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10 handy tips to improve retail efficiency with print processes

The way consumers shop has evolved significantly over the past decade. Take stock of the opportunities with these 10 ideas to help improve processes, customer experience and bottom line with print technology.

While European retail sales are expected to rise by 2% in 2019 – capitalising on this growth opportunity requires innovation that is geared towards meeting the needs of customers that expect the very best, now.

This makes efficiencies more important than ever in retail. And as 95% of European retail businesses operate with fewer than 10 employees, improved back office processes could help deliver an impressive service that sees them competing with major brands.

1. Price re-marking

As the saying goes time is money, and one of the most laborious and time-consuming tasks in retail is labelling and re-labelling products. Save time with a portable labelling printer which delivers on-demand printing in the aisle. Reliable WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity means it can be with you at all times, throughout the store and warehouse. Do your bit for the environment and avoid any wastage, as dedicated labelling printers print the exact number of labels required. In turn this saves money – a positive for any business.

2. Stock management

Stock management

A quality stock management system can result in increased sales. Use a portable printer to easily create print delivery, goods-in and shelf-edge labels. Opting for a device over a manual process means that labels are accurate, avoiding guesswork when it comes to illegible handwriting which could lead to errors. Clear and concise barcodes can also be printed, making scanning simple.

3. Archiving

Having your archive in excellent shape makes it easier to view records and makes fulfilling repeat orders simple. Digitise your processes by scanning and automatically saving delivery notes to your business database. This reduces time and avoids filing mishaps. Using a portable scanner means the device can be located in the most convenient location, making it even more efficient.

4. Secure printing

Secure printing

Keeping sensitive customer data confidential is essential and can be achieved by using an NFC (near field communication) card or PIN activation. This ensures documents can only be accessed and retrieved by the person that pressed print, preventing data falling into the wrong hands. This process can also reduce costs as print limits can be set for each user.

5. Warehouse printing

Portable print, scan and labelling models can be used to create a wireless workflow. Devices can be used anywhere in the warehouse so there is less stock movement and operatives can label goods in the most convenient locations. This means products can be shipped to customers more easily and efficiently.

6. Back office printing

To operate at maximum efficiency, your back office needs to be organised. To print customer orders, dispatch notes and invoices efficiently, you need to invest in a system that can print quickly and manage high volumes. Reduce the burden of frequently replacing toners by opting for high-yield ink or toner cartridges, which produce even more high-quality, professional documents that are easy to read.

7. Queue management

A common customer complaint is wait time at the till. This can be reduced by introducing a few small changes. At a deli kiosk for example, you can manage waiting time by issuing customers with a wait number, using a hand-held printer. At the kiosk, a portable labelling printer can be used to label products, reducing time at the till which in turn creates happier customers.

8. Staff identification badges

Save time and money by creating your own staff and visitor ID badges. Badges can be quickly and easily printed, as and when required and are protected with durable lamination, making them look professional.

9. Capturing customer data

With a multi-function device, users can scan or copy customer ID, making their checkout experience faster as it can be processed there and then in front of the customer. Documents can be kept confidential with access limited to authorised users. In settings where you only need to scan, or you require added scanning functionality, standalone document scanners are incredibly feature rich. This makes them ideally suited to capture customer data.

10. Food labelling

With labelling of food allergens under the spotlight, ingredients can be clearly highlighted through labelling. Multicolour labels [LOs to add in hyperlink to local labelling supplies page] can be used to highlight allergens, making it easier for consumers to know exactly what they are buying and to avoid any risk of serious allergic reactions.

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