What a pleasure to be back to on-site events.
We continue to take care of ourselves by respecting distances and wearing masks, but we are beginning to feel that the worst is over. In ORQUEST we have decided to maximize this positive situation to try to recover the good old ways of meeting face to face with our potential clients.
That is why we chose to return for the third consecutive edition to one of the best professional events in the industry: Retail Days 2021. A select business summit on June 2nd and 3rd, where the main players in the retail sector gathered in a beautiful hotel in Deauville, France, to share ideas, experiences and tips. CEOs and executives from leading brands such as Etam, Maisons du Monde, Afflelou, Saint Maclou, KFC or Planet Sushi met to expose their concerns and to find solutions to successfully face the immediate future of physical stores.
Our teammates Cristina Pontijas and Elena Fernández with Isak Halfon, CEO & Senior Advisor Consultant of Cefeo Regius, presented the workshop “Team management in a challenging context”, where they introduced the keys to optimize and align employees with store traffic in order to get a direct impact on business performance.
Pandemic has strongly affected the retail sector. Retailers have to deal with a new reality, dominated by the considerable growth of e-commerce, the decrease in footfall, an unpredictable customer demand and the increase in the average sales ticket per visit.
Moreover, according to a recent PWC report on consumer habits, 78% of customers say that the attention received in the store influences their final purchase decision.
Most of the senior executives attending Retail Days focused their concerns on finding advanced technological solutions to replace their obsolete manual scheduling models. Intuition is no longer enough to schedule considering a variable demand. There is a strong focus on disrupting fixed planning routines that do not satisfy customer demands.
In addition, store managers and franchisees highlighted the need to increase sales, reduce costs and adopt new alternative business channels that improve and complement the shopping experience in the physical store. This is the case, for example, announced by Laurent Milchior, director of Etam Group:
“We are going to enrich the offer while maintaining customer data and without cannibalizing the existing.”Laurent Milchior, Retail Days 2021
The French clothing and lingerie brand is introducing in the coming days a mini marketplace to improve its commitment to online sales as well as to enhance physical shopping in all stores.
This Etam project is one of the many initiatives that could be seen during the event with which the retail sector is trying to deal with the new post-Covid reality.
In this uncertain context, the workshop given by Elena Fernández, Regional Sales Manager of ORQUEST, identified the challenges that large and medium-sized retail firms must face in order to remain competitive:
These three challenges will require physical stores to incorporate efficient technology solutions into their business dynamics that help them with scheduling, sizing and forecasting. Also, they will need software solutions that have been able to adapt to the volatile conditions caused by the pandemic. These solutions should offer easy integrations with the different technological accounting tools on the market, as ORQUEST‘s workforce management software provides.
An automatic workforce planning solution that combines advanced analytical techniques with complex artificial intelligence algorithms with a forecast deviation of less than 3%.
Perhaps ORQUEST is the best way to help store and area managers to considerably reduce the time spent in scheduling and optimization so that they can focus on what really matters: taking care of the customer, welcoming them with the same emotion with which we celebrate the return to participate in physical events.