One thing’s for certain about the 2022 holiday shopping season – it’ll be unlike any that we’ve seen for a while. For a start, it will be the first ‘unlocked’ festive season for three years. Retailers can expect what the Washington Post calls a ‘revenge’ Christmas, with shoppers getting out and buying, just because they can. They’ll be doing more socialising, more gift giving and entertaining, boosting a range of retail sectors including fashion and accessories, home décor, gifts, food, wine and spirits. Retailers would need a sophisticated retail management system to manage the holiday season rush.
But on the other hand, whilst sales may be up in dollar terms, inflation will rein in increases in sales order volumes. Retail consultancy GlobalData predicts that sales value will be up by 6.6% – a lower level of growth than we saw in 2021, when stimulus payments were still fuelling spending.
So whilst it’s not a bad picture, it’s not great either, and the retailers who will make the most of the season are those who can attract customers and sales, whilst driving efficiencies and cost savings for a profitable holiday season.
When it comes to efficiency, one of the most effective strategies for a retailer is to have a retail management system. Not just a point of sale, but a fully integrated suite of retail functions – including in-store and online sales orders, inventory visibility, goods receipt, staff rostering, payroll, marketing and accounting. Implementing a retail management system with functions that collaborate, share data and automate processes is the fastest way to shave off excess costs in a retail operation as the holiday season approaches. Some of the ways that an integrated retail management system can reduce costs are:
The overall goal of an integrated retail management system is to pull together information from what McKinsey calls the ‘traditionally siloed’ departments, and get a view of the total cost of every SKU based on its journey through the supply chain. This in turn helps them to make data-based decisions about what to sell, where and to whom in order to maximise efficiency.
According to Intuit market research, by using an affordable, integrated POS system, an independent retailer with revenue of $300,000 can cut costs by close to 10 percent, saving an average $30,000 a year. Savings like that would be a wonderful holiday gift for any retailer.
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