WARNING: This article may contain puns. If you want to crack any more – please comment below!

Easter is an egg-cellent time of year for many retailers. Consumers start spending a little more, the days grow longer and the whole industry is getting ready to spring into summer.

So today, I thought it would be great to help you hatch a plan to find the ‘Easter Eggs’ in your retail operation.

Whilst at this moment in time, I’m sure that there are lots of literal Easter Eggs in your operations – that’s not quite what is meant for this blog post!

So we’re clear, Easter Eggs are a precious reward that tends to be hidden. It is a term made more popular by the growing gaming community, where players look for hidden bonuses which are out of sight, but still accessible. This, in turn, has been derived from a literal and traditional Easter Egg hunt.

What Would an Easter Egg Look Like in Your Retail Operation?

It’s a bonus opportunity that is not immediately obvious to see but still reasonably easy to access and achieve. We’re not talking about the easy to see “low hanging fruit” here (this is likely to have already been poached). It’s less obvious but perhaps just as sweet.

What would be a valuable find for you? For many retailers, it’s most likely to be linked to driving profitability or customer eggs-perience. Your Easter Egg will depend on your specific goals but could include:

  • Process improvement cost saving opportunity
  • A new chance to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers
  • Resolving a point of frustration in the customer journey
  • A chance to delight and surprise your customers or staff

Where Would You Find These Opportunities?

Like the Easter Eggs in a traditional hunt or in games, they’ll be hidden out of immediate sight. You’re going to need to go searching for them.

You should also eggs-pect to sometimes look and come up with nothing. Keep going. Keep being curious. If your first few searches come up with nothing, it just means that you need to look harder or in new places.

3 Ways to Find Easter Eggs in Your Retail Hop-eration

Walk the process

Like the classic Lean principle – you should walk the process which will give you greater understanding. You can see things from a different perspective if you are actually doing the process and you will see eggs-tra things that you’ve never noticed before.

If you are already doing a part of the process as part of your “day job” – walk the process upstream or downstream. What happens before your part of the flow? What happens afterwards? You’ll soon be able to crack open a greater insight of the ‘end to end’ picture.

Talk to customers and people on the ground

You can do this through focus groups and interviews or by chatting more informally. Ask questions. Prod and poke. Be curious.

  • How does your brand fit within their life?
  • Which brands do they choose to shop with or buy from?
  • Where do they find frustrations with you?
  • What are they trying when they eggs-perience these frustrations?

You will need to build rapport with them first to help bring people out of their shell. Make sure you spend time building the relationship – not just trying to egg-tract what you need from them.

The more time you spend developing this conversation, the deeper you’ll go and the more you’ll uncover.

Look at the detail, not the average

Retail is detail. Classic statement right? But often not followed though. I remember when someone first said this to me – and then promptly talked about “averages” and “usually” and “probably”.

Too often, the detail is actually overlooked in favour of averages. So, don’t misunderstand what’s in front of you and be left with egg on your face. The statistical mindset from Six Sigma is a great way of looking at data and what it is actually saying.

Look beyond averages. Dive into store specific details. Look at trends across the week or across the year. Zoom in.

Yes, it takes a little eggs-tra work and more effort but you’ll find that the eggs-tremes are often likely to contain “Easter egg” bonuses for you. This could be around building consistency and focusing on the poor performers. You may also find eggs-amples of better or quicker ways of working in certain locations or by particular individuals.

Right, Enough is Un Ouef. Time to crack on.

Here, we’ve touched on a few ways of finding new hop-portunities.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be eggs-ploring more ways to find improvement ideas (although probably with fewer puns). So hop onto our email list and be the first to find out more.

Now, get cracking and go find all of those Easter Eggs in your retail operation.

project management expert Oliver BanksAbout the Author

Oliver Banks is an eggs-pert at delivering retail change projects and programmes. He enjoys identifying and cracking open new opportunities which can then be developed into a coherent roadmap. He also enjoys a good dad-joke! (Or so it seems).



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