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CX is the New Super

The retail supermarket industry is fiercely competitive. With the homogeneity of products (and services), customer experience is a key differentiating factor. A pleasant and superior shopping experience can help build a loyal customer base. With consistency in experience delivered by a supermarket store, customers are more likely to return and recommend it to others. This can be a slow process but with long-term benefits of higher sales with stability and a fastened customer base.

People do not have the time and enthusiasm to invest in trying different supermarket stores. If the required value propositions are delivered, they prefer to stick to such stores provided consistency is maintained in them. Some of these values are accessibility to the store, in-store navigation, quick checkout, extensive range of merchandise, discounts, knowledgeable and helpful employees, etc.

Supermarket stores are not just a place for buying groceries and provisions which is already a mundane task. It is also a place for emotional and social experiences making people seek things beyond the obvious when they go shopping at supermarkets. This gives the element of experience a significant weightage in supermarket value propositions.

Supermarket CX has emerged as a strategic manoeuvre to give customers shopping experiences that are beyond the obvious. In the process, it also helps overcome many marketing challenges. This blog highlights 10 essentials to improve the quality of customer experience in supermarkets.

Decent Servicescape

Servicescape denotes the physical environment in which a service process is executed or services are offered and delivered. It is a very wide concept encompassing a plethora of tangible and intangible stimuli affecting customer experience. What makes the concept of servicescape more complex is that it not only includes what is real but also perceived experiences. For example, a bad odour is something real. If it makes some customers walk out of the store is a form of perceptive response. Of course, different customers may react differently to minor inconveniences. Some may choose to bring it to the notice of the store employees/manager if any such incident is of an unexpected nature. However, repeated failures in supermarket servicescape do not go well with customers thereof. This shows how important servicescape is to customer experience.

Some of the key focus areas in supermarket servicescape are:

  • Wide aisles for easy navigation with shopping carts (part of supermarket layout planning)
  • Obstruction-free navigation (part of supermarket inventory management)
  • Strategic placement of products to encourage exploration
  • Use of supermarket planogram
  • Use of clear and distinct signages for objectivity in navigation and finding sections
  • Comfortably bright and even lighting
  • Maintaining comfortable temperature, air circulation
  • Selective music (not strictly necessary)
  • Pleasant scents (primarily to cut off any deviation from the normal)
  • Easily accessible help and support
  • Spotless cleanliness and hygiene
  • First-Aid with trained staff

Supermarket Layout Planning

The layout of a supermarket store has a huge influence on the quality of customer experience it is able to deliver. While a well-planned layout helps deliver a superior shopping experience, a flawed one does the contrary. Pardon the exaggeration but think of a poor store layout as playing football on a cricket ground or vice versa. A well-planned supermarket layout allows smooth navigation giving customers a more relaxed environment for strolling and exploring. Dedicated sections with signages and banners lend navigational certainty to customers. Spacious aisles and sufficient empty spaces reduce congestion. Layout planning also makes it possible to incorporate elements to induce buying. For example, certain product categories do find buyers when placed in proximity to checkout counters or alongside the checkout queues. These could be off-routine items which people usually do not expect in supermarkets or likely evade their shopping lists. These items often come whispering ‘You did not know or maybe you forgot but you are missing me’. Personalised items or recommendations do superbly here. Other elements of layout planning like safety and security, strategic positioning of entry and exit points, design and décor, ventilation, etc. also play a vital role in shaping customer experience directly or indirectly, individually or collectively.

Knowledgeable and Helpful Staff

Supermarkets cannot afford to lose customers because of poor staff management. As experienced supermarket business consultants with an edge in customer experience management, we often witness businesses not emphasising strategic HRM or not taking it up professionally. Of all, frontline employees play a crucial role in shaping customer experience. In this age of internet and information, customers expect sales staff to be able to respond to their specific queries. Exhibiting a lack of interest or keenness as a part of service is something that does not go well with present-day customers. How employees talk, how they receive, how they dress, how welcoming they are, and their body language – everything matters.

