USEFUL TIPS FOR LOSS PREVENTION IN YOUR STORE OR SUPERMARKET

A key element in annual business results is the effort put into loss prevention plans in our stores or supermarkets. In the process of identification in vulnerable points in retail, it would be considered from the total integrity of our collaborators and clients to the risks that are run with respect to the own facilities in which we operate our stores.

Whenever we hear the term loss prevention we refer to robberies, but this is not necessarily so, since loss prevention covers a wide range of operations and operations around them. There are more and more retailers that include the processes to identify all these vulnerabilities and risks in their annual business plans, which will result in the strong decrease of losses.

LOSS PREVENTION STRATEGY

The main requirement to be able to carry out a successful prevention strategy must be the owners’ total conviction of the need to anticipate, prevent and fight against what is considered risk of loss, identifying all that may impact the personnel assets of the company. After all this, the risk of loss agenda must stay every year.

The annual risk agenda will possess 4 principal elements:

  • Personal: It implies the responsibility and actions of our associates.
  • Policies and procedures: Creation and follow-up of the internal document for all employees where the company’s rules are clarified.
  • Technology: Controlling the proper use of all tools available in our stores, both personal use, as well as monitoring and control.
  • Infrastructure: It means that all our facilities must be perfectly prepared and comply with safety standards.

Training will be necessary for our personnel, linked to the situations and conditions that are determined in the annual prevention plan and is necessary for all natural processes in daily operations to be fulfilled.

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One of the mistakes that retailers make is to believe that their business does not have any important significant risks, or that we already have enough with the plans that are executed year after year without inserting new ones. This error is almost always linked to the idea that these prevention plans involve enormous costs, but in any case, this must be counted as an investment, because it is a great investment that will save you billions in losses in the future.

To achieve all the objectives we have detailed, internal control must be organized in several components:

  • Control environment. Both staff and clients must have the full conviction of being in a 100% controlled environment against significant risks.
  • Evaluation of risks. Always maintaining evidence and evaluation of all risks.
  • Control activities. Unlike the control environment, control activities are those that exist to minimize the risks.
  • Information and constant communication. It covers the feedback process that must exist in our stores.
  • Continuous monitoring. Internal audits.
  • Trust control evaluations. Examine constant prevention control with employees. In conclusion, no matter the size of the business, we can all suffer losses. Success will be in our prevention systems in order to minimize them.

6 RECOMMENDATIONS TO PLAN A SUCCESSFUL SALES SEASON

The international consultancy company Analyticalways, which specializes in predictive analytics technologies for store inventory management, has produced a report with the keys to good store management in the sales season.

“They are the times of the year in which stores play a large part of their turnover, especially fashion, jewelry or accessories. For many, success or failure in this sales season will be a turning point in their business, “said Managing Director of Analyticalways, Amancio Junior.

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Amancio Junior states that “red signs with ‘SALE’ signs and discounts of 40%, 50% or 70% are no longer enough,” while adding that “seek maximum efficiency in all processes and generate a better customer experience will provide a plus to win customers against the competition. For this, it is necessary to take into account numerous variables, from a good strategy of prices to efficient management of the stock, among others. ”

THE SIX KEYS THAT ANALYTICALWAYS PROPOSES FOR THE SALES SEASON ARE:

1. PLAN THE OFFERS IN ADVANCE:

Plan discounts, promotions, products and even involve employees in this process. Set actual sales targets by product families, delimit actions to achieve those objectives and establish mechanisms to be able to measure them at the end of each campaign.

2. STOCK MANAGEMENT:

Always count with the precise stock for each circumstance. It is no longer necessary to have all sizes available for all products. Stock management technologies use algorithms designed specifically for the needs of retailers and let you know in detail how sales evolve.

3. USE VISUAL MERCHANDISING TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS:

A shop window is the best weapon to generate exposure traffic since the emotional factor is responsible for the purchasing decisions of customers up to 80% of the time. The good management of these are summarized in having at any time controlled each SKU, for example, from a mobile device.

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4. PREPARE THE VENDORS:

Collaboratively manage the objectives of the stores of the same brand and organize employees based on these sales targets through technological tools. If the salesperson has a statistically based view on what he has to sell and how to do it he can optimize the management of his time so as not to reduce the average basket at times with more flow of customers in the store.

