Conversion rate is extremely important in the retail industry, especially in high unit price speciality shops. It will decide the shops sales, margin, and survival of the business. Conversion rate will be decided by a lot of factors, locations, products, visuals, and your people, etc. How to schedule the right people with matched skills is the one of most critical factors to manage your retail business.

When we have scheduling in mind, we want to maximize efficiency and coverage in the store. Similar to most retail companies, Apple spends a lot of money to get the customer in the store.  Certain skills can be mastered to create a high conversion rate with foot traffic.  I will cover the key different parts of managing a team. I would like to break down the business model into several categories including Scheduling, Conversion rates, Workflow, and the Customer experience

Schedule and Cost Sense

Scheduling, with GaiaDigits is very easy and takes out the time intensive aspect of searching for the right person, availability, and requests. GaiaDigits Intelligent Scheduling enables the manager to have specific tools that optimize floor coverage while minimizing cost and preventing over/under coverages. Balance is highly important in a skilled scheduling environment.

One of my favorite parts of this GaiaDigits is how the user can create a schedule completely by Job title, Skill sets, certifications, pay rate, batches, and more. Once you finish the schedule, it will show you the scheduled total hours, specifics about coverage, business requirements, direct cost and other precision tools. GaiaDigits partnership with RetailNext produces the most accurate and money saving schedules because of our ability to track customer traffic and customize the perfect schedule

Conversion Rate

I like to teach and continuously encourage different ways of asking for the sale. If our employees have the product knowledge and are confident with the product, it is natural to ask for the sale. The customer expects the question and most times, the closing question creates the sale.  I urge my team that conversion rate is all about customer service. Making the customer comfortable and asking the right probing questions to form the perfect solution will always create the best customer experience. While staying patient and using pressured sales techniques carefully, its important to have time management and sense of urgency skills in mind.

Attitude also makes a big difference; meaning that sales staff should create a custom conversation and attitude with every customer. Skills and expertise should be leveraged and customised. Finally, I encourage my team to “plant the seed” when the sale is not achievable. Execution of using pressured closing is difficult and I rarely recommend it.

Workflow and Customer Experience

Multi-tasking with several customers and encouraging collaboration between customers creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Depending on the customer and situation, our staff should prioritize high value sales. Spending more time with a sale with a large return is important. Importantly, management needs to have awareness and ability to change the schedule and shift people to other departments if necessary.  Also related to manager awareness, Time&Attendance is crucial. Managing breaks, lunches, absences, zoning, is relatable to fine tuning a timepiece or conducting an orchestra. Not an easy task but rewarding and enjoyable when done right.  All these skills have a different result on the customer experience.

Data Driven

Data is King. Reliable source data is a key success factor for us to start with our daily management duties and workflow. How many visitors will come into the shop, how long will they stay, when will they come in are important points of our plan. We need very reliable data to breakdown and analyze for the skill matrix demand, only after we then schedule the right employees to handle this customer traffic.

If you manage a region with more than one store, you can also think about the schedule pattern across the shops based on traffic models. This model will increase the efficiency and save the labor cost, it will also increase employees work scope, bring more fun and create better engagement.

Retail management processes can be long and complex, but the key factors are people. Only when you have the right people, right skills and high morale, you can build up the successful teams and sales will be its by-product.

Data changes the structure of sales for any proven salesperson or leader. RetailNext and GaiaDigits are great at working together and extrapolating data from different sources and relaying that to our mutual customers.


About the author:

Richard Woida, Senior Solution Consultant of GaiaDigits Inc.

After working for Apple Retail for over 10 years, I have learned a lot of different management techniques.  I enjoy the challenge of troubleshooting scenarios with recruitment, scheduling, HR, sales & motivational management, performance review, and more.  I have worked in many different parts of the United States & Canada; this has helped me grow and learn to handle various types of internal/external customer engagement. Team leadership is one of my strengths as I rely on strong data, team building, feedback, and organizational tools.  I feel confident working with GaiaDigits to grow my career and to help businesses use our platform to the fullest extent.  GaiaDigits is a powerful Workforce Management Suite that businesses can use to maximize efficiency and maximize value.