For employees’ performance to have a positive influence on customer experience, supermarket stores must invest in building a strong HR department and align it strategically with their business and marketing requirements. Here, we are not talking about amassing a team but strategies, policies, and procedures to govern staffing operations. For example, CX objectives may require the inclusion of specific skills and experience in defining recruitment. The same goes for customer experience training. Professional training programs designed to meet the requirements of modern-day retail help equip employees with updated and relevant knowledge and skills. Supermarket business owners should also realise that frontline retail operations are extremely hectic and monotonous and paying for extra hours is not the solution. Job rotations and shift-based working (may also be mandated by law) are highly recommended.

Easy Navigation

Easy navigation helps improve customer experience in supermarkets in numerous ways. The idea is to make the in-store customer journey smooth and objective for customers. When it is hard for customers to find products/brands wandering through the aisles, shopping becomes a time-consuming and unsettling experience. Clear and organised navigation allows customers to quickly move to the right aisles and shelves. To be able to complete shopping lists quickly also enhances the possibility of exploring other products and services. This could result in additional purchases and higher sales. Improved navigation in supermarkets also reduces the dependence on employees who then can focus on more qualitative functions like personalisation and recommendations.

The foundation of ease of navigation in a supermarket is already shaped in supermarket layout planning. There are a few standard supermarket store layout options like grid, racetrack, herringbone, free-flow, etc. Each option has its own distinct features and limitations. Hybrid layout is the most flexible as it allows businesses to tailor-make the layout of their stores. Supermarket owners should be extra careful about layout planning because it is more or less fixed for a longer time and retracting can be expensive by itself and also hamper business operations. Apart from layout planning, other important elements to improve navigation are the use of signages, landmarks, and technology. Proper signages help customers navigate through a store as a secondary measure. We are calling it secondary because in-store navigation should be easy enough to come by as intuitive. Tech-savvy customers may love smartphone apps that help them with navigation and other elements of their shopping requirements inside supermarkets.

Speedy Checkout

Long checkout on a routine basis demotivates in-store customers in retail. Customers would rather choose another store or buy online than spend unreasonable time in checkout queues. What is worse is customers can see the lack of effort on the part of a store’s management to improve the checkout speed. The imbroglio on the part of supermarket management is they may have idle resources during non-busy hours. However, that can be worked out by resource re-allocation. Checkout time is a crucial component of customer experience. It can also serve as a competitive advantage. There are numerous effective ways to improve checkout time in supermarket stores.

Additional staffing during peak hours is one of the foremost solutions to keep the lines moving. The use of analytics can help identify the peak business hours. However, it does not negate the need for modern POS systems. Without the use of technology, handling checkout operations may get overwhelming for existing staff. Another use of technology is offering digital payment options like UPI, mobile wallets, credit and debit cards, contactless payments, digital currencies (not crypto) and in-house loyalty programs to speed up the checkout process. Smartphone penetration and the quality of internet connectivity are two important considerations in implementing mobile-based payment solutions. Last but not least is enabling self-checkout options like scan-and-go. Self-checkout is yet to gain widespread popularity but many big retail supermarket brands are leading the way testing the effectiveness of different models and paving the way for new and smaller players.

Omnichannel

Smartphones or other internet-based tools and technologies are undeniable parts of our lives today. Fully or partially, it has engulfed our shopping activities too. From searching for products and services to getting them home-delivered for consumption/use, we take the digital route in one form or the other. This process is entirely digital in the case of eCommerce. Supermarket retailers cannot afford not to take part in this revolution. This is where they make the leap from their traditional brick-and-mortar paradigm to becoming an omnichannel enterprise. This is also where they establish a functional connection with customers who are increasingly making use of digital technologies for shopping and other lifestyle essentials.

