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  1. For years banks took the role of providing loans for businesses, but nowadays, many other online platforms can offer loans to businesses. Here are some of the most popular ones: Accion is an international nonprofit dedicated to serving entrepreneurs, business owners, and communities. Founded as a community development initiative serving the poor in Venezuela, Accion is known as a pioneer in microfinance and fintech impact investing. Kiva is a nonprofit organization and collects money through crowdfunding loans. On Deck is a global online small business lending company from the United States. Enova is a USA based provider of online financial services to non-prime consumers and small businesses. Lidya is a USA holding financial institution that provides credit and finance access across a frontier and emerging markets. See more in my article:
  2. Modern retail is working to create a positive emotional atmosphere in stores. A good atmosphere will cause immediate sales growth and generally increase customers’ loyalty in the long term. The high loyalty level of customers leads to increased sales in the long term. Below are some practical tips that can help to create an emotional atmosphere in the store. Properly designed sales area: how it is arranged, the width of the aisles, the shelves’ height, whether there are gaps in the shelves, and whether it is convenient to view and to take the goods. Lighting: It creates the necessary emotional atmosphere and the motivation to buy, encourages to buy certain types of goods, as well as creates or destroys any price perception. Promotions: The buyer's impression of the products is first determined through their vision. Therefore beauty in the presentation of the store and goods can trigger an impulse to buy. Design and communication: should display the brand’s idea, and emphasizes the store's concept. Aroma marketing: Smells evoke associations and act on taste buds Service: friendly customer service always does the trick Check my article:
  3. Promotion is the important part to attract a new customers to the online retail store. What are the ways to do so?
  4. Productive work and the success of any business directly depends on the professionalism and quality of accounting. Observing the deadlines for filing reports, timely and correct payment of taxes, correct charges, timely posting of primary documentation, drawing up declarations are conditions that have a direct impact on the fruitful work of all departments of a company or enterprise. Accounting allows the company to avoid misunderstandings with the authorities and representatives of tax services and prevent issuing fines and possible penalties. Suppose we start to think about accounting companies. In that case, the most famous accountants are The Big Four - the nickname used to refer collectively to the four largest professional services networks in the world: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The four structures are often grouped for several reasons; they are each comparable in size relative to the rest of the market, both in terms of revenue and workforce. They are each considered equal in their ability to provide a broad scope of professional services. The Big Four offers audit, assurance, taxation, management consulting, actuarial, corporate finance, and legal services. These four networks conduct a significant majority of public companies’ audits and many audits of private companies. PricewaterhouseCoopers PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services network of firms, operating as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC firms work in 157 countries and 742 locations. The firm in its present form was created in 1998 by a merger between two accounting firms, Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. Both firms had histories dating back to the 19th century. The trading name was shortened to PwC in September 2010 as part of a rebranding effort. Based in London, United Kingdom, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited is a coordinating entity for firms’ global network. It manages the worldwide brand and develops policies and initiatives to create a joint and coordinated approach in risk, quality, and strategy. It does not provide services to clients. Deloitte Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a multinational professional services network. Deloitte is one of the Big Four accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals, with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and legal services globally with approximately 312,000 professionals. KPMG KPMG International Limited (or simply KPMG) is a multinational professional services network and one of the Big Four accounting organizations. The name "KPMG" stands for "Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler.” It was chosen when KMG (Klynveld Main Goerdeler) merged with Peat Marwick in 1987. Headquartered in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, although incorporated in the United Kingdom, KPMG is a network of firms in 147 countries, with over 219,000 employees and three services: financial audit, tax, and advisory. Its tax and advisory services are further divided into various service groups. EY Ernst & Young Global Limited, commonly known as Ernst & Young or simply EY, is a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. EY is one of the largest professional services networks in the world. It primarily provides assurance (which includes financial audit), tax, consulting, and advisory services. Like many of the larger accounting firms in recent years, EY has expanded into markets adjacent to accounting, including strategy, operations, HR, technology, and financial services consulting. EY operates as a network of member firms that are structured as separate legal entities in a partnership, which has close to 300,000 employees in over 700 offices in more than 150 countries around the world. The