Retail operations is a functional term that encompasses all the retailing activities physical storefronts, chains, and eCommerce sites depend upon to operate successfully.
Given its scope — “all the retailing activities” (emphasis on all) — narrowing down the elements that matter most to your retail operations is vital.
Sourcing is the process of finding the optimal suppliers for your retail business. “Optimal,” here, means a few things:
In finding suppliers and manufacturers who check all these boxes, you’ll be able to operate with confidence, knowing you’ll be able to provide for the needs of your customers.
(As a quick aside, sourcing isn’t a “set it and forget it” operation. Rather, you should always have your eyes open for more reliable and/or affordable suppliers to do business with.)
Unless you’re selling the latest hot-ticket item in your niche, chances are you’ll need to store most of your product in one or more warehouses before you’re able to sell them.
When storing your retail products, it’s important to maintain the product’s quality at all times. This means storing them in safe and secure locations that accommodate to the product in question (e.g., climate-controlled rooms, etc.). The more optimized your storage space, the lower the chances of spoilage and other mishaps.
Your products also need to be stored in a manner that eases retrieval. More accessibility means easier deliverability, which means more efficient processes — and happier customers.
Inventory management aims to maintain the flow of product from supplier to warehouse to retail store shelves.
The goal is to ensure that a sufficient amount of product is always available to meet the fluctuating demands of the market, while simultaneously avoiding spoilage and overstocking.
The easier your stock flows through your supply chain, the lower your risk of incurring damages will be.
Your retail organization will only run the way you want it to run if you’ve put the right people in place. Whether looking at your customer-facing or internal teams, you need to ensure your staff is:
With a solid staff backing up a solid approach to retail management, your business will easily find itself on the path to success.
The ultimate goal of any retail business is to provide value to the consumer — and, in turn, receive value back from them.
The way in which your retail company provides value to your audience depends on a variety of factors, such as:
It’s important to know what your customers want from your retail business both now and in the future. After all, if you don’t know how to best serve your target audience, you won’t be fulfilling your goals as a retailer in the first place.