Common Retail Operation Issues: From Omnichannel Challenges to Customer Acquisition

August 17, 2016

Perhaps starting a retail store has become a dream you’re just now fulfilling this year. While you likely already know some of the pitfalls, do you really know all common retail operation issues you might face? Without some experience, you may not know everything, and the unexpected could always bring challenges later.

It’s important to ask veterans in the retail industry about what they’ve experienced to get an idea of what you might go through. Trying to keep everything coordinated in a more complex time for retail is different now from what occurred just a decade ago. In that regard, you may have to try to prognosticate on what the future could bring.

One thing’s for sure: Technology brings both the challenges above and major solutions. Because demands of customers are all the greater in today’s world, having proper technology to solve problems is all the more imperative.

So what common retail issues might you face in your operations? Let’s take a look at common ones for the 21st century, including possible issues in the near future.

Omni-Channel Challenges

With so many channels out there to maintain retail operations, it’s already starting to become a major juggling act. Areas to look out for include an influx of data and how to manage it all. In a time when you’re probably getting more data coming in than ever, where do you store it, and make sense of it all? This goes for big data to help you get a clearer picture of what’s going on in your business.

Also pay attention to inventory availability and making sure you’re always fully stocked at strategic times. You want to make sure you have the necessary inventory available in all your sales channels, even if it seems impossible to keep up with every customer engagement point.

Staying on top of technology changes is yet another omni-channel concern to pay attention to. With technology constantly evolving, are you sure you have every channel suitably updated and ready to take on customer demands?

Payment Systems at POS

The system you use for payments at each point of sale is a very common operational issue. You have to decide whether you should move to using EMV cards or sticking with cash and check payments. Using strictly cash or checks may lead to significant challenges, especially related to organizing how to deal with late payment notices.

Credit cards with new EMV chips bring better security, though can become expensive and use slower processing.

Better management tools help with payment systems, particularly in mobile e-commerce.

Higher Customer Expectations

Customers in the 21st century demand good customer service, though they also want improved shopping experiences. This means using more personalized and unexpected techniques for informing customers on products.

Your customers also want faster ways to shop in finding things they want. Making this achievable requires better organization in how you market yourself and the way you interact with your employees.

Getting your employees in on bringing better customer experiences is the key to bringing back masterful customer service. Ultimately, it helps with customer acquisition.

Keeping Good Employees

The only way to prevent constant turnover in your employees is to make them happy working for you. Technologies and applications they use to make their jobs easier may need replacing in order to continue high productivity.

Most of all, proper organization helps give your employees fewer headaches while giving more clarity toward your retail goals. Having this in place makes them proud to work for you rather than feeling frustrated about operational issues festering too long without solutions.

Visit us at VoloForce to learn about our innovative software for solving fundamental retail issues through our app engine and employee engagement tool.

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