firm's current coalition was formed in 1989 by a merger of two accounting firms, Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young & Co. It was named Ernst & Young until a rebranding campaign officially changed its name to EY in 2013, although this initialism was already used informally before its sanctioning adoption. BDO BDO or Binder Dijker Otte is an international network of public accounting, tax, consulting, and business advisory firms that perform professional services under the name of BDO. BDO has member firms in 167 countries, employs around 88,000 partners and staff in over 1,591 offices throughout the world, and is the fifth largest professional services network globally. Each BDO member firm is an independent legal entity in its own country. Grant Thornton Grant Thornton is the world's seventh-largest by revenue and sixth-largest by the number of employees professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms. They provide assurance, tax, and advisory services to privately held businesses, public interest, and public sector entities. Grant Thornton International Ltd. is incorporated in London, England, and has member firms operating in over 130 countries. RSM RSM International, branded RSM, is a multi-national network of accounting firms, forming an extensive accountancy professional services network. The member firms of RSM in over 120 countries are independent accounting and advisory firms, each of which practices in its own right and is unified as part of the network. Firms advise on a wide range of audit and assurance, consulting, tax, risk advisory, IFRS, restructuring, transaction, and business and financial advisory solutions. Crowe Crowe Global, commonly referred to as Crowe, is a multinational professional services network. It is the 8th largest global accounting network in the world. The network consists of more than 220 firms with over 42,000 employees in 130 countries. Crowe provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk, and financial advisory services. Nexia Nexia International is a global network of independent accounting and consulting firms. The network consists of 258 firms, 747 offices, and 3442 partners in 122 countries. The network members deliver an extensive portfolio of audit, accountancy, tax, and advisory services. Baker Tilly Baker Tilly International is an accountancy and business advisory network represented by 126 member firms in 146 countries. Baker Tilly provides business advisory and accounting services with a strong focus on long term business-client relationships.
  5. Modern retail is working to create a positive emotional atmosphere in stores. We've collected a few tools to help your grocery shop or supermarket create a sales-boosting atmosphere. The buyer chooses a shopping place where he or she feels comfortable, pleasant, beautiful, convenient, joyful, fun, and also where he or she is appreciated, loved, and expected. All of these are about positive emotions. A good atmosphere will cause immediate sales growth and generally increase customers’ loyalty in the long term. The high loyalty level of customers leads to increased sales in the long term. Even a simple loyalty program, such as offering some percentage from each purchase for future shopping discounts, can positively influence customer retention. Listed below are some practical tips that can help to create an emotional atmosphere in the store. Properly designed sales area In the sales area, everything matters. It requires a competent approach from what equipment is used, how it is arranged, the width of the aisles, the shelves’ height, whether there are gaps in the shelves, and whether it is convenient to view and to take the goods. A well-designed store has answers to questions about which departments we meet and how we lead the customer. This is what the buyer doesn’t see but feels. This is about the buyer’s convenience and comfort while shopping. Categories that generate good mood and traffic are placed at the beginning of the customer journey, such as innovative products and gadgets. It can be fruits, vegetables, and flowers - they set the tone for freshness, decorate the store with bright colors, and influence positively. An area that creates positive emotions should be placed closer to the middle of the trading floor to create a flow. The product should be easily viewed and easily accessible; there should be enough space for several people to pass at the same time. In narrowed aisles, shelves work only at an eye level. When someone is rubbing against you all the time, it is inconvenient to look at, and even more so, to take goods placed at a feet level. Nevertheless, excessively wide aisles can impose different problems - you need to spend extra energy on moving around the sales area from one rack to another, which is also not very convenient. Avoiding the use of high shelves gives a better view of the sales area; customers see more goods; thus, they buy more and, as a result, increases the number of items on the receipt. Long aisles with spaces between the shelves compared to not having one gives more opportunity for the increase in turnover per square meter, as the buyer would stop at the ends of the shelves, and it would potentially bring higher chances of buyers taking more goods. A very cool tool is to add to the hall some promotional tables or short shelves that come up to the chest level, where the upper part is used as a table with an appealing layout. It is impossible to pass by such tables. This solution can be used even in small shops. Cross-goods sell well from these places when guests leave with additional purchases. Lighting Professionally set up lighting can bring a significant influence on the sales floor. It gains the attention of those customers just passing by and directs them to the right place, creates the necessary emotional atmosphere and the motivation to buy, encourages to buy certain types of goods, as well as creates or destroys any price perception. For instance, in