Retail stores are seeing more traffic than ever since the pandemic – which makes the operational challenges of managing hundreds of stores even more of a headache.
Brands struggle to attract and maintain experienced store associates, while keeping operating margins down. Sales and retail directors have the herculean task of increasing revenue and creating personalized customer experiences – but they don’t even have eyes on what local customers are looking for, or where that merchandise is located.
We get it. And that’s why, after talking with hundreds of retailers, we’ve identified the three essential tools that will make the biggest impact on your in-store business and provide the fastest practical answer to retail operational challenges:
1. Localization - Right Products in the Right Place
Challenges solved: omnichannel fulfillment; customer experience; balancing inventory; inventory management
Retail organizations are focused on tackling waste – both for sustainability considerations, and because less overstocking will help their bottom line. But the best way to increase sales while reducing waste is to get smarter about where you put your inventory, and faster at redistributing it.
Nexite uses patented item-level tracking technology (NanoBT) to monitor inventory location and movement in real time. This automatic, continuous inventory tracking provides the highest possible inventory accuracy. That accurate, real-time stock count guarantees that your online store lists inventory that you can actually fulfill at any given moment.
But what about in-store shoppers?
Few things bother shoppers today more than walking into a store and finding out you’re out of the size or style they want. In fact, 50% of young shoppers say it’s a top irritation when shopping in stores.
Our Connected Retail platform translates inventory movement data into a real-time, store-by-store view of customer journey in the store: what customers engage with, take into the fitting room, and buy – or abandon before purchase. AI-based analytics then use that data to analyze the probability of each style and color’s being sold in each specific store before the end of the season.
Watch How It Works – Take The Virtual Tour:
What localized assortments look like:
- Real-Time Inventory Balancing: The platform automatically recommends transferring items from stores where they are a bad fit, to stores where shoppers are engaging with items and purchasing them in higher rates.
- Predict local demand: use engagement data to predict local demand on the style and color leve, even before sales data comes in.
- Identifying broken sizes: save your store staff time with a tool that automatically identifies broken sizes, and recommends when to transfer sizes in or out.
- Yes, we have it in your size: Use AI that automatically generates store-by-store size curve recommendations – and sends replenishment tasks automatically to store staff, to guarantee that the right sizes are on display
- Say goodbye to overstocking, understocking and safety stocking: our platform’s algorithms use customer behavior data to predict precisely how much of each style will sell – down to the size and color level – and uses that data to balance inventory between stores on a weekly basis.
2. Store Monetization
Challenges solved: VM strategy gaps, increasing revenue from individual stores
Let’s say you’ve localized your store assortments to match your local customer demand. How do you guarantee that costumers find what they’re looking for? How can you ensure that feedback from stores reaches headquarters, and influences store operations?
The answer always comes back to customer-centric retailing. Nexite’s customer journey data give physical stores the same visibility into shoppers and customer behavior that, up until now, was only available for onlines stores
Perfect On-shelf availability – Impression heatmaps show retailers exactly which merchandise is viewed by customers at any time. Our store app uses this data to optimize and automate replenishment, to ensure that the merchandise with the highest potential sales value per store will get prioritized.
Monetize the sales floor – most retailers use a mix of their VM guidelines and sales data to try and understand how visual displays impact sales. But there are two issues with this:
1. It takes into consideration only what sold, and not what didn’t sell (and why)
2. it’s nearly impossible to measure compliance with sales floor plans, or get feedback on how it affects sales, across hundreds of stores – let alone taking that feedback and rapidly turnign it in to action items across your chain.
Nexite heatmaps help retailers spot patterns that can increase sales in season by identifying which zone each item is in, and using conversion data to understand how product location is affecting sales.
This valuable information can inform everything from how collections are placed around the store, to which items are recommended at the fitting room per store, which items should be highlighted on display, and which styles will sell more if placed together.
Fitting room data that still protects your customer’s privacy?
Most item-level tracking solutions run into privacy issues around the fitting room – especially any RFID solutions based on cameras. Nexite can track “intent” (which items go into fitting rooms) down to the individual stalls, and uses this and other metrics to determine and other metrics to determine when items need to be tried on more in order to increase sales, and how to encourage customers to do so.
See which sizes taken to fitting room result in sales, which to abandonment, and trends in sizes taken to fitting room, on the store and chain levels.
This metric is also used to recommend styles for employees to suggest to customers while trying on clothes in order to increase sales.
3. Empowering Store Employees With Automated Store App
Challenges solved: onboarding and training, employee retention, employee efficiency and excellence
Your customer experiences will only be as good as that of your employees. Finding, training and maintaining good staff is a major operational issue, with 39% of retailers naming a lack of store staff as the most significant blocker to seamless in-store customer experiences.
Our Connected Store app is an integral part of our connected retail solution. The app digitizes and automates manual inventory tasks to free up employees for clienteling, while providing tools to help improve their performance:
Automated task management
Automate tasks like receiving, gap investigations, and stock control, with live maps showing where merchandise is.
Real-Time 'Find an Item'
No more running from floor to floor, or from showroom to back rooms to find a style or size. Store associates scan a NanoBT tag with their phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device and instantly see the location and number of every SKU of a specific style in stock across the store.
Tasks get done faster, and shoppers find out immediately if what they want is in stock.
Too often, sales are lost because the size or color someone wants to try on is stuck in the fitting room or otherwise missing from the rack.
With Nexite’s Connected Stores App, staff can receive alerts whenever items need replenishment. A daily replenishment list shows tasks prioritized by potential sales value for that specific store, so the replenishment that matters most to your bottom line gets done first.
VM Compliance and two-way feedback
Headquarters can monitor task completion (transfers, display etc.) automatically, while requesting or receiving feedback from store employees to easily spread insights across the chain.
Employees receive tasks for picking BOPIS and ship-from-store orders, with the SKUs visualized on a store map for easier spotting. With one tap on the app, these items are placed in a ‘bopis’ bucket and no longer appear in stock in the store, syncing online and offline inventory in seconds.
Employee Excellence and Upselling
The app takes real-time data into what customer are trying on and then either abandoning or purchasing, combined with data on availability and item location, and uses it to present real-time, localized upselling suggestions. These have a much greater chance of success than suggestions based on item value or sales volumes alone.
Do more with your resources
Common sense never goes out of style. If you want to offer both innovative store experiences while prioritizing operational efficiency, you need to make your existing resources go further. And in order to do so, it will be paramount to develop seamless connectivity across inventory, stores, and operations, with your customers at the center.
These three essential tools—Localization, Store Monetization, and Connected Stores App—offer a comprehensive solution that maximize revenue from your physical footprint by optimizing the resources you already have: Your stores, your merchandise, your customer behavior data, and your people.