5. LOYALTY TO YOUR CUSTOMERS:

Getting new customers is one of the maximum offers, but it is also a good opportunity to retain and reward the regular customers. To do this, it works to apply special offers to recurring customers, with personalized discounts on products specially recommended for them.

6. DEVELOP A GOOD PRICING STRATEGY:

Study the market and analyze the price systems of the competition without losing sight of the margins of business. Be creative in pricing strategy: offering 2×1, additional discounts if the customer buys several products, give a reduced product if the customer buys a new collection product, or apply a rebate depending on the amount spent by the customer.

IMMEDIATE GOALS FOR THE SUPERMARKET CHAINS’ SUCCESS

To improve and make effective the buying experience, consolidate a model of proximity and closeness, with multi channel strategies and a focus on people, is an immediate objective for supermarkets. This could be the summary of the greatest opportunities and objectives of supermarket chains in the new retail era, basically the opinion of the greatest retail executives at global level.

They all agree that there is a need to execute the digital transformation and adapt to the changes of a consumer who no longer distinguishes between one channel or another (physical vs. digital). A consumer who demands proximity and closeness, as well as modernization and moments that help him to create new experiences, in any format, moment or place.

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One of the principal challenges is to deepen the process of innovation that mark the future of supermarkets and can be grouped into three main axes: those related with digital transformation- from online sales to logistics; the changes designed to optimize the shopper experience; and finally, the increase of energy efficiency of the stores, warehouses and transport.

Another one would be the necessity to offer the consumer an integrated and quality service, regardless of the medium that the latter chooses to access. The omnicanality, understood as the communication and access to the customer through various channels, and the coexistence of online commerce together with the physical store, is a way in which great strides are being made without losing the essence of the proximity trade model.

We must consolidate even more the model of the local supermarket, which is the format that is now in full expansion in the United States (Aldi, Lidl, Walmart Neighborhood …) because it can make available a complete purchase with variety, quality, sustainability and food security very close to their homes with the most competitive prices. One of the tasks we must do is to deepen the achievement of high levels of efficiency throughout the entire chain in a model in which all are winners.

STRATEGIES THAT ANY SUPERMARKET SHOULD FOLLOW

Knowing how to develop a successful digital strategy in order to take advantage of new digital technologies for making new competitive opportunities in the physical channel, in addition to taking advantage of new digital channels to generate growth, new businesses, greater market value and greater connection with customers, and all from a multi channel perspective (to meet all expectations of current and future generations of clients).

Experience is relevant in supermarket chains. It deals with putting value in the physical store, knowing how to transform the “buying operation” into a store experience (and even better, a brand), that has to be more technological, more agile, more interactive, but also more fun, more inspiring and more discovering. The real challenge is making it a relevant experience: more than personalized, that connects with the interests and vital purposes of customers.

Humanization and personal connection. Supermarket teams are the principal competitive advantage of off-line commerce due to the level of service, support, professionalism and the capacity to connect with clients and, today, it can still not be matched with “on-line.”

The challenge, therefore, lies in the fact that the entire business strategy puts such strengths in value and not, as we sometimes see, technology introduced in store to dehumanize them in the name of agility or cost reduction.

The current client is multi channel, and demands an optimal shopping experience regardless of the channel. The challenge for our distribution sector is to adapt this trend by monitoring and controlling customer behavior in all channels, in an integrated manner.

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For that, technological tools are needed like ERP’s, linked to CRM’s, and they orient a profitable electronic commerce. All of them, in order to respond to the expectations of a more demanding customer who knows what they want and premium the immediacy and availability of what they are looking for, both in the physical and digital environment.

This change also affects the sectors of the economy, becoming a challenge and an opportunity for growth, which requires collaboration between all economic agents and all links in the chain. A cooperation based on trust and transparency in the flow of information that allows us to be more competitive.