The idea behind omnichannel is to deliver a seamless and unified shopping journey and experience to customers using the best of both worlds – physical and digital. While digital capabilities fulfil the voids of physical systems and make customer journeys more flexible and convenient, physical capabilities are needed for the tangible aspects of shopping (e.g. pick-up or delivery of physical products or talking to manual customer support). In omnichannel supermarket retailing, customers can complete their shopping journey quicker and more conveniently by utilising a combination of online and offline touchpoints that best serve their interests and prerogatives. For example, some customers may prefer having the flexibility of having a preference for setting order delivery hours over the app or website of the supermarket they are ordering from.

Personalisation of Rewards and Loyalty

On the surface, most of the loyalty programs appear like marketing gimmicks to make customers buy more. People can see through such attempts. Loyalty programs need to have out-of-the-ordinary features and elements to catch the attention of modern-day customers. Rewards like standard discounts are quite anticipated; the need is to go beyond these traditional benchmarks. Loyalty programs can include early access to new offers, new product launches, and new/value-added services. Personalised recommendations and offers are also effective. For example, visiting customers with babies or toddlers can be offered extra discounts on products belonging to such age groups. If membership schemes are available, the sign-up process should be simplified and highly automated post consent of customers and as per applicable laws. The same applies when it comes to the redemption of membership benefits. The idea is to move from the standardisation of benefits to the personalisation of benefits to build stronger brand connections with customers in unique ways. In running supermarket loyalty programs, retailers should be careful about not appearing as discriminatory to non-members or those who do not subscribe to loyalty programs or offers. Many retail supermarket stores make the mistake of prioritising customers only based on bill amounts or purchase volumes. A competitor with better personalisation programs is never far away from taking away market share.

Become Family-Friendly

Supermarkets can enhance the shopping experience of customer segments comprising parents and caretakers. It can be done by incorporating family-friendly elements in the shopping environment. Having supervised in-store play areas is a good starting point. Kids running around the store should be avoided at all costs. Wider aisle gaps help customers navigate with prams. Safety and warning sign boards should be placed at all relevant places. Efforts should be made to ensure that lower shelves are shielded to prevent kids from getting their hands on certain product categories like cleaners or sharp objects. The best option is to restrict their entry in such sections. Shopping carts with attached seats for kids are helpful for parents. Customers with kids should be prioritised in checkout queues. Assisted parking is crucial for customers coming with kids as kids tend to quickly open doors and jump out of vehicles. The same level of care and concern should also be maintained for senior citizens and differently-abled visitors. Adequate restrooms are a must. If space permits, a separate area for drinking water and refreshment facilities could also be maintained away from the main shopping zone. To maintain cleanliness and hygiene, eating and drinking in the main shopping zone should be strictly restricted. Adequate safety and security measures should be placed on priority (applicable under all circumstances).

Supermarket SOPs

Even the best supermarket CX strategies fail to deliver the intended results when their execution is flawed. The quality of operations has a significant influence on delivering the intended customer experience in supermarkets. As a retailer, you should also think of it from the customer’s perspective. Imagine one of your delivery executives asking a customer to take a photo of the bill payment status screen on the customer’s phone at the time of home delivery. While some may allow, for others, it may be an outrageous ask for privacy reasons. The bill payment status normally gets notified almost in an instant to both the maker and recipient. There is no need to take a photograph. Such operational incidents take place because of loopholes in operations planning. If delivery executives have concerns about bill payment and personal responsibility, it should be addressed internally. In this example, a simple task of payment confirmation could be added to the supermarket SOPs in the form of internal communication between concerned teams. Upon automation, the payment status will be automatically reflected in the backend systems. SOPs help to define the required flow of work with adherence to specific operational standards to be maintained in the execution of a business process. The fallout of precision in operations planning eventually shows up externally – some of which may carry a significant bearing on customer experience.

