The Ultimate Guide to Retail Task Management For Strategic Success In 2024

Published on:
May 15, 2024
Read Time:

Each day retail headquarters need to send instructions to their stores about what decisions have been made around how they want to operate their stores.

The dilemma can spread over how displays are to be set up, what items will be marked as being discounted, what cleaning procedures need to be carried out, what products need to be removed from the shelves; the list is endless.

Retail task management is the process of organizing and monitoring activities within a retail setting, including those in both the front and back end of store operations. It is essentially everything that goes into keeping a store running smoothly.

Essentially, retail task management involves the planning, assigning, monitoring, and completion of tasks that are vital to everyday store operations.

These tasks can vary from managing inventory, stocking shelves, and scheduling the right number of employees to make sure that you have the best customer service, to making sure that you are implementing the best sales strategies and mastering the art of up-selling on all price points.

The significance of effective task management in retail is unsurpassed as it is the driving force behind operational effectiveness, which in turn determines customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and finally profit margins.

A well-structured task management system ensures that there is harmony in all aspects of the retail organization which in turn reduces the chances of disruption and maximises the productive timeframe.

But it doesn’t work that way. In 2019, almost 6,000 US stores closed. Data gets lost. Instructions are misunderstood.

Tasks are overlooked or completed improperly. Retail operations directors get the nightmare of trying to follow up with a half dozen stores via a dozen emails trying to figure out if something is being done right. Trying to plan a strategy for the future when you don’t have a full grasp on how things are being done in your stores now feels impossible.

This is where retail task management software comes in.

We have put together this complete guide to retail execution systems: so you can take some of the actionable ideas we’ve pulled together below to improve your task management system and become a master of multi-unit operations.

Sign up to get expert articles, guides, tips, and inspiration straight to your inbox.
You're in! Look out for our emails in your inbox.
Oh no! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Our Top Picks
The Workforce Operations Platform for Frontline Teams
Rated 4.9/5 stars on Capterra
Free Version:
Supported Platforms:
Available for up to 5 users
Starter for $99/month for the first 20 users (with free trial period)
Available on iOS, Android and Web
Free Version:
Available for up to 5 users
Premium for $99/month for the first 20 users (with free trial period)
Supported Platforms:
Available on iOS, Android and Web
Download Xenia app on

Challenges in Traditional Retail Task Management

Manual Task Delegation and Tracking 

Problems with Manual Task Delegation and Tracking

Before the invention of more advanced technologies, delegation and tracking of tasks in traditional retail settings were usually done manually, by use of writing in to-do lists, verbal instruction, or memory.

These are very susceptible to human error, inefficiency, and miscommunication since they are not reliable enough. For instance, handwritten notes may be written illegibly or lost leading to tasks being either forgotten or doubled.

Verbal instructions can easily be misunderstood or one can forget to clarify particular details, hence leading to tasks being done incorrectly or partially. 

Consistency and Compliance Risks

A problem with standard retail task management is that there is no way to make sure the tasks that need to be done are getting done, with no guidelines on how to approach customers or what needs to be organized or stocked daily.

Some employees are lazy or just plain never get around to doing things.

This not only decreases the productivity of a store but makes it nearly impossible to have everything in the store to be up to SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) executives and regulatory requirements.

Evolution of Retail Task Management Solutions

The rise of digitization and the increasing technology within the retail industry emphasized a need for more robust and efficient task management solutions.

Legacy, or you could say old-school methods, which were often characterized by manual processes and disconnected systems no longer adequately addressed many of the needs of today’s retail operations.

Developers recognized this gap and began to provide retail-specific task management systems to the industry. Recently, retail leaders identified the following as their top investment priorities in 2021: accelerating digital capabilities (88%), building supply chain resilience (78%), ensuring health and safety (78%), and realigning the cost structure (72%).

Retail Task Management Systems Software allows retail store and franchise managers to communicate with their teams by allowing them to assign tasks based on store data, maps, and task completion reports.

Store managers and employees can create specific tasks relevant to their roles and responsibilities and submit and be notified for completion.

A good retail app should be able to do the following:

  • Provide consistency and reduce the chances of errors 
  • Save time on repetitive back-office duties 
  • Allow employees to spend more time with customers who are getting smarter and have higher expectations of the in-store experience 
  • Allows for head office to see what is happening in-store

The purpose of this process is to allow store managers to see that a department is in a downward trend and respond accordingly at the store. The store can adjust its inventory, adjust the sales floor, or adjust its workforce and report findings post-completion. Managers can use the saved data to create actionable tasks and see how the completion of those tasks affects future data. The purpose of the save tool is to streamline communication.

Benefits of Using A Retail App

Transitioning from traditional task management methods to using software geared towards this brings multiple advantages to the retail space.

It provides solutions to weak points in manual approaches and allows retailers to take the next step toward a greater level of agility.

