2018 has been a disruptive year for retailers so far - what does it take to stay ahead of the game? This week, Luca, our Chief Revenue Officer, shares 3 things winning retailers all do.

Here at YOOBIC, we have the privilege of working with some pretty amazing retailers.

In my time here I’ve been inspired by the way our clients have transformed themselves to provide incredible in-store experiences.

This transformation starts from inside the organisation.

It’s about taking a long, hard look at your brand’s core purpose and rethinking the attitudes, ambitions and processes of every single employee.

So today, I want to share 3 ways our top retailers have redefined everything to drive success and growth this year.

#1) They’ve changed their attitude towards stores.

What’s every retailer’s ultimate purpose?

Selling their products to customers.

Where does this happen?

Stores.

Our top retailers know that their success depends on the success of their stores, and that means that the purpose of HQ is to support stores in any way necessary.They knew that an attitude adjustment was needed, so they’ve shifted their mentality from managing and policing stores to supporting and servicing them.

I’ve seen winning operations teams manifest this attitude in some really interesting ways.

Some have renamed themselves from HQ or Corporate to Service Centre or Support Centre, reflecting the beginning of a more positive, productive relationship with their stores.

Some have changed their store visit procedures so that regional and area managers don’t wear suits and ties when visiting stores, and instead use the same dress code as their store teams.

No one likes the feeling of being looked down on and smart retailers know this impacts store performance.

Read more: 5 ways typical store visit procedures are letting your stores down

Some retailers have even put up a “people wall” in their head office with names and pictures of every store employee.

It’s hard to have a continuing disconnect between store and operational teams when everyone at head office is reminded of how their work impacts their stores every day.

To win at retail, leave the rigid organisational structures where they belong - in the past.

#2) They focus on the customer journey.

Our top retailers design all their processes with the customer at the centre.

Sometimes, the only mentality shift needed here is to see things from the customer’s perspective.

We all buy things, so this isn’t hard to do.

What’s the first thing you’d do if you needed to buy a new accessory for your bike? Probably find out where the closest store is and how late they’re open so you can stop by after work.

So why aren’t your regional teams verifying that store details listed on Google Maps are correct?

The goal of all operational processes should be to make the customer shopping journey easier, more enjoyable and more memorable.

If a process doesn’t facilitate a smoother customer journey, what’s the point? It becomes a process for the sake of having a process.

To win at retail, ask yourself: will this process make it easier for customers to buy our products?

Does this procedure reflect the way that customers actually shop, or just the way we imagine they shop?

#3) They make it easy for store teams to get things done.

Our top retailers know that the best way to get things done isn’t always the longest and most labour intensive.

It’s easy to settle for doing things the way they’ve always been done without realising that no one benefits from the status quo.

Winning retailers put themselves in the shoes of their store employees and ask - is this the most efficient way we could get this done?

Is this procedure actually annoying and cumbersome for our employees rather than quick and efficient?

Field teams, store managers and sales reps all carry mobile phones. To make it easier to communicate with stores, use what makes the most sense for them - that means mobile-first.

More often than not, paper-based processes take time away from being on the floor with customers.

To win at retail, realise that working hard doesn’t mean working smart. Make it easy and simple for stores to complete admin tasks so they can unlock more time to spend with shoppers.

Succeeding in retail means constantly examining the best ways to support stores, create better shopping experiences and make employees’ lives easier.

I can’t wait to see how our retailers lead the way to success in 2018.

YOOBIC can help you on your path to retail greatness.

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