What we do
The current state of the retail industry is extremely challenging with many concurrent activities increasing pressure on sales and margins. Here in Australia, we are seeing a number of large international retailers enter our market, the online and mobile channels are becoming a big part of everyday life for consumers which is forcing retailers to become experts at serving their customers no matter how the customer wants to shop. There is also increased competition coming from the big players in the Australian market who are rapidly expanding their offer into adjacent categories – supermarkets ever increasing range of products such as insurance and hardware to name a few. All of the above is putting immense pressure on traditional bricks and mortar stores, relying on customers coming through the door. A number of these retailers are experiencing a decline in traffic counts. Along with all of this doom and gloom there is a big challenge to recruit and retain the best talent. Research is even telling us that customer service levels are at an all time low, nearly 60% of consumers believe that customer service has declined over the past 5 years. Furthermore over half of these consumers didn’t purchase as a result of poor customer service. At The Retail Solution we believe retail service can be turned around and sales can grow providing a business has their focus in the right place. As retail experts we work with clients to provide practical and custom solutions. Our consulting practice is focused in the following areas: Analysis of your current service offer We spend time in your business reviewing your service offer and helping you fine tune this so it represents what both your company and your customers want. We believe if you deliver what your customer wants (and more), they are highly likely to return. Opportunities to increase sales As part of the customer service review we also analyse your current sales processes and look at ways these can be improved. This might include focussing on particular products on the counter, improving team members sales techniques, analysis of ATV, IPD etc. Store manager’s coaching abilities To ensure any process and behaviour change is implemented and continues in store it relies on the store manager’s ability to train their team and follow up. We review your current in store coaching process to identify areas of improvement, therefore ensuring that any new training is locked in and followed up. Area Manager’s coaching abilities Along with analysing your store manager’s coaching skills, we also review your Area manager’s skills in coaching their store managers. If your Area Managers have the ability to coach their store managers then accountability and improved performance is guaranteed. Recruitment of the right team members This is an essential part to providing great customer service and increasing sales – if you have the right team members this is so much easier. We spend time with you analysing your current recruitment processes and advise on areas that can be improved. One of the tools we use is the Sales Growth Benchmarking Scorecard. We use this scorecard in your store and/or departments to evaluate exactly what your service levels are like. We then present this in a report to identify areas of improvement as well as letting you know the good things you are doing. This information is provided without any obligation to engage our services.
The retail industry is at a pivotal point with many concurrent dynamics increasing pressure on sales and margins— many international retailers entering/expanding domestic markets, the e-commerce/mobile channel finally coming of age and now forcing retailers to examine and become expert at serving their customers no matter how the customers shop, collect or return merchandise, and the increased competition from domestic competitors who are gradually expanding assortments into adjacent categories—examples of the latter trend include grocers selling enormous amounts of apparel and general merchandise, dollar stores are becoming a significant channel for health and beauty as well as food and drug retailers increasing selling food and related categories. And last, but not least, online retailers are becoming a force in more and more categories, forcing brick and mortar and multichannel retailers to up their games, while having to be more price and cost-effective. I’m the CEO of Productivity Increase Group, a company which specialises in helping retailers to improve their Customer ROI via improved customer service, increasing sales and developing your managers to get the best out of their people. The current state of retail is challenging with most businesses finding traffic counts are down, or at best static and most customers spending less per visit. Competition is at all time high (and will continue to get tougher) and a number of customers are moving to online. Against this backdrop, it is challenging to recruit and retain the best talent. Research is even telling us that customer service levels are at an all time low, nearly 60% of consumers believe that customer service has declined over the past 5 years. Furthermore over half of these consumers didn’t purchase as a result of poor customer service. I believe retail service can be turned around and sales can grow providing a business has their focus in the right place. We can help your company to combat these issues, and enclosed I am providing some information about how we might be able to help you. As retail experts we work with clients to provide practical and custom solutions. Our consulting practice is focused in the following areas: Create Winning Strategies We help create winning strategies for retailers and suppliers to the retailing industry. We are experienced in guiding companies through the strategic planning process to achieve fresh insights and solutions. Optimize the Customer Experience We help companies develop a unique, consistent and sustainable customer experience that aligns strategy and positioning with execution to win with customers. Our combination of proprietary analytical frameworks and deep expertise helps clients identify opportunities to enhance and differentiate their ongoing relationship with their target customers. Develop New Concepts We lead the development of innovative retail concepts, formats and programs. We have developed ground-up prototypes, refined existing concepts, and created successful programs, shops and departments within stores. Analyze and Improve Performance We evaluate and optimize retail concepts, strategies, and businesses. This includes feasibility assessment of startups and new concepts, performance improvement for existing concepts, and due diligence activities as part of mergers and acquisitions. Intelligence We provide critical research, information and insights on the retail industry.