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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Takeaway bought Just Eat in January 2020, and now companies are in the process of merging.
  4. Online ordering and delivery services are growing in popularity all over the world. COVID quarantine measures facilitate ordering food to eat at home habits. If you run a restaurant, pizzeria, and cafe, it is good to open a delivery channel to gain more customers and facilitate sales. There are a lot of suggestions from different companies in each city and towns. Some of them are local, some countrywide, and some work across countries. In this article, we give an overview of popular services that operate worldwide or covering several countries. There are two main categories of such services: 1. Delivery platforms They organize delivery and promotion of your food offers in their marketplace. Restaurant businesses need to receive orders, prepare meals, and give to the coming courier. But the commissions for such services are relatively high. 2. Online ordering systems - organize the online ordering process, but without delivery. In this case, you have to hold the delivery by yourself. Such systems create an online store and/or app, but they do not bring you customers. Even though online ordering systems usually provide users with various marketing instruments, you have to make marketing efforts and find customers by yourself. Uber Eats Uber Eats is an American mobile food delivery platform launched by Uber in 2014 and based in San Francisco, California. Uber Eats is available in over 6000 cities across 45 countries. All restaurant offers are collected in one marketplace for customers to choose from. Users love the simplicity of ordering and tracking the progress of delivery on the map. Foodpanda Foodpanda is a mobile food delivery marketplace owned by a Berlin-based company and operates in about 50 countries. It is primarily active in the Asia Pacific, Bulgaria, and Romania. The service allows users to select from local restaurants and place orders via its mobile applications and websites. Gloriafood GloriaFood is an online ordering system for restaurants. Service provides an ordering widget for existing websites or can create sales optimized websites. GloriaFood, a Romanian based company, has users from 140 countries. Their business model is freemium, which offers basic functionality for free and additional paid services. Zomato Zomato is a restaurant aggregator and food delivery company from India. Zomato provides information, menus, and user-reviews of restaurants and food delivery options from partner restaurants in select cities. The service is available in 24 countries in more than 10,000 cities. Glovo Glovo is a Spanish company that offers on-demand courier service that purchases, picks up, and delivers products ordered through its mobile app. It aspires to be a multi-category lifestyle app with food delivery being the most popular offering. Glovo works in more than 20 countries globally. Deliveroo Deliveroo is an online food delivery company from London, Great Britain. It operates in two hundred cities in the UK, EU countries, Australia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Kuwait. Service offers the ability for customers to order food from local restaurants through the app and track delivery. Ordering Ordering is an online ordering system, offers restaurants and groceries specialized in ordering e-commerce websites and apps. The service also has tools for optimization delivery processes. Ordering is a US company with users from more than 80 countries. Flipdish Flipdish is an online ordering system for restaurants and takeaways. The service creates a website and mobile app for online food ordering. With the Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, service has users in 12 countries mainly from Europe. DoorDash DoorDash is an American food delivery service. It works in more than 4,000 cities and offers a selection of 340,000 stores across the U.S., Canada, and Australia. MenuDrive MenuDrive is an online ordering system for restaurants and caterers. The service provides for user branded online and mobile food ordering systems. MenuDrive, with headquarters in the USA, has a wide range of customers across the USA and Canada. GrabFood GrabFood is a part of the delivery service Grab from Singapore. Customers can order food online at the website or app. Service provides restaurants and grocery stores the ability to place their offers in the marketplace, accept payments, and deliver customer orders. GrabFood operates in Southeast Asia: Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam. Menulog Menulog is Australia’s food delivery service. It operates in Australia and New Zealand. Almost 20,000 local restaurants can place their offers, and customers can order via Menulog mobile apps and websites. Orderspoon Orderspoon is an online ordering service from the USA and has more than 1000 restaurants connected. It offers a customized website as well as a mobile app. There is also a curbside pickup functionality, the option when customers can choose for their order to be brought to their vehicle. UrbanPiper UrbanPiper is an online ordering service from India. It has more than 10 thousand users across India & Middle East. UrbanPiper offers a white-labeled and customizable websites and apps for online ordering. The service also includes a content management system and CRM dashboard as well as customer segmentation and campaigning tools. Takeaway Takeaway is an online food delivery marketplace from the Netherlands, focused on connecting consumers and restaurants. The marketplace is available for consumers through mobile applications and via the website. Service works in 10 European countries (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania) and Israel. Just Eat Just Eat is an online food order and delivery service with headquarters in the United Kingdom. The company operates in 13 countries: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, France, Italy, Brazil, Spain, and Switzerland. If you have experience with other ordering and delivery services write about them in comments.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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