Nowadays most of our decisions are influenced by the web, especially online purchase of products and services. E-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and Jabong etc have made life easy for the common man. But analysis shows that an in-store customer is four times more valuable than an online customer and hence these stores will remain vital to the future of retail in an increasingly digital world.
It is well acknowledged that it is easy for retailers to sell, upsell and build lasting loyalty with consumers who visit their stores. Research shows that it can be up to 20 times easier for retailers to convert and upsell in-store than online. One such thriving store is Shoppers Stop, promoted by K Raheja Group.
Shoppers Stop is one of the largest retail chains in India. The organisation has about 10,000 employees working across 65 outlets in India. Since its inception in 1991, Shoppers Stop has not only been a pioneer in multi-brand retail space in India but has also introduced various other retail formats. It has been constantly innovating and introducing best practices in retail.
The company has presence in 28 cities but looks forth to cater to other major cities and enter smaller towns with premium brands. Shoppers Stop aims to have a collaborative platform that enables ideation, knowledge sharing and an increased efficiency among its diversified set of employees.
Anil Shankar, senior General Manager, IT, at Shoppers Stop says, “We wanted to create a common platform for collaboration across various entities and present a single identity for the group that represented core values of the organization. Through this platform, we wanted to drive process efficiency thus significantly improve productivity and deliver higher return on investment.”
Finding out a solution to this problem, Shoppers Stop chose Microsoft SharePoint 2013 to recreate its company portal Spandhan, which hosts over 200 subsites. The company could go live with its new portal in 76 days as SharePoint delivered immediate usage. Additionally, sections such as ‘Share a moment’, ‘Vacancies’, ‘Daily Dilbert’, ‘Latest video’, ‘Quote of the day’, ‘Contests’, ‘Surveys’ and ‘Blogs’ are ideally designed to encourage the interactivity quotient of the employees.
The visual merchandising application is of utmost importance in Spandhan. With the increasing number of stores, the visual merchandizing team was able to visit all the stores. The execution is delegated to the local visual merchandising team at each store. The visual merchandizing team member at each location receives guidance from the central team, organizes the store, captures pictures and posts back on the tool.
The new application built on SharePoint allows the visual merchandizing team to review the pictures uploaded daily as a slideshow. It has a metadata which captures information of the store, category and others. In order to make display changes, the central team can quickly create a task and assign it back to the regional team; the iteration process continues flawlessly. The new visual merchandizing platform has reduced turnaround time of store review process by 30%.
“Earlier, the pictures were uploaded in a folder assigned to each store and it was a very time consuming process. The new system has helped speed-up the review process by at least 30% and the effectiveness has increased many folds,” Shankar adds.
Core principle of Shoppers Stop was to enable transparent communication between the employees and leadership. With Spandhan, an employee can now put up suggestions or questions to the CEO. Another important benefit of this platform is employee training. With Spandhan, Shoppers Stop has been able to create a platform to disseminate training. SharePoint has helped positive collaboration among the employees.