Feedback Mechanism

Frontline employees or sales staff are those stakeholders in a supermarket store who deal directly with customers. They are the ones who get to know about the preferences of customers inside a store. They are the ones who get to respond to customer queries. They are the ones who get a first-hand experience of how customers respond to solutions offered. These insights are critical inputs for making many key decisions and improvements involving merchandising, services, servicescape, layout, offers, etc. Sales teams can flag recurring issues with products and/or services. For example, customers may highlight bakery products (say from a particular local brand) that do not have expiry dates printed on their packaging. Employees can note down such anomalies and bring them to the notice of the store manager. The same concern can then be communicated to the supplier in question. Employees can also highlight deficiencies in business processes in real-time. It creates the window of opportunity to rectify such process flaws and prevent any further unwanted repercussions on customer experience. Taking feedback from employees also helps enhance their motivation and morale which is great for their self-development as professionals. Being a part of the correction process also gives employees a practical understanding of field problems and helps them respond in a more knowledgeable and confident manner to customers in the future. So, this whole idea of embracing feedback from employees (and acting upon it) has tail-end effects on customer experience.

Quick Recap

Customer experience is the new super in retail and eCommerce. It is a strategic tactic to give customers shopping experiences that are beyond the known and expected while not deviating from the fundamentals. In the pursuit of improving CX in supermarket stores, ten essentials are highlighted in this blog.

The first requirement is a decent servicescape. It denotes the physical environment in which a service process is offered and delivered encompassing a wide range of elements comprising both tangible and intangible stimuli (real and perceived) influencing how and what customers feel towards a supermarket and furthering their shopping journeys. Next is supermarket layout planning. Done right, it gives customers a more relaxed environment for exploring the place via smooth navigation. Third comes the role of frontline employees. How they talk, how they dress, how welcoming they are, and their body language – everything matters. Securing smooth and objective movement throughout the store makes easy navigation a vital requirement for improving supermarket CX. After filling their trolleys (even if it is just one item), the next thing customers need is a speedy checkout. A customer spending 10 minutes to complete their shopping list and spending more than that in the checkout queue is something unsettling to them.

Omnichannel allows customers to complete their shopping journeys quicker and more conveniently by making use of a combination of both online and offline capabilities offered by supermarkets to the best of the former’s interests and prerogatives.

Rewards and loyalty initiatives like standard discounts are quite obvious; the need is to go beyond these traditional standards and offer features like early access and premium value-added services (compared to prevailing market standards).

The incorporation of family-friendly elements like play areas and shopping carts with attached seats for kids goes well with segments comprising parents and caretakers.

Employee feedback plays an indispensable role in gathering meaningful insights on improving customer experience.

Last but not least is how supermarkets manage to stick to these CX improvement strategies. The answer lies in supermarket SOP development and implementation.

Although technology and customer journey analytics have not been taken up separately in this blog these two are big facilitating factors in implementing any CX improvement initiative and improving customer experience management.

For enquiries on supermarket business consulting solutions or to speak to one of our expert supermarket business consultants, please drop us a message and we will reach out to you.

FAQs

How can supermarkets improve customer experience?

Customer experience is the new super in retail and eCommerce applicable also to supermarkets and hypermarkets. Ten ideas to improve CX in supermarkets and hypermarkets are highlighted below:

  1.       A Decent Servicescape
  2.       An Inviting and Intuitive Layout
  3.       Knowledgeable and Helpful Staff
  4.       Easy Navigation
  5.       Speedy Checkout
  6.       Omnichannel Options
  7.       Personalisation of Rewards and Loyalty
  8.       Becoming Family-Friendly
  9.       SOP-Driven Operations

10.   Employee Feedback Mechanism

Author Bio

Rupal Agarwal

Rupal Agarwal

Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Rupal’s “Everything is possible” attitude helps achieve the impossible. Dr. Rupal Agarwal has worked with 300+ retail e-commerce brands and companies from various sectors, since 2012, to define their growth strategy, push their limits and improve performance efficiency. Rupal and her team have remarkable success stories of helping brands achieve 10X growth.

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    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.