This year, despite a booming economy, major retailers are heading into the holiday season behind.
The drop certainly impacted SPDR S&P Retail ETF. Other retailers, including Home Depot, experienced massive sales declines.
Among additional threats to retailers this Black Friday is this year’s shorter holiday shopping period. With Thanksgiving so late, there’s less than a month between Black Friday and Christmas. Plus, more shoppers took advantage of sales earlier this year.
And around the U.S., more and more malls must deal with debt. Their shrinking profit margin caused, in part, by shifting consumer preferences, also poses a threat this Black Friday.
With the holiday season looming, many retailers focus on marketing and “front-end” sales to maximize revenue. But, to truly maximize profit, retailers must also streamline the “back of the house”.
One immediate opportunity for efficiency gains and reduced cost is automated cash management.
By applying automation to cash management, retailers improve customer-facing opportunities. This is particularly important on Black Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.
In addition to allowing for a critical focus on the customer instead of time spent in the back office, automation also reduces cost and increases cash flow. This improves profitability.
Given Black Friday’s busyness, automating back office processes give retailers a competitive advantage. For example, back office automation creates more effective cash management.
With so much focus on front-end service during Black Friday and the approaching holiday season, retailers must not ignore “back-of-house” opportunities. By implementing improvements to back office operations, the retailer will ultimately enhance front-facing customer service.
With back office automation, retail staff has more opportunity to recommend products, help customers navigate a store, and complete a purchase transaction in record time.