Improving Store Execution: The Key to Boosting Sales in a Challenging Retail Economy

Insights and Strategies for Retailers to Enhance Store Operations and Drive Revenue Growth

April 21, 2023

In March, Circana reported that consumers are pulling back spending amid reduced product innovation. In fact, U.S. discretionary retail sales revenue fell 7%, double the average monthly decline for the previous months. In the press release, Marshal Cohen, Chief Retail Industry Advisor for Circana says, “Consumers are beginning to spend less on both discretionary and essential purchases with more consistency.” 

While this is ominous news for retailers, it shouldn’t be a reason to throw up your hands and admit defeat. Rather, it should spur you to take action.  (After all, if we’ve learned anything, we’ve learned just how resilient retail can be.

With most retailers only realizing 29% store execution, there’s lots of money being left on the table due to poor operations in stores. In other words, while you might lose in one area, you can gain in another. Improve your store execution and you’ll see your retail sales increase.

How do we know? 

We recently conducted a research study that looked at our customers’ store execution data against their sales data. Zipline is the leading operational excellence platform, with leading customers like Sephora, AEO Inc., and Rite Aid. As a result, we capture a lot of data around readership of store communications and task management. Judging from our customers’ success in the market, our hypothesis was that more effective communication and task management leads to better sales. 

This wasn’t a very big stretch; It makes sense that if stores execute to brand standards and are totally aligned with HQ, better sales will follow. 

Zipline customers average 92% adoption and 91% execution. So, messages and tasks are reaching stores and stores are doing the things requested of them. And, no surprise to us, the results of the study support the hypothesis. There is a positive correlation between readership and execution and sales.

Here are three reasons why best-in-class retailers see a correlation between store execution and sales:

Better retail communications and task management increases visibility, agility, and get-it-done-ability

In a challenging retail economy, every second counts. Winning brands can quickly adjust to changing customer needs and turn on a dime. How quickly can you align your stores behind a last-minute promo change or a new planogram?

With Zipline, stores, and HQ operate in sync, ensuring new initiatives are rolled out quickly and correctly. Field teams receive communications in an orderly way. They have a single source of truth and know where to go for answers. As a result, when HQ tells them to Zig, they do. 

Better retail communications and task management keeps your business connected to the customer 

To hit revenue targets, you have to think like a customer and understand trends. Want to know how your customers are really feeling? Just ask a store employee. Frontline workers see firsthand how customers react to new products, hear what they’re asking for, and can best explain what’s working and what’s not. 

Zipline unleashes the power of your frontline by providing feedback loops to capture ideas from the field. Without feedback, HQ is at risk of missing new trends, losing loyalty, and missing sales targets.

Better retail communication helps engage your employees so they perform better

Employees feel motivated when they understand how the work they do impacts the goals of their company. A store greeter isn’t just saying hello. Rather, he’s a brand ambassador that knows that when customers are greeted within seconds of entering the store, they’re more likely to buy. 

By combining communications and task management, Zipline helps employees see how their workload is part of the bigger picture. Zipline provides the information and context people need to make good decisions and helps them understand how those decisions affect business goals. As a result, employees are happier in their jobs – and stay with the company longer.

Looking to increase your sales by improving your store operations? Reach out today. We would love to share more.

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