grocery stores, using different color temperatures for different categories of goods can put these groups in a favorable light - meat - red, cheese - yellow, vegetables - juicy and bright. It leads to the emergence of a strong desire to buy all these delicious products. Which particular light to use depends on the concept and positioning of the store. Someone uses linear light and adds an accent light to increase sales of marginal product groups. Some stores use accent lighting throughout the sales area, darkening the aisles and illuminating only the shelf/showcase, using individual color temperature for each product group. Thus, complexity creates a unique atmosphere in which the goods are in the first place. When planning to open or rebrand a store, you should not save on lighting; since lighting significantly affects the store's desired perception by the buyer and, as a result, works to increase sales. Promotions This is a combination of creative promotional tables, price tags, various slides, ladders, baskets, and additional decorative elements. The buyer's impression of the products is first determined through their vision. Therefore beauty in the presentation of the store and goods can trigger an impulse to buy. Design and communication The design should be modern, displays the brand’s idea, and emphasizes the store's concept. Design works together with communication. A trendy global tool - storytelling - is also integrated into the design. With the help of design and communication, you can surprise, delight, inspire, teach, bring a smile, emotion, happiness. It's all about feelings. You always want to return to a beautiful, positively emotional store. Aroma marketing Smells evoke associations and act on taste buds. It smells of coffee - the feeling of urgency to buy a cup of coffee. The department with blankets smells of lavender - gives the imagination of a soft comfy sofa and inspires the purchase in anticipation of a warm, cozy evening. Now the bakery is situated near the entrance, and it lures into the store with its incredible smell of fresh-baked bakery and immediately stimulates one’s appetite. This brings one’s desire to want to buy even more. Service With the help of friendly service, you can easily fall in love with a customer. One crooked expression on the seller's face can destroy all the efforts made to attract customers. A store is a holistic space. It is not enough to use only one tool for creating a positive emotional atmosphere; several tools need to be used in different combinations and not to lose sight of any limitations. It is important to remember that human brains tend to focus on the negative side. If the client does not like one thing, he or she will remember those specific details and give a general negative impression to the entire store. ,
  6. Very often, small and medium businesses need financing. Ether it is the replenishment of working capital when there are cash flow gaps - you have not received payment for bills issued to consumers, but you need to pay your bills. Or you decided, for example, to buy new equipment to take your business to a new level. In other words, you need to find investment for development. For years banks took the role of providing loans for businesses, but nowadays, many other online platforms can offer loans to businesses. Here we collect the list of most known loan platforms. Accion Accion is an international nonprofit dedicated to serving entrepreneurs, business owners, and communities. Founded as a community development initiative serving the poor in Venezuela, Accion is known as a pioneer in microfinance and fintech impact investing. The organization works across Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Kiva Kiva is a nonprofit organization headquartered in California, USA, with offices in Bangkok, Nairobi, Portland, and staff worldwide. The service collects money through crowdfunding loans. It allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in 77 countries. On Deck On Deck is a global online small business lending company from the United States. It has offices in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Enova Enova is a USA based provider of online financial services to non-prime consumers and small businesses. The company offers access to credits powered by its advanced analytics, innovative technology, and online platform and services. It also delivers on-demand decision-making technology and real-time predictive analytics services to clients. Lidya Lidya is a USA holding financial institution that provides credit and finance access across a frontier and emerging markets. The company works in five countries: the USA, Portugal, Nigeria, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The platform offers small and medium-sized businesses unsecured loans of between $500 and $15,000. To manage credit risk, Lidya uses close to 100 data points to evaluate companies, build a credit score unique to each business and can issue loans in 24 hours or less. GroFin GroFin is headquartered in Mauritius and provides small and medium business finance and business loans across 14 countries in Africa & the Middle East. The platform helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with business loans and business support (expert advice and continuous guidance) to grow their businesses. Lendio Lendio is a marketplace providing loans for small businesses in the U.S. Small business owners utilize Lendio's free online service to find financing by browsing multiple loan products from a network of lenders. Fundbox Fundbox is a fintech company based in the USA. The service uses big data analytics, engineering, and predictive modeling to optimize cash flow for small businesses and freelancers with outstanding invoices. Fundera Fundera helps U.S.-based small businesses find financing. It provides advice and comparison technology to help business owners easily identify their best-fit financial products and, ultimately, make better business decisions.