Increased Efficiency

Retail task management software automates many repetitive tasks, reducing the necessity for manual intervention and largely decreasing the time and effort needed in handling operations. This streamlines a variety of processes including inventory management, restocking, and employee scheduling to enhance work processes and overall productivity.

Enhanced Visibility

A centralized approach offered by software contrasts with these traditional ways.

This enhanced organization and visibility allow managers to create, assign, and track tasks in real-time, rather than relying on the usually scattered notes, verbal instructions, or memory that traditional methods rely on.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

Approximately 70% of corporate errors are due to poor communication. Open communication is needed when working as a team. Employees must be able to openly communicate their needs and concerns, as well as provide feedback for their colleague’s work. Communication will also be the key to success when collaborating with colleagues.

Task management software is equipped with instant messenger that will allow employees to give updates regarding the task they are assigned.

Real-Time Monitoring and Reporting

The software allows managers to monitor the progress of tasks in real time, providing instant visibility into their status and completion.

Since it is done in real-time, they can intervene when any issues come up so that they can make amendments and this could probably prevent delays. Besides monitoring, the software also allows users to get several reports that would provide insights into task performance, employee productivity, and operational efficiency.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Retail apps are extremely flexible and adaptable to the unique needs of every retail. It works for a single store or a multi-location chain and can be customized for each retailer's workflow, process, and even terminology if desired.

This flexibility allows a retailer to scale their business more efficiently and effortlessly adapt to changes in market conditions.

Increased Compliance and Accountability

By making workflows for task management paperless, the software helps to guarantee procedures of standard operation (SOPs), comply with regulations, and comply with safety rules.

Developers will use software to shed doubt on the links of casual history and guidelines and measures for stores that can help reduce risk and exposure. In addition, by checking the activities and the employee's standards, the system can increase responsibility and recognition.

Retail Execution System

According to the latest findings, the current size of the global Retail Execution Software market reached USD 245.33 million in 2022. Retail execution solutions are a set of tools, processes, and technologies that are required for the effective implementation of retail strategies and policy initiatives at the store level.

Retail execution solutions provide retailers with key tools that help in planning, managing, and evaluating all the activities requiring flawless execution and completion for the retailer such as driving the sales, making customer experiences more predictable and controllable, and making the operational efficiency more easy and visible.

Five key components of retail execution solutions are: 

  • Planogram Compliance to maximize the space of product on the shelf and sales of a product.
  • Promotional Execution to ensure that promotions are properly executed in each store, including pricing adjustments, signage placement, and any point-of-sale promotions, displays, etc.
  • Inventory management is critical to make sure there are no Overstock or out-of-stock situations with the product. Retail Execution solutions will ensure the right availability and right product level at each store.
  • Compliance audits are crucial to measure the results of a given campaign and to see how well execution is done by the stores, complete adherence of any spec, etc.
  • Performance Analytics is an important part, which comes after each cycle of execution of a product in retail.

Integration with Task Management Software for Streamlined Operations

Retail execution solutions often sync with task management software to offer seamless operations and increase efficacy.

Task management software is the lifeblood of retail operations, and provides a centralized location for retailers to create, assign, and track tasks as related to a retail execution. Integration with task management software offers superior coordination and communication among diverse stakeholders involved in the execution process. 

Tasks created by retail execution solutions (eg planogram updates, promotional setup instructions, messaging updates, etc.) can automatically sync with task management software.

Managers can assign them to specific retail staff and track real-time progress accordingly. Such integration also facilitates the data exchange between retail execution solutions and task management software.

Retailers can leverage insights from retail execution activities to inform and prioritize tasks, allocate resources, and make important decisions.

An integrated retail execution solution complements task management software by streamlining operational flow, enhancing visibility and accountability, and ultimately, improving retail experiences for end consumers. By bringing both elements together, retailers are enabled to make the most efficient decision when pulling it all together giving them far greater results.

Key Features of Retail Task Management Software

User-Friendly Interface

User-friendliness of retail task management software is crucial to the overall success rate of the program - and its acceptance.

With an intuitively designed software staff can navigate the software easily without a big learning curve or spending a lot of time in training classes. The developers of the software can help to create a user-friendly interface by using familiar design principles and intuitive workflows to create software that resonates with users.

The software should be intuitive for all levels of employees, from the front-line associate to the store manager. A user-friendly interface has clear labeling, logical navigation paths, and intuitive controls, an intuitive software for the team members to use a software to their advantage.

Accessibility Across Devices, Including Mobile Apps

Retail apps ensure that employees can quickly access task assignments and any updates on their mobile devices whether or not they have service from the location they are at within the store.

