Success retail in 2019 is about focusing on the consumer’s experience to ensure that their buying journey is a positive moment. By using efficient retail operations, it is possible to enhance this experience while simultaneously cutting costs. Senior Director of Operations at Olive & Bette’s, Frank LoBue, shares his insight on how to maximize operational efficiency.

Why Poor Operational Efficiency Is Costing Your Business

Today’s consumers have become quite unforgiving – it is now easier than ever to find new brands and products when one option has proved to be unsatisfactory, whether because of product quality or an unpleasant buying experience.  As a result, Frank LoBue states that managing consumer experience is no longer a choice for retail businesses.

By failing to satisfy consumers, poor operational efficiency can cause the following issues:

  • Lowering revenue
  • Customer attrition
  • Increasing interaction handling time
  • Raising customer acquisition costs

It is key to understand consumers’ buyer journeys to fully improve operational efficiency.

How To Improve Operational Efficiency

Here are some of the ways in which retail operations can work to improve efficiency to provide better buying experiences for their consumers.

Focus On The Right Metrics

Retail operations often rely on several key performance indicators to improve efficiency. However, it is not enough to track all possible KPIs. Instead, retail businesses must understand which KPIs have a direct impact on the consumer journey.

By focusing on every single KPI, retail businesses can waste resources in all the wrong places. True efficiency requires drilling down to a core set of metrics and focusing on those to track progress.

However, it is essential to go beyond tracking – businesses must set aggressive targets to constantly improve these metrics. This is what the competition is doing – failing to do the same will ensure that consumers switch over to competitors who strive to improve their metrics.

Use Proactive Problem-Solving

To improve efficiency, retail businesses should use customer complaints as an opportunity to root out recurring problems in their operations. Instead of solving customer complaints as they arise, retail businesses should aim to become proactive and root out the cause of the issue. By doing this, customer complaints, as well as the costs associated, will drop significantly.

Use Teamwork

According to Frank LoBue, many retail businesses make the mistake of scattering responsibility for the buyer journey process to several team members. For instance, large retailers frequently separate their teams based on channels:

  • Social media
  • Retail website
  • Fulfillment

Issues in the consumer journey may arise in any of these three areas – however, these issues will often be caused by a lack of proper communication. It is key to offer a streamlined and seamless experience for the consumer – this is not possible if teams are scattered in this way.

A better solution would be to bring all teams together to revamp the consumer journey – this process allows all teams to lay every issue on the same table to get an understanding of the big picture.

Wrapping It Up

By focusing on the right metrics and using teamwork to root out problems at their core, Frank LoBue states that retailers will increase efficiency and provide a much better consumer experience.

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