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Beginner’s Guide to Retail Operations Management and Analysis

Are you thinking about starting a career in retail management? Then you should first understand what the process is defined as. Retail management can be defined as the process of promoting better sales and customer satisfaction overall. To say it in simpler terms, you are essentially looking at all the different components that come together to run a business.

For instance, first you will need to do your market research to understand what the market is looking for and then supply accordingly. This will make the sales process so much easier because you are walking into an existing demand. During the process of meeting this demand however, you must ensure that product quality and excellent levels of customer service are maintained. You will also need to be competitive and must successfully generate enough income to expand and motivate your staff, and to also give them incentives.

When you think about all of this and the types of retail management processes, it may actually be a bit confusing to a beginner especially, but it is in reality, rather easily learned. To make it easier for you, we’ve come up with a simple guide that can help you understand the important aspects of the retail management process.

What is the retail management process?

As it is with any process, retail management also has different steps and phases that have to be seen through for the goals for any business to be met. These steps will determine how the business is run or managed and how much revenue you will make in profits. The following is a simple but comprehensive summary that outlines the phases. This list however, is not exhaustive because you cannot capture all of the details of retail management on just one dimension. It pans out into pretty much every layer and aspect of your workplace and in some cases, can even be very specific to the needs of the company.

Step 01: Planning for what lies ahead

This step is one that you must carefully strategise for, as this lays the foundation for everything that follows. You will essentially be mapping out the rest of the processes that need to be complied with in order to ensure optimal use of resources, while minimizing waste and misuse. In fact you should try to eliminate these wherever possible. In planning, you will need to look into the following;

  • Market research
  • Logistics
  • Expenses
  • Profit margins
  • Staffing
  • Inventory management


(Source:YouTube | TEDxHSG)

Step 02: The purchasing process

In your buying or purchasing you will focus on acquiring products that you wish to sell. It may sound rather simple, but this is also a very important part of the retail management process. If you lack on research and good decision making, you will not be able to meet your business targets. There are two main levels in the purchasing process;

(Source:Slideshare | Retail Management)

  • Sourcing – you will be looking at the right sellers for your purchasing. It would be best to settle on a few reliable sellers rather than just the one, if possible. This way, you will have more control.
  • Pre-purchase procedures – before you can buy, you need to comply a specific set of procedures, and this is a complete other area that you need to learn about. Know these well because it influences the speed of the process. Stick to being stringent and ensure that the company can be sustained.


(Source:YouTube | TEDxWakeForestU)

Step 03: Moving your purchases

It’s time to get even more involved. In the third component of your task, you will be involved with acquiring the goods that you decided to buy above. After this, you will also be getting them ready for selling on your end. Some of the main steps that you should go through in this case are;

  • Receiving the bought goods
  • Storage of goods in the right conditions

(Source:Cybex Systems | Warehouse Management)

  • Shelf and product arrangements according to standards
  • Pricing of goods in an optimal manner

Step 04: Sales and marketing

No matter the types of retail processes, selling is one thing that happens commonly in all of them however, to make sure that these work, there are some very important areas that you need to think of. Also bear in mind, that selling is an ongoing process. It does not reach a final point. This means that during this stage, you will be looking at continuous improvements. Make sure that all the areas, including the crucial ones mentioned below are addressed and also controlled as best as possible.

  • Providing high quality and consistent in-store assistance
  • Maintaining excellent customer service
  • Effectively handling complaints
  • Consistent implementation of best practices – these best practices are there so that more customers will come your way.

(Source:Slideshare | Zensar Retail Presentation)

What next?

As you can see, the retail management process is very complicated. This is why you need to be thoroughly educated about it. Joining the right retail management operations courses can help you gain the insight that you need to be good at your job. The right education and training, in short, is what will make or break your career.

According to Payscale, you have a variety of well-paying career options should you choose this path, within the UK alone, such as;

  • Department Manager, Retail Store – £21,871 per annum
  • Strategy Manager – £50,891 per annum
  • Finance Manager – £38,138 per annum
  • Company Secretary – £19,554 per annum
  • Policy Manager – £32,000 per annum
  • Management Consultant – £47,523 per annum
  • Project Manager – £38,254 per annum

Our retail management operations courses are all accredited and, are perfect for you if you are a starter. If you are a business, and you want to train fresh employees, these programmes can be of great help too. To know more, you can contact our team on

July 29, 2022

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