Succeeding at Retail: 10 Best Practices You Should Adopt Now

Succeeding at Retail

As COVID-19 continues to impact the retail industry, the AllWork team has been working closely with our brand partners and while most retail locations across the country remain closed, we’ve used this time to take a look back at what we have learned over the past year from working with over 50 beauty brands. We have aggregated some of the best practices that have helped these brands get ahead and succeed at retail by managing their in-store talent efficiently.

These best practices are based on working with teams of thousands of beauty advisors, event staff, and managers. By creating this checklist, we are hoping to share the most impactful strategies and the things that the best-managed programs do differently to help increase retail sales, improve customer engagement and improve the ROI on labor spend.

By beginning to adopt these best practices now, you’ll be setting your brand up for success when retail doors reopen and it’s time to begin managing your in-store talent again.

1. Ensure that training materials are up-to-date

Providing continuous education to field teams can be one of the largest challenges for beauty brands. Trying to send one-off emails or texts only leads to a disorganized and chaotic training process. Do you truly know that talent have read and reviewed these important documents when they are distributed this way? Instead, you should create a digital library where your training documents can all live in one place. By distributing all materials digitally, our clients have seen an increase in compliance with their sales team and a better overall training distribution process.

2. Educate your team on social selling

Digital clientelling and social selling are about to become more important than ever. Your beauty advisors will not only need to sell face-to-face in stores they’ll also need to know important social selling skills in order to be your brand ambassador on social media platforms. Successful brands are constantly staying on top of these trends and making sure their sales teams are equipped with the training they need to be the face of your brand both in-store and online.

3. Budget one month in advance and review often

Brands should never approach budgets with a “set it and forget it” mentality. Our most successful clients are constantly evaluating and updating their budgets by creating budgets one month at a time and reviewing and readjusting every week. The key to this strategy is to have a fully flexible budgeting tool that allows you to update and move around your talent spend to the key areas where ROI is the highest.

4. Use a mobile app with GPS verification

Long gone are the days when talent should be filling out a manual timesheet at the end of each week. With technology, you can have the ability to record accurate location and time data for each sales rep by shift. Our clients who use a mobile app for talent verification experience a reduction of 10-20% in labor costs. For example, if a sales associate clocks in to a shift at 9:15 that was supposed to start at 9:00, you are no longer paying for those extra 15 minutes that they were not in the store. Over time, that’s a huge about of your budget that can be used more efficiently and can be reallocated back into additional, optimized shifts.

5. Aggregate photos and notes from the sales floor

You might be having difficulties with your data-collection efforts because you lack the right tools for harnessing and organizing this information. Providing your retail sales team with technology in the form of a mobile app allows them to quickly share this information with their managers. Our clients focus on collecting photos and notes from the sales floor to have content to add to education materials, share with other leadership team members, or as social media images to share with customers and followers.

6. Measure SPH and % to goal for your talent

If your team is out in the field working, you want to make sure you have full insight into their performance. Recognizing and addressing low performance swiftly and determining and addressing the reason is more important than ever. Our clients set an average of $150/hour sales goal for their teams and can clearly see when talent is meeting, or falling short, of this goal. Sales per hour information should be collected by sales associate by shift so improvement can be tracked and clear patterned can emerge for days of the week and retailer.

7. Review ROI on labor spend by: door, account, and rep

By evaluating which shifts at which stores are generating the most sales, you can ensure the greatest success of your field team. Now you can focus on generating the best ROI from your top sales talent. Data and technology are key to making this process work. Having access to real-time reporting has ensured that our clients can take action on this important business information. You should be able to optimize your labor spend in the same way you’ve implemented technology to optimize your supply chain. No more under or over staffing of stores and lost productivity due to lag time from an out-dated reporting system.

8. Schedule shifts into the highest ROI doors & times

The ability to create flexibility on when and where you schedule your team is one of the critical pieces of success we have seen from our clients. Without data to evaluate which store, doors, and days of the week perform the best for your brand, you’ll never be able to schedule efficiently. Our brands have seen a 10% increase in sales simply by paying attention to which shifts at which retailers perform the best for their team and acting on this information to schedule smarter.

9. Have one digital system of record

Making sure you have one system of record is one of the most important things you can do to improve your workforce management. Why? Having all of your budgeting, sales, and labor spend data in one place means that you can run critical ROI reports for any manager, talent, or account. With this information, you can make better business decisions about when, where, and who to schedule for each shift. Without this data, you’re left guessing and no beauty brand can afford to simply guess the best times to put talent in stores.

10. Adopt integrated, seamless payroll

Payroll and compliance can be extremely complex for any size beauty brand. Constantly changing state, local, and federal laws mean that your team could end up wasting time trying to onboard and organize talent payroll. You probably don’t expect to see the word “seamless” used to describe payroll but by integrating payroll into workforce management you can ensure an accurate payroll process. Having a payroll partner means you can be sure you’re compliant with all laws including the new AB 5 Bill in California.

Looking for more ideas? We’d love to brainstorm ways to organize your field team to drive efficiency, especially during these challenging times. We can share best practices and answer any questions you may have. Contact the AllWork team at or schedule a demo here.