According to a recent internal report by ORQUEST, the AI-powered software leader in time and task scheduling, the total sales figures in the retail sector during the first six months of 2021 reach similar numbers to everything sold during 2020.
Sales are starting to recover the growth rate they were showing in mid-2019.
The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is beginning to show.
The main gap concerns customer traffic and the average annual ticket (ratio of sales to tickets). For example, in Europe, before Covid-19, the average annual ticket was around €580. During the pandemic, restrictions severely limited physical sales, but average sales still grew to €670. As of June 2021, data shows that average annual retail tickets are projected to be close to €1100.
Almost double compared to last year.
These sales and average ticket increase data confirm the clear trend of the new Covid-19 customer. This is a more selective client who visits stores less often, but when he does, he spends much more on his purchases. To this fact we have to add the rise of e-commerce. E-commerce in the retail sector has grown from representing one dollar out of every seven spent in 2019 to one dollar out of every five in 2020.
This acceleration in the digital transformation process of physical stores has been a game-changing turning point for all players involved in the retail sector. Customers rarely visit the store, but when they do, they demand a personalized, low-friction experience. If something goes wrong during the shopping process, the customer will leave. And it will be very difficult for them to return considering that they have access to multiple offline and online shopping alternatives.
As the pandemic spreads around the world, a new client emerges with particular characteristics and needs, making it essential for retailers to have technological solutions for automatic time and task scheduling to optimize the operational efficiency of their stores. Satisfying the demands of this new customer means having the right employee at the right time. Manual scheduling models based on intuition and habit are obsolete. They are time-consuming to implement and are not capable of adapting to varying demand, nor can they provide optimal schedules with both staff and appropriate labor regulations.
The implementation of staff scheduling software based on artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics allows retail executives and managers to avoid the moments of under- and over-staffing that they had to suffer during the several pandemic lockdowns. With these technology solutions, the store will always have the necessary coverage based on customer forecasts. In addition, employees will be able to have their working hours available early enough to be able to balance work and family life and therefore be able to fully dedicate their time to what really impacts the performance of the business: customer service.
If you would like to receive more information about the advantages of choosing the ORQUEST automated scheduling solution, you can do so by filling in the following form.
C007/20-ED. 2020 call for proposals on technological development based on artificial intelligence and other digital enabling technologies within the framework of the strategic action of digital economy and society of the state R&D&I program