Retail solutions should be business enablers – systems that enhance your operations, open up new opportunities and delight your customers. But the reality for many retailers is that their retail solutions are outdated, lacking in functionality and rather than making life better are actually hurting their business.

  • Retail Solution

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Here we take a look at seven ways that your technology can hurt, rather than help, your retail business operation and how you can put it right.

  • Operational inefficiencies – If you are having to manually manage key tasks, taking up valuable time and introducing the risk of error, then your system is hurting your business. If you’re struggling to get price updates rapidly to your stores; if you’re having to spend time managing your IT infrastructure; if your retail solution doesn’t accommodate the specialities of your retail discipline – be that pharmacy, grocery, apparel, electrical, thrift– these could all be signs that your retail solution is introducing inefficiencies that hurt your business.

  • Sub-optimal customer experience – We know that a positive customer experience increases sales – by as much as 2% to 7%*. So if your retail solution isn’t actively delighting customers, it is hurting your business. Maybe it doesn’t allow omnichannel loyalty; maybe checkout is frustratingly slow; customers might be receiving irrelevant marketing, or unable to make omnichannel transactions, such as click and collect, buy online return in store (BORIS) or curbside pickup.

  • Lost sales and revenue – You’re in retail to make sales, so if your retail solution is not helping you to maximise the ka-ching at the till, it is hurting your business. Lost sales come about for many reasons, including being out of stock – 39% of shoppers have ditched an in-store purchase because** the item was not available – or because you have a less than friendly returns process.*** You could also lose sales if you have POS software that can’t work in stand-alone mode if connectivity is lost.
  • Mis-managed inventory – One of the fastest ways to hurt your business is ineffective inventory management, leading to an under- or over-supply.+ Too little stock and you miss out on sales, too much and the surplus ends up heavily discounted or scrapped – both of which hit your bottom line.
  • Decisions in the dark – Managing a retail business means taking multiple decisions every single day – if they’re based on instinct or ‘we’ve always done it this way’, they could be hurting, rather than helping, your business. Organisations that rely on retail reporting data, not ‘gut feel’ significantly improve their decision-making.****
  • Lack of security – Your data – operational and about customers – is one of your most valuable assets. If your retail solution doesn’t protect it, you’re leaving yourself open to theft or compromise, which could lead to fines, loss of reputation, and potentially even failure of your business.
  • Impeding growth – You are ready to grow, but…your retail solution is holding you back. You don’t have the resources to upgrade servers or software, your system can’t incorporate new technologies, handle different currencies, or expand to a larger number of stores. Your retail solution is a heavy anchor, keeping you firmly where you are, not where you want to be.

The solution

The antidote to these pains is modern, cloud-based, integrated retail software – a platform that gives you a wide range of functions and straightforward integrations to back end systems for maximum operational efficiency.

Integrated retail software will enable you to offer a positive customer omnichannel experience, and personalised marketing to drive engagement and loyalty. It will maximise your sales opportunity by removing friction from the checkout process, and allowing you to engage with customers anywhere and everywhere – online, in the store aisle, at the checkout – getting to know them and their preferences, so that you can serve them better.

Your ’harm-free’ integrated retail software will offer you single view inventory management, allowing you to get the right amount of the right goods to the right place at the right time. It will give you the real-time data you need to make insightful decisions that make a positive impact on your business.

It will have security built in, not bolted on – to keep your data, and your reputation, protected. Integrated retail software delivered from the cloud is fully scalable and ready to support your growth. You simply buy the capacity you need, as you need it.

So check out your POS software against our list, and ensure that you implement a retail solution that has a positive, not a harmful, impact on your business.

What are the benefits of choosing a cloud-based retail solution?

When you choose a retail solution that is run in and delivered from the cloud, you as the retailer, no longer have to worry about in-house resources to run everything. That means you can free up technical staff to focus on new projects, and you don’t have to invest in servers, software and maintenance. Your retail solution becomes an operating, rather than a capital expense. In addition, you only ever need to pay for the resources you need – scaling up (or down) rapidly, in line with your business requirements.

Why choose an integrated platform?

There are many different functions to running a successful retail business, and these all need to send information to, or take information from, each other. Legacy systems have often been built up over time, with different parts of the solution coming from different vendors. This can mean you need to spend a lot of time and effort building and maintaining the interfaces to get the various elements to ‘talk to each other’. An integrated platform builds all this functionality into a single system – you can add the elements you need when you need them, but be confident that they were made to work together seamlessly, saving you time and effort.

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Contact us to discuss moving your retail stores on Cloud today to build resilient retail operations for tomorrow.

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