The 3 ways retail strategy is changing, and what it means for the Field Leader role.
Field leaders are the glue between strategy and execution. As retail strategy is evolving, so is their role.
Every store we talk to is suffering from data overload. Retail managers don’t know where to focus their attention. Sales are lost, customers feel disappointed.
According to Microsoft in 2015, the human attention span is now just 8 seconds, the same length as a goldfish. Worrying as this may sound, it’s hard to deny when I look around.
When I started at McKinsey in 1999, execs expected 20-30 page presentations. When I left 20 years later, they were complaining about anything longer than two. Baby Boomers watched broadcast TV and read broadsheets, Millennials prefer Netflix, YouTube and blogs, while Gen Z watch TikTok and get their news from Instagram. My phone used to be for making calls. Now it pings me every 30 seconds with a call, a text, an email, a whatsapp, a Slack, a LinkedIn alert…
As life has got faster, busier, and more fragmented, we no longer have the time or cognitive capacity to absorb, analyze, and digest information. Instead, the demand for quick, easy, and intuitive interactions has sky-rocketed.
But while we are all moving towards bitesize simplicity, the retail industry seems to be doing the opposite. Management used to center around the P&L, monthly meetings, and annual reports. Now, with more access to data, this has exploded into multiple dashboards, charts, and spreadsheets. This data overload not only takes store managers 4-5 hours a week just to analyze, but also leaves them feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and confused.
They are also having to multi-task and tackle issues on several fronts all at once, meaning no single task gets their full attention or brainpower. And this has been proven time and again (in this case by Stanford University) to result in poor performance.
The retail operators we speak to are all focused on finding ways to streamline and simplify. Information needs to be bitesize – obvious to understand, quick to digest, and easy to act on. And issues need to be dealt with one at a time, according to their scale. But stores are complex – tens of thousands of SKUs, hundreds of customers, dozens of colleagues, and now more omnichannel responsibilities as well (online fulfillment, click & collect, returns). So simplification and prioritization are easy to aspire to, but a lot harder to deliver. And when either is done wrong it leads to lost sales, staff churn, and unhappy customers.
Holding back all that valuable data from the stores is clearly an option. But how about letting technology do the heavy lifting, so that store colleagues don’t have to? The human brain has a finite capacity to process data. Give it too much and it becomes overwhelmed, can’t figure out what information is relevant, and ultimately makes poor decisions. Software, on the other hand, is specifically designed to handle this.
That’s where Quorso comes in. Our Agile Stores app turns reams of retail data into a handful of personalized, prioritized actions for each store. Managers can see at a glance where to focus their efforts and exactly what actions they need to take each day to drive Sales and improve other KPIs. They no longer need to solve multiple issues simultaneously and are shown the exact impact of everything they do. Store teams feel liberated, confident, and motivated, and store performance sky-rockets!
Looking for a simple solution to your store operations?
Quorso is honestly so simple even a goldfish could use it 😉