Published 30 Aug 2022
What is Store Operations?
Store operations or retail operations is a functional term that refers to all essential activities that keep a store running smoothly everyday. Store managers are primarily responsible for ensuring that the store stays operational and profitable.
This store operations audit template is used to evaluate the store, employees and it’s other operations. Store managers and owners can use this template assess if everything is running according to store protocols and standard procedures. Utilize this template and be able to:
- Inspect the product and store layout, promotional materials, and window displays – check if they are up to date, appropriate, and appealing to your customers.
- Assess all employees’ adherence to company protocols, safety and emergency procedures, and check if they demonstrate product knowledge.
- Check if storage materials and electrical systems are in good working condition.
- Conclude the inspection with a summary of observations and affixed digital signature and finally generate the store audit report.
- You can preview the sample store audit report for your reference.
- Use the SafetyCulture (iAuditor) Retail Audit App’s scheduling feature to make sure you never miss conducting another store audit and use analytics to watch for trends and identify frequently failed items.
In this article, we will briefly discuss the following:
5 Critical Areas of Store Operations
Store operations involve various components that contribute to ensuring that functions run properly.
This refers to the store’s overall look. As a store manager, providing an enjoyable shopping experience for the customers is one of the major parts of running a store. Providing customers with a good shopping experience can increase store profitability. Below are aspects of store design:
- Location – Choosing the right location is essential to a store’s success. Two things you will need to consider are visibility and customer traffic pattern. Better visibility can translate to better chances of your store earning profit. Furthermore, the location of your store not only affects profit, it can also affect consumer impressions.
- Layout – This refers to the exterior and interior design of your store. The layout design of your store can greatly influence your consumers’ buying decisions. Posting signages both outside and inside are good examples of a good store layout, as this helps customers navigate through your store.
- Visual merchandising and display – This refers to how you present your products on display. An organized and attractive display of your products increases the likelihood of customer purchase.
- Store atmosphere – A pleasing store atmosphere entails factors such as proper lighting, appropriate music, ventilation, helpful staff, and the consistent overall maintenance of your store. Creating a pleasant atmosphere will boost your chances of repeat business.
Critical to your business’ success is getting the right people to work in your store. Whether it be customer-facing or internal teams, store managers need to ensure that their staff is:
- Adequately sized and properly scheduled
- Qualified and driven
- Properly trained
- Matched to the best-fit roles
Store managers should regularly evaluate employees, and observe how they perform their duties, interact with customers, and follow safety regulations and store protocols. This will be essential in determining which employee needs more training, or deserves a promotion. It can also provide valuable insight on areas for improvement.
Inventory & Stock Management
One of the essential responsibilities in the store is managing stock and inventory. The goal is to ensure that there is always a sufficient amount of products available to meet the demands of the market while avoiding spoilage and overstocking. Store managers must keep track of inventory and stock to ensure that all merchandise is accounted for, indicating whether a product is damaged, discounted, or stolen to prevent loss of inventory and stock.
Customers are the biggest asset to any retail store, which is why the quality of customer service should be of the highest standard. Customer service is the term for how a store treats its customers. Excellent customer service increases sales, develops customer loyalty, and boosts store and product reputation. Store managers should give their staff the appropriate training on providing good customer service.
Safety and Security
Accidents and malicious acts are not uncommon for stores. There is probability for incidents such as shoplifting, burglary, power outage, and other events that can harm both the store and, worse, its staff and customers. There are plenty of risks involved in running a store, but most of these can be controlled by implementing proper safety and security measures. Performing checks before and after store operations can help mitigate incidents and increase accountability.
Optimizing for Operational Efficiency in Retail Stores
Critical to the success of stores, operational efficiency is the ability to provide a seamless and consistent experience. Optimizing for operational efficiency can reduce costs, increase profits, and improve the in-store experience. Below are 3 of the many ways stores can achieve operational efficiency:
Digitize time-consuming tasks
In this technological era, there is a wider variety of solutions available that takes efficiency and quality to a whole new level, minimizing human error and time spent on completing operational tasks. It is best to take advantage of these technological advances, and while they initially entail time and resources to integrate to store operations, the returns will be bountiful.
Automate business processes
Integrating and fully automating business processes such as inventory check, timesheets, retail audits, and other responsibilities can help stores streamline and communicate store conditions. Standardize and streamline store operations to mitigate incidents and reduce costs.
Store owners depend on their staff to fulfill a wide variety of tasks involved in running the store. Equipping staff with automated tools can help save time and boost productivity.
Operational efficiency is achieved with the support of automated processes and reliable technology. SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) is a versatile checklist and inspections app that supports stores in achieving operational excellence by delivering high-quality products and ensuring a top-notch shopping experience.
See how iAuditor is being used in the retail industry by Coles– an Australian supermarket giant:
Featured Store Operations Templates
A retail store operations checklist is used to evaluate the following:
- Employee’s product knowledge
- Facility cleanliness,
- Window displays appeal
- Safety of item storage
Store managers may download and customize this template accordingly to fit the store’s standards and needs.
Use this store daily checklist as a guide upon opening to ensure that everything meets store standards. With this ready-to-use template, you can:
- Confirm retail opening tasks that include conducting toolbox talk meetings
- Make sure that all merchandise on display is clean, undamaged, and up to date
- Check if electronic devices such as the Point of Sale (POS) system, cash registers, printers, and phones are functioning properly
- Ensure all employees are wearing the correct uniforms
- Inspect facilities' cleanliness and orderliness
Use this store daily checklist upon closing the store to ensure that everything is in the proper order. With this pre-existing checklist, you can:
- Ensure that the store is secured, clean, and in good working condition
- Confirm that product inventory is updated and all accounted for
- Make sure that all store equipment is shut down while alarm systems and surveillance cameras are working properly
This store inventory template is used to create a basic list of your asset and can be used across different industries. This template allows you to perform the following:
- Add an item to your inventory list;
- Record labels or product numbers;
- Capture photos of the products;
- List the quantity and net value;
- Complete the audit by confirming the total number of inventory items and its value; and
- Affix a digital signature to validate your audit.
Use this customer satisfaction survey to collect feedback from customers. Store managers can benefit from using this survey to gain customer insight on the store’s appearance, products and services offered, pricing, staff, and the overall customer shopping experience.