How Zebra Prescriptive Analytics Improves Compliance by Retail Employees
Retail is a complex industry. Because of that, it’s absolutely necessary that organizations set protocols, standard operating procedures and other rules at every level of the business – and have a way to enforce them.
Non-compliance with these rules exposes retailers to a flurry of potential consequences, such as regulatory fines, consumer lawsuits, media firestorms, loss of brand loyalty and more.
Worse, many employees show little concern for their acts of non-compliance, falsely believing that one person’s actions (their own) are insignificant to their organization as a whole. What they don’t realize is that retailers fail by “death from a thousand cuts” – and any act of non-compliance, whether intentional (“I don’t care”) or unintentional (“I forgot” or “I didn’t think it was that big a deal”), can potentially ripple across the business and negatively impact profits and margins.
Fortunately, every time someone is non-compliant, a very small amount of data indicating their act is left behind – a bread crumb, if you will. The prescriptive analytics solution’s algorithms know what that data looks like and bring it to the attention of the appropriate retail managers so they can investigate the behavior and launch retraining, if necessary. To make the investigation even easier, the solution also sends CCTV footage taken at the exact time that non-compliant behavior occurred.
Here are some of the more interesting data behaviors that the Zebra Prescriptive Analytics solution has detected and alerted retailers to in the past year, as well as what type of non-compliant action that was ultimately uncovered:
- Detected: A grocery store’s average sales for store-branded half-and-half suddenly dropped from the average benchmark for its cluster of stores per week to less than three standard deviations away from the mean.
Discovered: A manager had forgotten to add the half-and-half’s item tag (which displays the product name, size, and price) to the shelf. The dairy clerks assumed the item had been discontinued and filled in its space with other products. The manager was retrained.
- Detected: A grocery store saw an increase in manually processed refunds in the “non-food” category.
Discovered: Cashiers were refunding customers’ gift cards for cash against policy. They were retrained on items that can and cannot be refunded.
- Detected: Cashiers were entering some birthdays during the “CHECK ID” stage of alcohol and tobacco sales that appeared to be anomalies, like 11/11/11 or their own birthdays. (Some were entering the same date 15 or more times per shift!)
Discovered: The cashiers were entering false birthdays. Some were doing it to illegally to sell alcohol and tobacco to minors. Others were simply doing it to save time. Appropriate action was taken.
Remember, these are behaviors that were not obvious to the human eye. Even the best human poring over dashboards of sales or return data may have missed these nuggets of insight. Yet, retailers were able to see and know exactly how to act in each scenario in near real time thanks to the work that was done by the Profitect and Zebra teams together to bring an advanced analytics solution to market in an easily deployable and even easier to use software application. And I couldn’t be prouder or more humbled.
Here’s to an Action-Packed Future (with Improved Compliance, Better Stocked Shelves and Perfectly-Staffed Stores)
It has truly been an honor to have been welcomed into Zebra Nation this last year, and I’m extremely grateful to Profitect and Zebra customers for their support throughout this integration period. As you can see, this collaboration benefits both Zebra and our customers, and we’re looking forward to working with retailers and grocers even closer in the coming months to further increase your ROI.
We want to ensure you’re maximizing all of the capabilities offered in this powerful prescriptive analytics solution as you work to adapt your business to meet evolving customer expectations in light of COVID-19 impacts and the continued migration to omnichannel fulfillment models.
Though prescriptive analytics is exceptionally effective in enforcing compliance, improving on-shelf availability and inventory accuracy, reducing recall risk and preventing fraud (far beyond the few examples I shared above), it makes a significantly equal impact on the performance of more routine retail operations as well. Asset protection is a 24/7/365 priority, as is the prevention of out-of-stocks, customer walkouts and customer acquisitions among many other things, as you can read about here.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to learn more about the unique benefits of prescriptive analytics, particularly compared to other retail analytics solutions, and then reach out to my team to talk about how it can be applied to your operations. We want to help you inject greater efficiency into your operations and yield vast financial gains from the intelligence generated by your data capture systems.