As states begin to relax stay-at-home orders and allow retailers to enter phased reopening, retail stores continue to face challenges and threats to their profitability. Department stores and other discretionary retail are still struggling with lowered consumer demand, massive shifts in purchasing patterns, and demand for more diverse order fulfillment methods. Meanwhile, grocery stores are seeing disproportionate demand for lower-margin goods, along with an uptick in delivery and pickup services that further eat into profitability.
These challenges are compounded by increased costs to meet new requirements, including building infrastructure changes to enable social distancing, increased cleaning and sanitizing costs, and IT investments to enable BOPIS and curbside pickup. While these costs can add up, the costs are outweighed by the risk of not investing in the necessary tools to adapt to the new normal.
Cost Optimization in Retail’s New Normal
To weather this storm and position themselves for the future, retailers are seeing the need to optimize costs to ensure they are getting the most value from their existing and future investments. One of the ways retailers are doing this is by choosing smart mobile technologies that augment the capabilities of their staff, increase operational efficiency, and reduce costly errors.
Below are three ways mobile technology–particularly handheld devices and enterprise smartphones–can help retailers better optimize their costs and get more out of their existing staff and technology investments.
1. Augment Staff Capabilities
Mobile phones connect your teams to one another, ensuring staff can effectively collaborate, manage tasks, and deliver positive customer experiences–both in the store and at the curbside. As stores reopen, your staff will need to do more, including cleaning and sanitizing more frequently, monitoring store capacity, and ensuring safe distances between staff and customers. Equipping these employees with smartphones can help augment the capabilities of your staff by empowering them to effectively balance their traditional job duties with these new responsibilities.
2. Increase Operational Efficiency
Operational efficiency has always been critical to retail success, but the stakes for getting it right are higher than ever. Smart mobility empowers associates to work smarter, faster, and more collaboratively. A retail-optimized mobility solution like Spectralink can help you gain measurable efficiencies by enhancing in-store communication, better coordinating staff, improving task management, and optimizing inventory and distribution management.
3. Reduce Costly Delays and Errors
Mobile technology can also reduce the risk of delays and errors that can erode customer loyalty. For example, fulfilling BOPIS and curbside pickup orders quickly and accurately is essential to maintaining customer satisfaction–not to mention facilitating social distancing by limiting the length of time a customer must spend waiting in the store. With smart mobility solutions, store associates can be immediately notified when an online order comes in, so they have the time and information needed to fill the order and prepare it for in-store or curbside pick up. By facilitating fast and accurate order fulfillment, smart mobile tech can help you retain your customer base, garner customer referrals, and maximize revenue potential.
Contact us today to learn more about how mobile technology can help your business optimize costs.
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