Again, mobile tech is only good if employees can access it. Mobile tech was a long time coming, because although everyone had desktop computers a large percentage of employees did not have laptops. Even after laptops were introduced they were not as mobile as tablets are. Mobile technology was optimized by retail employees and their need for real-time information from any location inside the store.

Communication Tools

Teamwork and effective communication are very important in retail operations.

Therefore, task management software should also support teamwork among store associates. Such software should provide features to facilitate collaboration among store associates.

They should include built-in messaging ) features that allow store associates to communicate with each other for updates, ask questions, and collaborate on their tasks in real time. 

Retail task management software should also provide an environment for collaboration among different departments/ teams within the organization.

For example, team members from sales, inventory management, and customer service teams could collaborate on tasks like new product launches, inventory replenishment, and replying to a certain set of customer inquiries. 

Real-Time Feedback

To ensure tasks are being completed correctly and quickly, retail task management software should provide employees the ability to comment on task assignments, tell others what they have completed up until this point, and flag any issues or obstacles they are coming across whilst executing their daily tasks.

Real-time feedback also fosters a culture of accountability and transparency between the store, field, and HQ, to encourage team collaboration and continuous improvement.

Furthermore, it allows the company to identify process inefficiencies and optimize/improve operational activities.

Choosing the Right Retail Execution Software

Work Order Request Processes For Better Operational Efficiency

Retail is a fast-paced environment that requires people to be on top of tasks and employees to make sure that everything is up to par with the store or corporation.

Xenia is a leading retail execution app designed to make your life easier. Whether you have one store or one thousand stores, it streamlines your work, allows you to be more efficient and get more done every day, and drives accountability.

This retail execution software enables any manager to digitize processes and streamline any workflow.

With Work Orders, Scheduled Activities through the calendar, SOPs, Checklists, Employee Performance Assessment modules, Analytics, and Reports, Xenia is the one-stop platform to manage all retail operations with all data in one system.

One of the major value propositions of Xenia is it brings in improved overall business and employee accountability.

Digitizing the various processes and providing the necessary tools to track and monitor tasks and work done, ensures the entire retail operations are transparent and accountable. Managers can easily allocate and assign tasks and can track the progress and ensure timely completion with this the entire business in the company achieves great accountability among the employees.

Xenia's advanced analytics and reporting capabilities provide meaningful insights into key performance metrics to allow managers to facilitate reports and dashboards that can show you real-time performance applied back sales metrics.

You can identify venues for improvement and make data-driven decisions with these insights. By leveraging actionable insight, managers can further optimize processes, ensure resources are properly allocated, and promote ongoing improvement throughout their retail operations.

Moreover, with this retail management software, managers can easily conduct these maintenance activities as well as inspections and audits, maintain regulatory requirements, and provide a safe and functional retail environment.

Key Features 

  1. Task management: Xenia streamlines task allocation, tracking, and completion, allowing for more effective management of retail chores including refilling shelves, arranging inventory, and performing promotional displays.
  2. Safety and Compliance Inspections: Xenia makes it easier to implement and track safety inspections in retail environments, ensuring quality control and compliance with safety requirements. This involves frequent inspections of fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and other safety devices.
  3. Customized Checklists: Create checklists for normal store upkeep tasks such as cleaning, maintaining fixtures and fittings, and assuring the store's general cleanliness and appearance.
  4. Custom Template Creation: Create templates to meet special retail management requirements, such as shop layout design, promotional setup, or inventory auditing.
  5. Multi-Location Operation: Customize jobs and maintenance schedules for particular retail locations, ensuring that maintenance efforts are targeted and relevant to the unique needs of each store setting.
  6. Integrated communication: With Xenia's chat features, team members may stay in continual contact. This fosters collaboration, quick issue resolution, and a collaborative approach to retail management tasks.
  7. Data Analysis and Reporting: Use data-driven insights to improve retail choices and operations. Xenia's reporting tools provide valuable insights into job performance, staff productivity, and operational efficiency, enabling merchants to identify areas for improvement and drive continuous optimization.

Wrapping it Up

7.41% of all retail sales in the US were completed using a mobile in 2022. Retail apps are an essential tool for most retailers today, providing the means to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and improve the customer experience.

In a modern retail landscape that is more competitive than ever, the apps are allowing retailers to be even more agile and responsive. They can have all of the tools they need, right at their fingertips, to not only keep pace with changing customer demands but to stay one step ahead of them.

Curious to find out everything there is to retail execution in action?

Book a free demo today!

Unify Operations, Safety and Maintenance
Unite your team with an all-in-one platform handling inspections, maintenance and daily operations
Get Started for Free
Streamline End To End Retail Operations With Xenia!
Get Started for Free
Rated 4.9/5 stars on Capterra

Latest Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? Find our FAQs here. If your question hasn't been answered here, contact us.

Illustration for empty FAQ section.
No FAQs Found

Looks like there's no data available in our FAQ section at the moment.