retail analytics. To enhance customer experience, increase sales, and optimize operations, retail business analytics allow you to leverage data-driven insight from your business and customers.

    Retail analytics will provide actionable insight from sales and marketing to supply chain, inventory, and consumer behaviour to positively inform any aspect of your retail sales. Retail analytics tools can help you recognize evolving tastes, the most crucial consumer cohort, so that you can build strategic marketing strategies more effectively. You can find goods that sell the best, forecast revenue and potential demand, and better monitor cash flow with the aid of retail data analytics.

    Effective retail sales processes incorporate insight from retail analytics tools about their consumers, products, and operations to make informed marketing, sales, and operations decisions. You obtain a single source of truth about your clients, their purchasing habits, and their online and offline interaction with your brand through retail analytics. Analytics for e-commerce retailers shall help to raise brand recognition and optimize digital advertisement outcomes.

    Gain Insight on Customer Journey and Behaviour

    When your clients connect across platforms with your brand, retail analytics will help you understand their actions during their shopping journey. This perspective will help you create deeper relationships by describing the types of deals and interactions you have. This can help you to cross-sell in retail.

    Enhance Customer Experience

    You can more quickly get insights about consumer tastes and desires when you harness the power of retail analytics. This knowledge will help you boost their in-store and online experience with your brand, serving to build and sustain a more loyal customer following.

    Anticipate Demand and other Significant Trends

    Retail analytics tools provide the information you need to understand consumers’ purchasing habits so that you can predict and prepare for potential demand. This knowledge will then tell how goods or services can be priced and marketed to produce more sales and optimize the supply chain.

    Improve and Optimize in-store Operations

    Retail analytics offer real insight to help you optimize in-store operations in all fields. With analytics, you can detect inefficiencies and opportunities to strengthen and standardize processes that boost the customer’s experience and predict demand and better optimize stock, inventory, and staffing levels.

    Why YRC to help organize your Retail Sales

    Your Retail Coach experts specialize in the retail standard operating procedures. SOPs for your retail company is an expenditure to guarantee that you have a system-driven company.

    For every retail business aspect, be it departments of back-office to the front office & omnichannel sales via online to offline mode, YRC designs custom best-fit SOPs, which can help transform your retail business to become more efficient, productive and can have a positive impact on your sales per square foot.

    Contact YRC experts to harness all your retail selling growth opportunities and achieve your company’s real potential.

    Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.