Investing in Data Solutions To Streamline Your Retail Business

Big data technology is quickly becoming instrumental in the field of retail management and is improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
big data in retail
Shutterstock Photo License - By Arphaporn

New advances in data analytics and data mining tools have been incredibly important in many organizations. We have talked extensively about the benefits of using data technology in the context of marketing and finance. However, big data can also be invaluable when it comes to operations management as well.

The retail sector, in particular, can benefit immensely from a shift towards a data-driven business model. This could help considerably improve operational efficiency.

Big Data Technology is the Key to Simplifying Retail Businesses

When you own a retail business, running a store or many stores can be a complex process, and many new owners are unsure of where to begin when it comes to streamlining their processes. As a busy retailer, making your operations run more smoothly and efficiently should be at the top of your to-do list. You are going to want to use all tools in your disposal to accomplish this, including new data analytics and AI tools.

Every business owner can benefit from more time, and when you streamline your business through new investments in big data technology, you will have much more time for the essential everyday tasks. Our guide will help you achieve an efficient system that will streamline tedious tasks by investing in big data, including everything from hiring staff and delegation to creating processes and automation that eliminate extra work.

Standard Procedures

You may think that the benefits of big data can only be witnessed in functions that can be most digitized, such as invoicing and PPC marketing. However, big data is actually particularly valuable when it comes to many standard operational procedures.

Where you have one store or many, standardization across the board is the key to order and efficiency, which is one of the areas where big data technology can be very helpful. Developing a set of data-driven procedures ensures that both employees and customers have a quality experience as well as providing a seamless management process regardless of whether you have a single location or hundreds.

Begin by creating a team dedicated to the hiring process and formulate an employee’s manual that sets the standards for conduct, company procedures, and training so that all staff are on the same page. The employee manual should include everything from how customers are treated to the store processes for properly dealing with returns; this means you, your management team, and staff are spending less time ensuring the proper steps are being taken for each process and more time running the store.

Devise a cash management process for your business and train your staff on this procedure to guarantee that all employees understand the rule for all matters involving cash handling, including making bank deposits and using a Point Of Sale system. This is where data analytics can be most useful. You can use data analytics tools to easily track all major financial transactions and make pertinent observations about the stability of your financial strategy.

Establish the standards for your merchandising in order to showcase your products. Your displays, promotions, and store layout should all reflect your brand while presenting your items to the customers in the best way possible. You can find that data-driven marketing can be important for helping better position your products.

Finally, set up adequate cleaning and tidying procedures for your store; this can be considered one of the worst tasks for any retail business as it can be time-consuming. However, if you set guidelines as to what you expect from employees during each shift, whether it’s opening, midday, or closing, you can improve the efficiency of the cleaning by spreading it across the day. This way, the end of the day clean and tidy will take far less time, getting you and all the employees out the door at night much faster.

How can big data help with cleaning? You can use data analytics tools to track the best cleaning companies and monitor performance in various ways.

Staff Training

Data analytics tools can be very helpful when it comes to staff training. We previously covered this in the article How Employee Training In Enterprises Can Benefit From Data. You can use data analytics to establish key KPIs and make sure that your employees meet them.

Building a well-trained team of staff can help you streamline the operations of your retail business. If you’re currently doing the majority of the workload yourself, or you have to deal with multiple issues a day, evaluate how you’re training your staff and improve the processes to bring them up to speed with what needs doing on a day-to-day basis. Once you have your staff trained on the proper processes and standard practices of your business, it’s important to delegate tasks for them to be responsible for. Play to your staff’s strengths and delegate the tasks accordingly; get to know your staff and what they’re good at. This way, you can delegate effectively and increase the efficiency of your store.

Automation

Every business has its share of tedious and time-consuming tasks, such as creating schedules by hand or tracking expenses. Many of these tasks keep you from working on scaling up your retail business, which can stunt the overall growth of your company, which is why automating processes where you can is essential. When deciding which tasks to automate, it’s important to follow a few simple rules that can help you maximize efficiency. Automate repetitive and simple tasks that will save you time or money in the long run and ensure that these automations will scale with your business as it grows.

One of the most common ways to automate processes is to invest in a Point Of Sale system. POS systems are a fantastic tool for every retail business and are crucial for streamlining your company as they can track your employee’s performance, inventory levels, and help you create schedules. They can also assist you when organizing your marketing campaigns more efficiently as well as automating your cash and credit transactions to reduce the risk of human error. POS systems also improve security and remove the risk of losses due to human error as it does all the calculations for your staff. If you would like to know more about how this tool can benefit your retail business, check out this guide to POS systems.

Paperwork

Paperwork in any business can pile up quickly, and in some cases, a paper trail can add unnecessary time to the workload. When looking at your processes, consider if paperwork is needed for that section of the business, as many people find that they only used paperwork because that was how it has always been done. Many new retail business owners use a document management system and have now digitized all of their records, including historic receipts and paperwork, to not only save time but maximize on storage space.

Big data can help streamline paperwork considerably. one of the biggest benefits is that you can use “auto-fill” tools to propagate information more easily into documents that will be filled out online, rather than having to do everything by hand.

Big Data is Essential for Simplifying the Future of Retail Management

Countless retail outlets are using big data technology to improve their operations. This is something that will help bolster efficiency and reduce cost structures by significant margins.

Sean Mallon
Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.