Australian Retailers Driving Efficiencies to Free Up More Time for Customers

Bruce Mackenzie By Bruce Mackenzie | 24 Jan 2020

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing retail sector, where consumer activity is always evolving, there is much conjecture about the state of the Australian market.

While there has been talk of a flattening retail market, the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures showed that the trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose by 2.4 percent from July 2018 to July 2019.

In the current market, a number of Australian retailers and brands are reporting success in a challenging operating environment. And a key focus for these retailers is optimising a number of areas of their operations to reduce costs and deliver an enhanced consumer experience. Freeing up more time for customers Behind the scenes, retailers spend a large amount of time and budget on administration tasks and optimising their staff – hiring and onboarding staff, training staff, rostering, covering shifts due to sickness or holiday leave, diverting staff to tasks such as stocktake, as well as payroll.

Time spent on administration tasks takes away from the time that managers have available to concentrate on enhancing the customer experience. And in an ever-shifting retail environment, managers need to be investing as much time as possible on understanding and meeting the desires of the consumer if they are to achieve success into the future. Additionally, with the rising popularity of online shopping, retailers need to focus a lot of time and effort on enhancing the in-store experience of customers, to ensure they still get foot traffic through the doors.

In order to free up more time to prioritise the customer experience, many retailers are moving from manual or outsourced methods of managing their staff, to automating and handling it all in-house on one single automated digital platform.

Optimising Operations

Given the complexity of the modern retail environment, managers need to have full visibility of staff cross multiple stores so they can optimise their operations. Solutions, such as automated workforce management, helps to reduce costs, cuts time spent on admin and provides a better service to employees, all of which allows retail managers to spend more time and budget on meeting the needs of their end customer.

Using a workforce management solution, one Australian retailer was able to reduce the time spent completing payroll by 90 per cent, freeing up time for staff to spend much more time on other priority tasks. By accessing a central solution, retailers can also respond quickly and effectively to staffing needs for a few, a few hundred, or thousands of staff, across every store and department, during every retail season. This ensures retailers have the right level of staff rostered so they can have peace of mind that their customers are always being looked after.

With automated rostering, staff can access their roster anytime online, which reduces errors and confusion that might lead to understaffing. And, with a POS integration, a manager can make staffing changes on the go, such as moving workers from stocktake to the shop floor, or increasing worker numbers during a lunch-time rush and then reducing them during quieter periods.

Australian Retailers Finding Success

Many retailers are working hard to find success in the current Australian market, and a big focus for them is becoming more efficient and cost-effective in many areas of their businesses. Improving the way in which the workforce is managed is one way in which many retailers are reducing costs and finding more time to concentrate on enhancing the retail experience to ensure customers continue visiting their stores.

Bruce Mackenzie is the Founder and MD of Humanforce. For more information on how your retail operations can benefit from an advanced, automated workforce management solution, please visit: https://humanforce.com/

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