For most retailers, the last months of the year have always been special dates on their calendars.
Black Friday or Christmas are key campaigns for the annual results of any retail business. On Black Friday alone, billions of euros are moved in sales, both in physical stores and in e-commerce or m-commerce.
According to recent data, from the end of November to the beginning of the year, the worldwide retail sector sales gathered more than one billion dollars, which represents 30% of the annual turnover.
Lower prices, increased customer traffic, and sales growth in only 24 hours (or a few days) pose a host of challenges for retailers. Not only because they are faced with the need to have the appropriate levels of staff coverage, but they must also try to stand out from all the offers of the competition.
Therefore, it is essential to be ready.
Managers and employees of retailers must be prepared if they want to provide the best customer service at times of high demand. They must adapt to the new consumer habits of customers, who are increasingly comfortable with online payments and increasingly demanding when it comes to shopping experiences.
When deal with the Black Friday challenge, retailers usually have the following questions:
The profitability increase during these dates depends on the ability to get the right answers to these questions. Here are some good practices that can help to achieve the objectives.
Many companies hire extra staff to cover the increased workload during Black Friday and the Christmas sales period. Some companies even increase their workforce up to 30% to be able to reach the invoices of approximately 80% of their annual income in the three months before Christmas.
With such a turnover percentage, a calculation mistake in the hiring requirements can considerably cut the expected profit.
To avoid moments of inefficient coverage on these dates (and also during the rest of the year), three essential factors must be met:
For this, it is highly recommended to invest in automatic workforce management software capable of generating an accurate forecast that the store will have throughout the year, in order to distribute the sales objectives according to the forecast made and, ultimately, use advanced data analytics to find out the ideal number of employees to hire.
If you are interested in a recent example of the impact of implementing a workforce management software to optimize the staff hiring policy, here is the success story of Farmacias MIA and ORQUEST, with which the LATAM pharma group saved 50% of overtime costs.
Once the staff structure is adequate for each moment of the year, it would only remain to schedule in advance the shifts and tasks of the employees necessary to work during Black Friday.
How to optimally schedule employees to achieve sales targets and ensure service quality?
You can opt for slow manual schedules based on intuition or you can choose for automatic schedules generated objectively, in much less time and 100% complying with labor regulatory requirements.
The difference between manual scheduling and automatic scheduling software can save employees’ time by more than 90%.
Planning schedules and tasks for employees on dates as complicated as Black Friday, Christmas or Cyber Monday can be a real headache for Store Managers. If it is done manually, it is very likely that mistakes and inefficiencies will be incurred that end up resulting in a fall in the profitability of the business.
On the other hand, the automatic scheduling generated by advanced technological solutions such as ORQUEST becomes the best ally of your business. Choosing a workforce management software specialized in the retail sector allows the generation of efficient staff schedules capable of saving more than 90% of the scheduling time used by manual processes. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, ORQUEST optimizes the scheduling and management of the personnel in your stores, immediately impacting the benefits of your business, achieving an increase in sales of 8% and reducing labor costs by 5% while complying 100% with the pertinent labor laws of each region.
If you want to know how ORQUEST can help you successfully schedule Black Friday, Christmas and the rest of the days of the year for your business, fill out the following form to request a free demo.