In the past 40 years of China’s reform and opening-up, the business model and marketing play a more and more important role in the retail. Both online and offline retail enterprises present that the retail industry should operate precise marketing, and provide the specific commodities and services based on the demand in the local shopping circle. Very few enterprises will reach this goal.

Recently, Hanshow communicated with retail entrepreneurs and retail service providers and found a trend that in 2015 and 2016, the physical retail stores were in a dilemma, a lot of retail enterprises operated the online to offline O2O model and the virtual economy prevailed. However, in 2017 and 2018, the physical retail store enterprises found that they can increase sales and enhance the efficiency through improvement of digital refinement. Now the physical retail store enterprises are more confident and will put more money and effort into digitalization, informatization and refinement.

The goal of China’s consumption market is to further optimize the structure of commodities and services consumption. The intelligent and digitalized consumption is irreversible. The business model is innovated iteratively. Mobile, Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence technology integrate users, commodities, time, place, payment, etc. and merge the scattered resources and customers’ endless demand which provides a broad space for business development. China’s retail is still vigorous, but its healthy development needs refinement and standardized management, analysis and accurate application of data, and more efforts.

Essence of new retail: commodities and services

At the end of 2018 in the Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone, the traditional retail company Ito Yokado officially launched a new generation store representing the future of omni-channel retail. When the store opened, it was overwhelmed by customers and the admission had to be controlled. We were inspired when visiting this Ito Yokado store and observing its operation.

There is a reason for a good business. In the Food Mall of this Ito Yokado store, we did not see the employees were chatting or playing with mobile phones. No matter the sale promoters from the manufacturers’ or the   employees in the store, they are all busy with doing some cleaning, arranging and replenish commodities, and to promote a taste tests……

This Ito Yokado store does not operate “Performance appraisal”, “Partner” and “Equity encouragement”. Why its employees maintain a positive working attitude? Why do the 40-year-old employees still work hard? Why do the Manufacturers’ sale promoters work as hard as regular -employees? Why does the female servant who is tidying up the plate also chatting with customers proactively and let them feel warm?

  • Manufacturers’ promoters are trained for the job uniformly

The gap between China’s enterprises and Japanese enterprises lies in the service awareness, which is enhanced through continuous training. It is difficult for Chinese enterprises to train and manage the promoters uniformly. The promoters who work in Ito Yokado must participate in its training and assessment. Ito Yokado’s supervisors arrange promoters’ job uniformly. In addition to completing the sales of their own enterprises, they are also responsible for shelf cleaning and commodity replenishment…

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  • Unified management, unified dressing, unified standards of serving customers

There is a big gap between Chinese enterprises and Japanese enterprises in training. Zhu Dongsheng, senior retail expert said that the operation level of stores depends on the training department. Many people could not get it. The fundamental task of the training department is to establish the correct mode of thinking and work in the enterprise and its operation represents the service level the of physical retail store. The training department is the department that determines the quality of fundamental employees and middle-level employees in an enterprise. It is the soul of the enterprise. However, employees in many enterprises have low quality and no sense of service, which is in fact due to no trainers who can create excellent employees. This is one of the most critical links that many enterprises can never learn from the fine management of Japanese enterprises.

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  • Employees know their own work content in each period

The shop will hold the morning meeting, the handover meeting, and day closing meeting. In addition to knowing store’s promotional activities and sales performances, employees must identify their own sales tasks, operating posts, and specific work content in each period. The staffs do not chat and play on their cell phone and are just busy with their job. If customers want to ask something, the staff will immediately stop their work and quickly solve the problem. This is “Trot sport.”

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  • Technology application upgrades consumer experience and enhances operational efficiency

With the retail industry transforming constantly, the store work efficiency is enhanced and the standard of consumption experience is improved. Empowering the retail and achieving improved management and operational efficiency through innovative technology is another characteristic of Ito Yokado.

The Food Mall installed a self-service cash machine, which supports scanning QR code payment with the mobile phone and the home delivery service of mobile phone orders. Customers can place an order at home and enjoy the convenience of getting the food on the day of placing the order. In addition, all commodities in the store are labeled with Hanshow ESLs, which realize one-click price changing in the background, update commodities and promotion information in the physical and online stores in real time, simplifying the process of price control, avoiding the tedious job of replacing price tags leaving the employees with more time to communicate with customers and provide a good service.

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  • Emphasize the shopping basket to improve customer satisfaction

Many people have such an experience in the supermarket that they just want to hang around, and when they are attracted by commodities and promotions and want to buy commodities, they need a shopping basket or a shopping cart. When they cannot find the basket or the cart (which are usually put at the entrance), sometimes they have to give up buying or buy fewer commodities.

Here, you don’t have to worry at all. Ito Yokado places various shopping carts at the entrance (shopping basket, Japanese style shopping cart, baby shopping cart…). When you hang around without the shopping cart, Ito Yokado’s employees will give you a shopping basket initiatively if you hold the commodities in hands. Shopping baskets are placed next to some shelves. The roll bags are placed next to fruits, vegetables and bulk commodities. Thus, customers could purchase commodities at ease.

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The physical store is to create value for customers. The store should be operated with hospitality. All visitors are treated as customers.

Hanshow technology is dedicated to the refined retail and the innovation of business models, Hanshow is always ready to provide services not only for Chinese and Japanese retailers but also global retailers with integrated smart store solutions. Your comments very welcome!