Being prepared for a constant change of environment and demand, is part of any company that wants to last in time. In Covirán, our mission is to provide independent retailers, their customers and society, supermarkets of proximity through a comprehensive offer of business, based on profitability, trust, cooperation and generating growth in the local economy. There is no doubt that innovation has become one of the main levers for the growth of our company, fundamental to continue guaranteeing our present and future growth.

Thanks to the advanced analytics, companies can have a deeper knowledge about their clients, and can also determine their purchasing tactics. The analysis of data, the Big Data, offers more possibilities, for companies of our sector and can make a difference. This trend will mark the future of our companies and will contribute not only to attracting new customers, but also to loyalty to existing ones.

The recent purchase of Whole Foods Market by Amazon has been a milestone in the global market, as it is the online operator that buys the physical, and this is the necessary step for multi channel. This dreamy purchase will mark a before and after in the future of our exciting food retail world.

POP-UP STORES: STRATEGY ESSENTIALS FOR RETAILERS

“Pop-up” stores are short-lived commercial spaces that are purposed for making a direct impact on potential consumers or brands that will also appear in pop-up stores.

This kind of establishment is not limited to exclusive markets, such as fashion or VIP products. The biggest commercial brands take advantage of the pop-up stores to improve the notoriety of the brand, raise sales and appoint new markets.

In many cases, they take advantage of brands to try out formats they have not tried before.

For example, a British retail chain of watches started with a pop-up store in London before signing a permanent lease and opened more stores in London’s Regent Street and SoHo in New York.

The pop-up stores are used periodically for showcasing new products. For example, the DSW shoe chain debuted its range of custom 3D printed shoes at emerging locations in New York and San Francisco, which allow visitors to really see their new shoes on virtual testers.

Google is also experimenting “offline” with a new space in New York’s Soho. Even though buyers can’t purchase anything from the pop-up made by Google, the store offers the chance to test the brand’s new hardware.

A FORMAT IN EVOLUTION

When pop-ups entered the scene, critics thought it could pose a threat to traditional store chains and businesses. In the end, it was proven that this was not the case and that the two concepts complimented each other.

For example, the British Hunter, known for their colorful cookies, established a pop-up store in London’s Picadilly Circus, a few feet away from their “flagship” store in Regent Street. This location was principally a “Satellite” that directed customers to the main store and also increased the awareness of the brand.

In other places, the brands were taking advantage of the pop-up to directly impact products to their target market, as well as keeping them up-to-date on what’s new.

The Canadian fashion chain Kit and Ace collaborated with luxury hotel chains for the Carry-on, which offered guests and local residents the opportunity to purchase a selection of brand clothing and travel accessories.

Essentially, the initiative also presented an online version, offering digital shoppers access to guides of the city from local “influencers,” as well as recommendations of the product.

Lately we are seeing pop-ups used as a key part of a multi-channel marketing plan, brands are realizing that they need to let live on equal terms to the digital and the physical. If someone has a good brand experience in the real world, then they will shop online too.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BIGGER BRANDS

Inside retail’s modern strategy, pop-ups are used with frequency to attract customers in a unique way, like Remy Martin’s drinks brand, which tours the cities of the United States and allows visitors to make their own cognac. Brands recognize that a pop-up needs to provide something special. A smaller version of a simple store would never work.

Creating such immersion and interaction experiences can turn casual visitors into loyal, long-term clients.

On the other hand, to companies that offer seasonal products and services, pop-ups offer great benefits. For example, Magnum ice cream has had success with its pop-up store in London, which has allowed them to maximize their brand awareness in mid-summer.

ARE POP-UP STORES FOR EVERY BRAND?

While pop-up stores have transformed the retail strategy of many brands, the brands themselves must carefully think about how the format fits their global approach. For some retailers, because of their concept and the amount of time it takes in launching a Pop-up, it does not work for them.

A key challenge for retailers is to get accurate results in a relatively short time.

When testing for physical stores, retailers have to take a pop-up for at least six months to a year. We usually see that retailers become much more successful the longer they have been in one place, due to factors such as word of mouth and consumer awareness.

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However, while pop-ups continue to attract customers, they will remain a key part of a modern selling strategy.

Now that some of the bigger brands are adopting pop-ups, they have improved tremendously in quality and creativity in the last 10 years, and this seems only to be the beginning.