At TRUNO headquarters in Lubbock, Texas, we may not have snow for the holidays—it’s not even dipped to freezing this week—but we can’t help inserting the holiday spirit into everything we do this time of year. Lately we’ve written about what we’re so thankful for in 2018, as well as this year’s perfect Christmas gift for retailers. We even talked about how to stay jolly while protecting yourselves from holiday shoplifters.
But as a new year barrels toward us like a blue norther, we thought, “What would our blog be like without a few New Year’s resolutions?” So, we asked around and came up with five top resolutions any modern retailer should consider for 2019.
#5 Leverage point of sale beyond the checkout line
A point of sale (POS) system is at the very heart of your retail business, but it should do far more than just ring up a customer’s order. For one thing, a POS generates a wealth of data that can make your ordering and inventory management more efficient. Fine-tuned, it can speed your cashiers’ response time, which in turn reduces your customers’ wait time. And with new self-checkout and food self-service options, those customers will be happier (and more loyal) than ever next year. In 2019, resolve to leverage the power of your POS to run a leaner, more efficient and more profitable store.
#4 Beat the online retail giants at their own game
Online shopping continues to explode, and 2019 will be no exception. To stay competitive, you have to beat the online-only retailers and delivery services at their own game. Resolve to provide your customers a superior customer experience—the best of both online and in-store experiences. For example, you can integrate digital commerce solutions like mobile shopping lists, ordering and self-scan mobile checkout—not to mention integrating and leveraging your loyalty rewards program to target customers with customized offers. It’ll mean a happier new year for both of you.
#3 Waste not and lose less, by knowing more
2018 may as well have been dubbed the “Year of the Data Breach,” right? But stolen data isn’t the only loss-related cost retailers incurred. Without proper video surveillance, for example, inventory shrinkage by “insider jobs” will continue to erode a retailer’s profit. And the inability to track inventory against meat and produce recalls affects more than customer purchases; it results in trashing good inventory unnecessarily. In 2019, investigate risk and loss management solutions that let you monitor risks like these and more, as well as provide data analytics and insights into how to eliminate them.
#2 Streamline your people management so everybody wins
Often, it’s the human capital management systems that are not only fragmented from each other but disconnected from the rest of your retail business systems. But why should that be, when your business can’t run without the right people in the right positions at the right times? In 2019, let’s change that. Get a more complete picture of your business by integrating your employee-related systems not only with one another—everything from hiring, onboarding, labor scheduling, time tracking and payroll—but also with your POS and back office systems.
And the #1 resolution is: Improving the profit margin
Grocery profit margins are slim, so what would a retailer’s New Year’s resolution list be without a goal to boost profits? To do that, you have to minimize costs by identifying and reducing waste and inefficiencies. In other words, you need better margin management. Over the next year, resolve to integrate the systems, data and reporting that span individual stores, the warehouse, and headquarters to provide comprehensive insights and reveal cost-saving opportunities. And you can implement technologies such as electronic shelf labels and integrated scales to eliminate manual processes and unnecessary material expenses at the store level.
So, are you ready to make 2019 an even more profitable year than 2018? Undoubtedly you have a few resolutions of your own. But we hope that by adopting these top five as part of your strategy, you, your employees and your customers will enjoy a prosperous new year.