It’s almost that time. The most wonderful time of the year for parents – Back to School! The 6 weeks leading into Back to School is a $28.1 billion dollar season that begins in mid-July. For many retailers, the Back to School season is very busy and requires the same amount of planning and flawless execution as Holiday.
In a recent survey by Shopkick that polled 7,400 Americans, results indicated that 37% of shoppers are planning to spend more on Back to School gear this year than they did last, while 39% expect to spend around the same amount. More good news for retailers – consumers are ready to get back to brick-and-mortar retailers this Back to School season. 92% of respondents plan to do their Back to School shopping in-store.
Things are looking up! Not only are kids going Back to School, but parents and adults are also returning to work. It’s time to ditch those sweatpants for dress clothes, and get back to the real, physical world.
Retailers need to plan effectively now, more than ever. Recommended Coverage helps retailers create effective schedules that maximize opportunities, without overspending on labor. Ensuring that your store floor is staffed with the right people, at the right times. With proper staff coverage and your top performers on the floor during peak store hours, StoreForce helps ensure that you never miss an opportunity to sell.
The Employee Self Service (ESS) app is beneficial for both managers and employees. Through their mobile devices, employees can swap shifts with one another, pick up extra shifts and adjust their availability. This works in real-time, so both managers and employees get confirmation of the updated schedules or availability right away.
Back to School means that some of your workforce may also be going Back to School, so you may need more part-time help. But before you do, consider your current staff’s flexibility. Once the schedule is Auto-Generated, the manager can post additional shifts for employees to pick up via ESS. Before hiring more staff, consider employees that may have the flexibility to pick up a few extra shifts outside of their regular availability.
The role the store plays in supporting digital activity has significantly increased recently. The store has become a mini distribution center picking, packing, and shipping online orders. Use Availability Capacity to optimize your schedules by providing the store with visibility on when to complete these activities without impacting the in-store experience or additional labor.
Effective communication is essential in any organization. StoreForce helps with targeted communications, allowing specific messaging to different levels of the organization – from corporate head office to employees at the store.
Communication is the one stop shop for stores to find any document they need. Share the right document with the right audience with the click of a button. Stores can access Communication on their tablet or mobile device – which means they never have to leave the salesfloor. Link documents to Tasks and Events providing the store with only one place to find all the information they need to get things done.
Discussion Boards allow for real-time discussions by location, role or topic. Create a quick survey to find out what the hottest seller is today. Celebrate employees for a job well done. Ask the team to provide feedback by replying to your post or post a message to inform the stores or what’s happening by linking the post to a resource document in Communication. Share information, encourage discussion and celebrate success.
Who doesn’t like being number 1? Leaderboards create fun, healthy competition in the stores. By ranking the store or employees in various KPIs, they can see how they measure up against their peers. Encourage stores to drive specific KPIs during Back to School by creating a contest. Leaderboards mean you don’t need an additional report or communication for the stores to track their progress. In a simple click, the store can see how they rank in real-time.
The new school year won’t begin for a few months yet, but consumers are eager to get a head start on Back to School shopping, with 19% who say they have already started. Retailers may also want to get the District Managers involved in the Back to School planning, as the timeline for Back to School may differ from state to state (more staggered, as opposed to all at once).
Regardless of the timeline, retailers need to be prepared to maximize all opportunities, without the risk of overspending on labor. StoreForce can help with effective scheduling, improved communication, and some in-store fun!
StoreForce can help you to achieve your retail goals and labor planning effectiveness. Interested in learning more? Contact us and engage with one of our retail experts as to how we can future proof your overall retail store management.
Allie Gratton is the Client Services Director at StoreForce. In her role, she interacts with client resources to provide guidance and input on how StoreForce can support their operational initiatives and build relationships with various levels of the client’s organization. She plays a direct role in opportunity identification, training, creation of program materials, and development of results reporting. Allie previously held various roles with a Canadian Specialty Retailer. Throughout these roles, she acquired significant experience and knowledge in managing sales teams and operating retail stores.
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