  7. Running a small business is not an easy task. Every day small and medium business owners face many challenges, and they need to make decisions that influence their development. We collect some information resources that may help merchants to make their decisions more efficiently. Small Business Trends Small Business Trends review tech products, cover small business news and interview movers and shakers. The site contains over 20,000 pages focused on tips, trends, and answers for practical questions. It is a hub of more than two million entrepreneurs, business owners, influencers, and experts. The company office is in Florida, USA. Fit Small Business Fit Small Business is an advanced digital resource for small business owners. It provides comprehensive and actionable content for merchants to succeed. Small business owners are enthusiastic and driven about what they do, and Fit Small Business's mission is to deliver the best answers to their questions. Forbes One of the oldest (more than 100 years) and well known American resource of business information, Forbes has a chapter on its website dedicated to small and medium businesses. They publish news, recommendations, reviews that may potentially benefit small business owners. The Balance Small Business The Balance Small Business provides practical advice on entrepreneurship and management covering personal finance, career, and small business topics. The website content is divided into four big categories: starting your business, operations, law and taxes, and management. Merchant Maverick Merchant Maverick’s mission is “Small business made easy.” There are combinations of reviewing and comparing software for small businesses with informative articles on business, technology, marketing, and other industries. The website contains much in-depth research in 20 different areas, including point of sale systems, credit card processing, business loans, credit cards, finance, accounting, eCommerce, etc. Business.com Business.com contains a lot of mission advice, tips, and resources to help people grow their business. The website also has a community of business owners, marketers, and sales experts to help through first-hand advice and engaging discussion. Business News Daily Business News Daily provides insights and advice from experts, and actionable knowledge business owners can use to make the everyday decisions needed to start and grow their businesses. Business.org Business.org provides research, product reviews, and expert recommendations for small- to mid-size businesses to help them choose the right tools and services for growing. All content is divided into sections: Start, Grow, Financing, Accounting, Inventory, and others.
  8. Retail means selling goods or services directly to consumers or end-users. Modern retailers make various strategic level decisions, including the type of store, the market to be served, the optimal product assortment, customer service, supporting services, and the store's overall market positioning. A successful retailer is one that continually improves his/her knowledge and ability to do business. We collect some blog resources for retailers; they will be useful for food and cloth businesses. Retail Dive https://www.retaildive.com/ Retail Dive is operated by Industry Dive from Washington, DC, USA. Professional business journalists prepare news, trends, and insights on various retail topics, such as marketing, technology, e-commerce, payments, store operations, omnichannel, etc. Medallion Retail https://medallionretail.com/retail-marketing-ideas/ Medallion Retail blog states that it is about retail: marketing ideas, insights, and instigation. The blog is run by retail marketing agency Medallion Retail from New York. Retail Doctor https://www.retaildoc.com/blog The Retail Doctor Blog is run by Bob Phibbs, a retail consultant with broad experience. He writes articles about marketing, increasing sales, improving brick and mortar stores, optimizing sales teams, etc. Forrester Retail Trends https://go.forrester.com/blogs/category/retail/ Retail Trends blog is run by market research company Forrester Research from Cambridge, USA, and sales representatives worldwide. Blog if focused on in-depth research reports, providing trends and predictions of the industry's direction. Independent Retailer https://independentretailer.com/ Independent Retailer is a powerful news resource from the Sumner Communications company from the USA. Independent Retailer delivers news and stories targeted to retailers' everyday needs like new products, merchandise and technology trends, marketing, management, and more. Retail Customer Experience https://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/ Retail Customer Experience is a blog about the customers run by Networld Media Group from the USA. Retailers can gain a lot of insights on how to provide a positive experience for their customers. National Retail Federation https://nrf.com/retail-insights-and-trends Retail insights and trends blog from The National Retail Federation(NRF), the largest retail trade association in the United States. RetailWire https://retailwire.com/ RetailWire is a retail news site. RetailWire has a section of business tips for retailers and a selection of editorials on the news that affects retailers.
