AI in Retail: Beyond The Hype and Into Reality for Store Operations.
The Top 10 AI use cases that Retail Operators at every level told us would transform their daily work. AI for Retail Operations is...
Managing performance in large retail and hospitality businesses is often a disjointed, inefficient and analog process. As a result, 5% of revenue and 8% of costs are leaked instore each week. Quorso takes this fundamental operational process and makes it integrated, agile and digital from end-to-end, to capture this lost opportunity.
Quorso handles the heavy-lifting of the upfront analytics to identify performance issues, guides Store Managers to take effective action, and enables Regional Managers to coach them on the fly. Quorso’s intelligent algorithms measure the impact of every action taken and the platform then automatically captures successful ones in a company playbook, so that deeply embedded employee expertise gets shared and scaled across the business over time.
A survey we conducted revealed that Store Managers are spending an average of 6 hours per week, (i.e., 15% of their time), analyzing data reports and KPI dashboards to try to surface improvement opportunities.
The Quorso analytics layer continuously conducts 30 billion calculations per week, for each of our larger retail clients. The opportunities this surfaces are store-specific, prioritized accordingly and change weekly. These weekly opportunity shortlists are then delivered directly – via the Quorso app – to the relevant Store Manager.
Our data-driven analytics intelligence has revealed several key areas for in-store improvement amongst our customers. Of all the issues identified by Quorso:
The Store Managers we surveyed said that they typically agree 4-5 actions to take each week to improve results. However, in 85% of cases, they said these changes are not systematically documented week to week.
Our user engagement metrics show that 90% of managers using Quorso take weekly actions to improve their store’s performance. All of this action is captured digitally and centrally by Quorso’s turnkey SMART planning workflow.
Clearly, when presented with relevant and timely opportunities for business improvement, in combination with direct coaching on how to reach these goals, employees are not just able to take the initiative, they also feel motivated to do so.
What’s more, on average 90% of the issues Quorso surfaces can be effectively fixed in-store, without the need for intervention from other teams, (central operations, supply chain, marketing, etc.). The challenge when it comes to taking effective action is evidently more about helping Store Managers to know where, why and how to focus on specific improvement opportunities, than it is about tackling chain-wide operational issues.
Impact is renownedly hard to measure. Of the Store Managers we surveyed, 78% said they typically find it hard to prove whether any improvement they deliver is a direct result of the actions they take, or simply due to changes in the market or market noise.
Our own customer data analysis shows that a typical Store’s revenue line bounces +/-3% vs last year each week, and +/-10-20% at a category level. So it is understandable why accurately proving impact is a challenge.
Quorso’s methodology for calculating improvement takes into account market volatility and external factors, (weather, roadworks, etc.) and adjusts for comparable peer improvement in the same time frame. This robust weekly measurement reveals that our customers are seeing a 1-2% revenue increase per Store per month, by using Quorso to run their performance management process.
When we asked Store Managers in our survey how much interaction they have with other Store Managers 82% said “none at all”. The result of this is that individual Store successes remain isolated and fail to deliver broader business impact.
Quorso customers benefit from a centrally curated playbook, that grows and gets fine-tuned the longer they are up and running. Of the 8-10 action plans that each Store Manager typically makes every week, 60-65% are both strong (intelligent, clearly documented plans) and successful (plans that deliver improvement). These clear and effective plans are automatically embedded in that company’s playbook and shared across the business with Store Managers facing similar challenges.
Our granular measurement enables us to accurately calculate ROI, without needing to rely on 3rd party research companies. Our current customers have typically seen a return on their investment within a month of being up and running. Performance management technology doesn’t need to require a year of heavy integration efforts. Quorso was set up in 3-4 weeks for each of our new clients in 2019, and – after a 20min training webinar – 95% of all new users were able to start successfully engaging with the tool right away.
As we bring an increasing number of major UK and US retail and hospitality customers on board, their Quorso usage and results data continues to prove – over and over – the importance of a trackable weekly performance process, the value of clear prioritization at the store level, and the need for accurate and ongoing measurement and scaling.