The retail landscape is changing due to technological advancements, and in-store retailers must embrace these developments to increase their total profitability immediately.

Fremont, CA: The pandemic's rapid surge in ecommerce volume enhanced many merchants' revenue growth, but many are struggling to limit the expenses of new sorts of order fulfillment. The increase in ecommerce over the previous year has forced a rethinking of how retailers handle leveraging store personnel, locations, and inventory. The pandemic's influence is hastening the change of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Associates were transformed into pickers and shippers, stores were transformed into mini-fulfillment centers, and in-store goods were progressively made available online.

Here are the key steps for successful in-store retailing:

Retailers must increase the profitability of store-based fulfillment

Margins have been stretched as BOPIS, curbside pickup, and other modalities of fulfillment have grown significantly: According to 79 percent of retailers polled in a survey, the profitability of orders fulfilled from stores was reduced somewhat or severely between Q1 and Q2 2020. With 80 percent of buyers anticipating utilizing BOPIS and curbside pick up more in the next six months, merchants must identify and address inefficiencies in order to boost profitability.

Give retail staff the tools they need to communicate with customers digitally

Despite the fact that 80 percent of shoppers said they were likely or very likely to have digital interactions with store associates in the next six months, 54 percent of retailers do not currently provide their associates with digital tools to reach out via email, text, or social media, and 81 percent do not allow store associates to contact a customer about an online order.

It is vital to have a smooth return experience

According to the survey, returning an item was the No. 2 motivator for future store visits by customers, trailing only the demand for same-day products. However, 60 percent of the merchants polled do not allow customers to return or exchange an item during the checkout process, creating an unneeded barrier to turning the return transaction from a loss to a profit.

In-store inventory management must be as precise as warehouse inventory management

Inventory accuracy was regarded as a major goal by 85 percent of surveyed merchants in order to boost BOPIS and curbside pickup choices. Retailers experienced difficulties because in-store inventory statistics were not as accurate as warehouse numbers.