  9. ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning, software that allows small businesses to replace the various information systems, programs, and databases used in the enterprise and start using a single database in an ERP system. ERP software enables the use of essential business functions, such as order processing, production control, and financing. By using one technology platform and enterprise-wide database, businesses can integrate operations and achieve a range of economic, operational, and production advantages. Implementing an ERP system demands careful planning to make the targeted benefits and minimize the risk of project failure. The advantage of ERP software is that it provides various departments of your company with up-to-date information about its activities. In many small businesses, each unit has its information system, creating databases that other groups cannot access or share data. For example, when an enterprise processes a customer's order, various departments, such as sales, production, and shipment, must re-enter and seek information about inventory levels, lead times, and customer requirements. With ERP, all relevant data is available to these departments, eliminating the need to re-enter data, reducing the risk of errors, increasing productivity, and speeding up order execution time. Having consistent data improves the speed and quality of business decisions. Your management team can distinguish any potential production bottlenecks that may affect delivery time or productivity levels. Financial managers receive an immediate, up-to-date picture of orders, work in progress, and inventory to improve business planning. Production planning staff can effectively manage inventory levels according to requests and delivery schedules. HR managers can determine the need for recruitment or redeployment according to changing business needs. Managers have an overall picture of their activities to enable them to make productive investment and resource allocation decisions and respond quickly to changes in business opportunities. SAP Business One SAP Business One is an ERP for small and medium-sized enterprises that the German company SAP SE sells. As an ERP solution, it aims to automate essential business functions in financials, operations, and human resources. SAP Business One is arranged into 15 functional modules, covering the typical features in a business organization. Each module responsible for specific business tasks on its own but is linked to the other modules where applicable. NetSuite NetSuite from Oracle helps manage mission-critical processes, allowing businesses to react to new market opportunities. NetSuite ERP gives companies visibility and control of their business at financials, supply chain management, billing, and more. NetSuite ERP supports back-office operations, including financial, human resources, procurement, orders, inventory, shipping, and billing. Dynamics GP Microsoft Dynamics GP is an ERP software package marketed in North and South America, UK and Ireland, the Middle East, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. It is used in many additional countries with partner supported localizations. Acumatica ERP Acumatica's Cloud ERP lets you manage your business, review all customer interactions, and obtain proactive business reports and insights from a web-enabled device. Acumatica headquarters is in the USA and other offices located throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Odoo Odoo is an ERP that includes CRM, e-commerce, billing, accounting, manufacturing, warehouse, project management, and inventory management. There is a community version as Open Source, and also a proprietary "Enterprise" version, which has extra in North America (USA, Mexico), Europe (Luxemburg), and Asia (UAE, India and Hong Kong). Sage X3 Sage X3 is an enterprise resource planning product developed by Sage Group aimed at established businesses. Automation can be implemented between processes in ERP, such as sales and financial management, to reduce the manual time spent on data entry and tedious communication among departments. Zoho Zoho is not technically ERP but called a Business Operating System – a collection of business processes used in many companies predominantly small to medium businesses. Zoho Corporation is an Indian software development company. Scoro Scoro is an all-in-one business management software that combines project management with time and team management, sales, billing, and professional services automation. The company has offices in London, New York, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius.
  10. Takeaway bought Just Eat in January 2020, and now companies are in the process of merging.
  11. Aggressive expansion of large retail chains leaves less and less market space for individual food stores. But they have undeniable competitive advantages. How to use them? In many cities all over the world, chain supermarkets grow rapidly, and they gradually lure customers from small stores. Their "baits" are low prices, a rich assortment of goods, and more comfortable shopping conditions. Of course, not everyone can resist the unequal struggle with the monsters of the market. Nevertheless, world practice shows that convenience stores can coexist peacefully with large shopping centers and supermarkets. After all, convenience stores or corner stores have several advantages over their larger counterparts. The most important is territorial proximity to consumers. Marketers estimate that if it takes more than 10 minutes to get to the supermarket, most people will prefer to purchase in a closer home store. Right assortment To best meet the needs of customers and make them spend more, the owner of a convenient store needs to understand who makes purchases from him and why. The first group of customers is those who purchase something for immediate consumption. As a rule, these are young people who buy ready-made food or drinks. The second group is those who shop in the supermarket once a week for food. These people go to convenience stores only for short-lasting products, such as bread, milk, vegetables, and fruits. The