In most retail stores, much of the work happens in the front on the sales floor. This includes greeting and helping customers, stocking products, changing shelf tags, selling items, and keeping the store clean. The interaction between retail employees and customers is important, as is keeping the store clean and stocked, to encourage more sales. However, there are still some tasks that many retailers keep in the back office.
The back office of a retail store has always been a place where certain administrative tasks are done, such as checking stock and planograms, verifying prices, and printing out shelf tags and other signage. The reason these tasks were relegated to the back office is simply because that is where the computer and printer are kept. Retail stores relied on desktop computers and printers to complete these tasks and an employee would have to walk to the back office to use the computer, taking them off the sales floor. Retail stores do not have to keep operating like this.
Moving Back Office Duties to the Front
The more time retail store employees spend in the back office taking care of these administrative tasks, the less time they are available to your customers on the sales floor. Retail stores can maximize the time employees spend on the sales floor and move the back office duties to the front with a centralized system that can integrate all computers, handheld scanners, printers, tablets, and mobile devices.
Mobile devices such as the Zebra XSLATE R12 can be used anywhere in your store with ECS5 from ECS Global to manage your retail communication
ECS5 from ECS Global, Inc. is a retail point of sale system that manages all the communications from a store to their customers in one place. Within this system, you can manage electronic and print signage, multimedia displays, electronic shelf labels, and other media within your store and across multiple locations for accurate and consistent messaging. ECS5 also uses Android and iOS mobile operating systems that allows you to integrate any device or computer including kiosks, handheld scanners, computers, printers and tablets such as the Zebra XSLATE R12 into the system. Retail employees can take tasks traditionally done in the back office to the front by accessing the system using this array of devices.
Benefits of Moving the Back Office Tasks to the Front
Two things that contribute greatly to driving sales in retail stores are the availability of employees to talk to and interact with customers, and the effective use of consistent, up-to-date signage. When employees must go to the back office to check stock or print new signage and shelf tags, they are not available to the customer.
More retail stores are realizing that their employees can be utilized more effectively by moving back office tasks to the front and keeping them on the sales floor. Retail solutions like ECS5 allow retail stores to move employees to the front as they can complete these tasks on the floor while being available to help customers.
The following are the benefits of moving back office tasks to the front:
- Keeping store associates on the floor increases their availability to customers which improves the customer experience. Trips to the back office can be time consuming and take employees away from the customers.
- In the past, there was a requirement to use equipment in the back office such as the PC and printer, but this is no longer a requirement. Using modern mobile technology, it is easy to put traditional back office functions into the hands of the users as they walk the store.
- Mobile tech is cost-effective, and it enables integration of media, planograms, stock, pricing, sign printing, and mobile devices to accomplish tasks that cannot be achieved without it.
- Employees are already familiar with using mobile devices which makes the shift to a mobile system much easier. The mobile devices used are very similar to the mobile phones and tablets people use every day and these systems even allow store associates to use their own mobile devices.
- There is less of a need to print documents with the exception of shelf edge labels. However, electronic shelf labels can replace traditional paper labels, particularly for areas with high price volatility. Even if your store does still use paper shelf tags, new ones can be printed on the sales floor with mobile printers.
- An array of different devices can be used for this purpose such as handheld scanners, mobile phones using IOS or Android, computers, laptops, printers and tablets such as the Zebra XSLATE R12
Move Back Office Tasks to the Front with ECS5
Mobile retail solutions like ECS5 allow retail stores to bring their back office tasks to the front. The system seamlessly integrates all mobile devices and printers so that traditional back office tasks can be done anywhere within the store.
Mobile tech can guide users through required tasks in store walk order which enables efficient routes through the store for a multitude of different
tasks such as:
- Ticket printing: Shelf edge tags and other signage can be printed in the front with mobile printers.
- Product picking: Users can pull out an ordered product from the stock in the back.
- Planogram building and resets: Your planogram can be integrated into ECS5 which means that you can manage planogram building and resets from connected mobile devices.
- Price verification/ shelf edge label checking: Integrating the planogram into the system will also integrate the pricing of each item which can be checked and managed from mobile devices.
- Product location: The floor plan of the store will also be integrated into the system with the planogram which allows users to quickly look up and locate a specific item.
- Stock checking: The integration of the planogram will also include the number of products in stock which allows users to quickly check the stock of any item.
- ESL product association: Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) can be updated in real time to reflect price changes.
Many retail stores are experiencing the benefits of moving their back office tasks to the front with mobile retail solutions like ECS5. Mobile tech allows store associates to effectively manage communications, including shelf tags, from the sales floor with mobile devices. The ability to ensure consistent messaging while being available to customers on the sales floor will help improve the customer experience and strengthen your brand.
ECS5 is used in more than 25,000 stores around the globe. Contact our professionals at ECS to learn more about how ECS5 can benefit your business.