Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2016 56 Parker's Building Supply uses technology for many administrative tasks, leaving staff more time to spend with customers. By the time you walk in the doors of your store, your manager has assigned out those tasks, and several employees are hard at work completing each one (in between helping customers, of course). Two of your newer employees are spending any down time working on the next couple of modules in your training app, making sure they are up-to-date with product knowledge and store procedures. They're using their phones to study these modules, allowing them to stay near the salesfloor and ready to help a customer at any moment. Do these sound like scenarios you'd like to replicate? With today's smart technology, it's entirely possible that these what-if situations can become a reality. Using smart home technology to make a home more efficient and secure is a popular topic with consumers right now (to learn more, see Page 78). In the same vein, there are many technologies available today that can make your store more efficient, more secure and more profitable. And now, you can use that technology to create a better customer experience and streamline your day-to-day operations. On the following pages, we'll look at how one forward-thinking retailer is using innovative technologies in multiple areas of his business, and we'll talk with industry experts who are on the cutting edge of some of the tools available to retailers today. Visit TheRedT.com/smart-store-video to find a video that further details what you can do in each of the six different areas—loss prevention, payment, smart marketing, employee training, data security and operations—we discuss in this story. Keep in mind that you don't have to be a larger retailer with multiple locations to incorporate these high-tech ideas, as many of them are scalable. Even trying an app to help all employees work together to manage and complete a daily to-do list can be a good start, and that requires no more than downloading the app (which is often free, or costs only a few dollars) and setting it up for your team to use. As technology changes the retail landscape, it's important that you look for ways to bring technology into your own store so you stay relevant to your customers, and stay competitive in the years ahead.

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