third segment is consumers who make all their purchases near the house. Among them, there may be people who do not have cars and, so the opportunity to go to a remote supermarket arises. This group includes pensioners and intensively working men and women who do not have time for great shopping. You have to form an assortment based on which customer group takes a more significant segment. There is no reason to compete with supermarkets, overloading shelves with goods. To satisfy the needs of visitors of a convenience store, present no more than three types of products of the same category in different price segments with an average assortment of about 3,000 items. Don't strive to take away from people the joy of weekly shopping when they go around the supermarket and fill up the cart with various products. We need to allow people to make small purchases quickly. Therefore, the assortment of small stores should consist of 2500-3000 of the most popular, recognizable, and high-quality goods. It is possible to determine what specific products consumers can't go without, by analyzing management information about sales and using questionnaires. You can ask the regular visitors to fill out a simple questionnaire for several product categories, and thank them for participating in the survey with some modest gift. Occupying shelf space with poorly selling products is an inadmissible luxury. According to research, many people stated that they do not like to visit a convenient store just because "everything is piled up, and it is complicated to choose." In such a case, you can reduce about 30% of the assortment, and the store will only benefit from this. A large number of poorly selling products increases the store's inventory. It leads to the need to increase storage space; working capital is frozen, some products deteriorate. Also, with too extensive of an assortment, the owners of small stores do not have the opportunity to make large-scale purchases of the same goods at a discount. Contrarily, the competent organization of the logistics process allows you to free up valuable trading space, quickly turn out money and always have fresh products on sale, which is especially appreciated by customers. It is best to automate the process of purchasing goods entirely. Loyverse allows you to set a low stock alert for each item. Upon reaching this level, the system sends a notification to the owner's email with items that have reached a low stock value. For example, if you have 20 items of a cookie in stock and fill in the low stock field with the number 3, you will receive a notification the next day at 10 am, after the balance reaches three or less. And the functionality of the Advanced inventory allows you to go even further and automatically enter all the goods into a purchase order if their level is below a specified minimum. Automation allows you to always maintain a stable assortment of the store, which affects the increase in customer loyalty. People must be sure that when they come to the store, they can always buy familiar products. A good option for the formation of the range for tiny convenience stores is specialization. Do not duplicate the range of neighboring outlets. This only increases competition. If the neighboring store is "strong" in meat, then it's better not to expand the assortment of this product. Instead, get another braking position, for example, fish, which provides consumers with choices that they will not find in a supermarket or another nearby convenience store. Time-saving Saving purchase time is another essential factor that can be used as a competitive advantage over a supermarket. To buy one carton of milk at the supermarket, we need to make a trip from the entrance to the shelves with dairy products, make a difficult choice among 10-50 items, then pay for the purchase. For this reason, many people tend to make single purchases at a store near their home, although the prices for goods are usually 5-10% higher than in chain supermarkets. Compare how much time people spend to make a single purchase in a small convenience store and a supermarket. This action takes, on average, 3-5 minutes. In a supermarket, it requires 2-3 times more time. However, all these advantages may not be available if there is a queue in the corner store. The more simple a person can make a purchase, the more willingly he or she visits the store. If the buyer is facing a complicated process of buying goods, it reduces loyalty to this store. The most natural solution to the queue problem is to increase the number of cashiers. However, this is far from being always beneficial from an economic point of view. For example, if queues arise only for a few hours when people return from work, the store owner will still have to pay the extra cashier for the downtime. If trading in a store is conducted through the counter, it is necessary to form the assortment in the departments so that the distribution of customers among them becomes uniform. - To do this, you can sell products in several departments. For example, juice - in the department of fruits and vegetables, milk - in the gastronomic department, etc. The most radical way to deal with queues is to organize a self-service trade. Contrary to popular belief, a self-service scheme can be implemented even in a store with a small area. Nowadays, using modern POS systems that work on Android and iOS tablets, for example, Loyverse POS, can make the sales process easy and fast. Loyverse allows you to connect a separate barcode scanner (which is convenient if you have an influx of customers) or to use the built-in tablet camera (if you do have a small customer flow and want to save on equipment). Selling goods by scanning barcodes significantly increases the speed of customer service at convenience stores and also helps to avoid errors in entering incorrect prices. Customer focus The unique competitive advantage of convenience stores, which cannot be realized in any supermarket, is a particular attitude towards the customer. Since the contingent of buyers in small stores is stable, their sellers know regular customers. And if you want, you can easily remember the