Last year we surveyed customers from the UK and the US about their post-pandemic shopping plans. The results were encouraging, with 56% keen to return to stores as soon as possible. Non-essential stores have been open for over a month now and it seems that consumers have been true to their word. Since reopening, year on year footfall has increased by 240% across the country.
Things are looking up, but the next few months will be challenging. Studies show that the total cost of the pandemic to the UK economy could be as much as £700 billion. With less money to go around, you will need to make every penny count. Cutting costs is essential, but only if you can do it in a way that doesn’t harm the customer experience.
Think before you cut
Reducing colleague numbers is one way to save money, but now is not the time. Over half of shoppers believe that colleagues are the key to improving the in-store experience. With 72% of customers rethinking their brand loyalties in the wake of the pandemic, an understaffed store is a surefire way to lose business.
The answer is not to sack colleagues, but to make the most of the ones you have. This is where VoCoVo can help. By streamlining the everyday activities of the shop floor, we can save you hundreds of pounds a week without any negative impact on the customer. Let’s find out how.
The pandemic has shifted customer priorities. Here’s what you need to do to keep them happy:
Every second counts
Shop floor colleagues waste time in numerous tiny ways. It may only be a few seconds here and there, but over the course of the day it can really add up. This is not to say that colleagues are doing a bad job. Most of the time, they simply don’t have the technology they need to perform tasks in the most efficient way.
Common examples of inefficiency include:
- Crossing the store to find information for a customer
- Visiting the stockroom to check on the status of an order
- Repeatedly pausing a task in order to answer customer queries
- Leaving the checkout in search of change or a fresh till roll
- Staying on a customer service or Click & Collect desk all day, even when there are no customers to serve
These inefficiencies cost you money in two ways. Colleagues are able to perform fewer tasks throughout the day, forcing you to spend more on wages. At the same time, customers become frustrated with delays and decide to shop elsewhere.
This second point is especially significant at the moment. With safety concerns still at the forefront of customers’ minds, many are keen to spend as little time as possible in stores. Our survey found that 26% of customers will leave your store if they haven’t been served in five minutes.
Time is money
Our system is designed to save colleagues those precious seconds, resulting in greater efficiency and happier customers:
- Headsets allow colleagues to communicate without having to search for one another
- Colleagues can contact the stockroom without having to walk there
- Customers can request help via call points and colleagues can answer questions without pausing their work. (Two-way call point required)
- Keypads allow checkout colleagues to call for assistance without leaving their position
- Call points allow you to unman Click & Collect and customer service desks during quieter periods
By improving task efficiency, we’ve calculated that our system can save you 105 minutes a day. This translates into a saving of £111 per week per store, or £5,749 per year.
Remember that this is just one of the ways that VoCoVo saves you money. You will also cut costs by reducing travel time, speeding up the checkout process and unmanning desks and counters. Overall, you stand to save tens of thousands of pounds every year.