21 July 2024, 11:23
By Steve Pickering Apr 12, 2024

Yes, some staff are happy to work weekends

Who’d want to work weekends? When there are sales to be made, it’s crucial to ensure there’s enough staff on the shopfloor to handle high-traffic periods – and you might be surprised by how many are willing to grasp the nettle, writes Steve Pickering, the ‘unorthodox’ CEO of fast-growing South East independent bed retail chain Sussex Beds …

We measure ‘reasons for not purchasing’ to gain insight into our consumers’ buying behaviour, even if it’s somewhat assumptive in the recording.

During the final quarter last year, we noticed a reason trending upward, peaking at over 7% in October – ‘Couldn’t get to, busy serving’. This alert prompted further investigation.

The results revealed this increase was driven by four of our higher-foot traffic stores, especially on weekends. We calculated that these lost opportunities were potentially losing us over £500k in revenue annually.

The obvious solution was increasing weekend staffing in these stores to reduce missed opportunities. One suggestion was recruiting part-time team for Saturdays and Sundays. My response – how many people want weekend-only work? We’d only ever hired full-time.

We agreed to test this proposal, first offering shifts internally.

Shock one – a valued full-timer immediately applied, excited to work weekends, which would allow them to attend university during the week.

Then, advertising the remaining openings externally, shock two – we received over 75 applicants, far exceeding our normal full-time openings.

How little I knew! I was wrong. Surprised is an understatement – we hired three great part-timers. After three months, the ‘Couldn’t get to, busy serving’ metric dropped to 4.2%, and conversions rose +14%.

Do you measure why customers don’t buy? How do you use data or KPIs to drive performance?

Discover more of Steve’s thoughts on his blog.


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