preferences of each person. As for supermarkets, it is impossible to provide an individual approach to the client there, no matter how high their level of service may be. A person who gets into the supermarket has the feeling that he was on a well-functioning conveyor. In it, service is put on flow, while convenience stores can work with each client individually. It is essential to create good conditions for sellers: to maintain a warm atmosphere in the team, a decent level of salary. When the seller comes to work with joy, this condition is transferred to customers. If the seller of a small store is attentive to each specific buyer, over time, a particular communication ritual may develop: "Hello! It’s been a while since I last saw you here!” “For you, as usual?” Everyone is pleased when someone recognizes you and gives you individual attention. Buying goods in such a store is psychologically more comfortable. And for such loyal customers, it becomes much more difficult to lure to some other place. Loyverse POS also allows you to create notes on the preferences of registered customers, as well as view their history of previous purchases. It helps sellers to take care of their customers and provide them with the best service. The store's work schedule must match the rhythm of the life of the targeted group of customers. For example, if a shop is open until 19-20 o'clock, although the nearby living people work until later, this means that those working people are automatically excluded from the number of potential visitors. You can attract customers to the convenience store with incentives. A loyalty system is a universal tool used by almost all large retail networks when discounts are offered to customers, participants of the system. The same can be done in a small store. Loyverse POS has a built-in loyalty system; it allows you to set the percentage that will be given to the customer’s account from each purchase as a bonus. The buyer can exchange these bonuses for a discount on subsequent purchases. It motivates the buyers to return and thereby become regular customers. You can also give customers gifts after they have made several purchases for a certain amount: a cake, a box of chocolates, etc. The gain from implementing such programs is noticeably superior to investments. Memorable events So, suppose that a good assortment is formed in the store: sellers are courteous, customers are served quickly, etc. What else can a store owner do to tie a customer tight? Studies show that in residential areas, small shops can play the role of social centers. They can implement all kinds of entertainment and information programs - for example, holidays for children, evenings for senior citizens. If some exciting events regularly occur, this will attract attention. It is convenient to remind about the store’s existence and the promotions held in it on social networks, as well as through thematic mailings to regular customers. It is inexpensive, and it brings good returns.
  12. Have you opened up a grocery store, but ended up not making enough profit to cover for rent and staff costs? If the problem is relevant to you, it's time to start promoting. Let's see how you can attract customers to the grocery store. Small grocery stores are finding it harder to survive among giant rivals, such as supermarket chains. But it is possible to compete with them with simple solutions. How to solve the most crucial mistakes in running a grocery store Let's start with mistakes that, consciously or unconsciously, you might have made at the start. In order not to ruin a business, you will need to fix them. The faster you do this, the better for the company. Problem: The store venue is situated in a not-so-right place; the building looks old and unattractive and is difficult to access. Solution: To promote a grocery store in the wrong place, make a significant overhaul. Make out a driveway, install lights, repaint the walls, etc. Problem: Employees in the store are rude to customers, trying to sell low-quality goods. Customers go to competitors. Solution: Fire employees with unprofessional attitudes. Install cameras on the floor. Add standards of serving customers in the employment contract. Problem: There are expired products on the shelves. Vegetables and fruits are rotten. With high competition, customers do not return to the store a second time. Solution: Since it is impossible to raise sales of products under such conditions of service, train employees to keep order: incorporate a workflow that requires employees to remove the expired goods from the shelves. Problem: Sellers cheat buyers by overrating goods and inflating prices. It is impossible to promote a small grocery store in such conditions - information on word of mouth is spread instantly. Solution: Control cashiers. Arrange regular checks and impose sanctions. Make fine for the first mistake, dismissal for repeated ones. Experienced retail market participants give advice. How to properly promote a grocery store: recommendations that work Try methods that have already proven their effectiveness. Invite customers to tastings Take several products from the same group and have the customers choose the best one. You will solve two problems: creating an assortment and attracting customers. To promote a grocery store, select several items from the assortment that are new to the city: an exciting variety of cheese, cookies from a small pastry shop, village milk, etc. Announce the tasting 5-6 days in advance. There are two conditions for success: the product is new; you give it a try for free. Promotions and discounts Do not think that regular promotions and discounts will ruin the store. Even if you reduce the price quite a bit, demand will increase. Besides, sales allow you to get rid of surplus goods on time. If you cut the price tag for products whose shelf life is about to expire in 3-4 months, you don't have to throw them out. Another tip on how to promote your business is to develop discount cards for the loyalty program. If a customer knows that he has bonuses in your store, he will come to you next time, not to competitors. The correct display of goods Be sure to think about the proximity of products in the store and their location on the shelves. The goal of merchandising is to increase sales. Have you ever wondered why bakery products are at the end of the hall? The goal is simple - to catch a buyer who came for bread for delicacies and sweets. The rule works, so using it is imperative. Food delivery Offer the sale of products with delivery to customers’ homes or offices, and make it possible to order by mail/phone remotely. To attract a group of people of retirement age, offer them this service at a competitive price. You do not spend much time bringing food to a resident of the neighboring house, but increase sales and the amount of average check. Congratulations and notification of the receiving goods Regular communication with customers will allow you to promote a grocery store in a residential area. Congratulate buyers on calendar holidays, and inform them about the new arrival of goods. To collect contact information, use standard profiles or accumulative cards. To participate in the bonus program, the client fills out a standard form with questions. Pleasant aromas If the customer is hungry, he automatically makes more purchases than planned. You can easily create a business successfully by such a simple method as using intense and pleasant aromas: baked goods, such as fresh bread, and other finished products. Sales will increase by 15%. Clients spend, on average, 18% more time in the store. Large shopping carts Entrepreneurs who have built a successful retail business have long noticed that sales grow with the average check if you offer customers a more extensive shopping cart. Some stores went further. Now on the shopping floors, there are small shopping carts for children. Their secret is simple. Firstly, children do not distract the parents, making them not rush, and secondly, they make their purchases that were not included in the plans of adults. Company information on Google Maps The next way to promote is to add the company to Google maps. Hundreds of customers are looking for store information over the Internet using a PC or mobile device. It's strange not to take advantage of this, especially when the service is free. All you need to do is fill out a few fields in the directory. After the information is moderated, it will be available in a search. How to evaluate the performance of the grocery business? For raising revenue in a grocery store, it is essential to know what level it is currently at. How to decipher the leading indicators of a business. The volume of sales. This is the leading indicator of transactions completed in the store for the selected period. Successful grocery store owners keep records not only in money values but also in the number of goods sold (in pieces or weights). The advantage of this approach is that it is easy to notice when the number of products sold changes up / down without being tied to prices. Sales per square meter. This parameter shows the income for the selected period, divided by the area of the shopping floor (in sq. meters). To make it easier to do the analysis, let's see an example. Let's say you rent a 100-square-meter room. Revenue for the month amounted to $300,000. Thus, each square meter brought $3000 per month. This indicator is changing every month. If the dynamics are positive, this indicates the success of the business. Otherwise, you need to think about how to promote a grocery store. Conversion rate. It shows the ratio between the number of visitors and shoppers. Let's say 200 people visited the store in a day; 150 of them made purchases. Divide 150 by 200 and multiply by 100. It turns out that the store's conversion per day was 75%. If you measure the conversion regularly, you can understand in which direction the store is moving and whether competition is affecting your revenue. Average receipt amount. This indicator is obtained by dividing the revenue by the number of paid receipts for the selected period. The average receipt amount reduces if the discounts are applied. However, it can increase if, for example, you offer customers some goods directly at the checkout. It is quite simple to organize such a system correctly. The number of returns. This figure is higher in non-food stores. If returns occur at the grocery store, it's terrible, especially in small towns and residential areas, because information about low-quality and expired goods spread instantly. And if you are dealing with returns, it means that your sellers are deceiving customers and do not remove spoiled products from the shelves on time. It's time to take action! Labor-to-revenue ratio. It is the ratio of staff costs to sales. It's easy to count. Divide the salary of all employees (plus tax and social security contributions) by the monthly revenue and multiply by 100. If the store income is reduced due to growing payroll intensity, review, and optimize costs. Specific of a grocery store Every business has its problems. Since it is tough to raise a grocery store without knowing the specifics of an activity, let's see the main nuances. Daily purchase and receiving of goods Given the high inventory turnover, dozens of purchases will have to be made daily, and the same number of purchase orders will be processed. In this case, all products must be entered into the automated inventory system. These processes take a lot of time and money if you do not debug the logistics to the smallest detail. High level of shortages It is the pitfall of business, which has crushed thousands of entrepreneurs. The problem is related to the theft of buyers and sellers, errors in the receiving of goods, and the work of cashiers. A good Point of Sale system is helping to solve this, along with a system of liability and control equipment (for example, video surveillance). Expiration date control Since dairy, baked goods, and meat products quickly deteriorate, it is necessary to establish a control system for expiration dates and timely decommissioning damaged goods. It would be interesting to know your experience of running a grocery store. You can share it in the comments section.

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