Successful retail requires operational efficiency – the more streamlined the business processes the greater the potential for reduced costs and increased business growth. So retailers are looking for ways to optimize retail operations, across every process – and retail technology is a powerful enabler.

  • All retail processes

iVend has solutions for streamlining all retail processes.

Read more about our unified retail POS solution.

Retail operations are built on a number of interlocking processes, each of which feeds into, or from the others. Here we take a look at how retail technology can help to streamline the top 10 key retail processes, and how a unified retail POS pulls them all together into a single, highly optimized retail operations platform.

  • Inventory management –  ‘the right goods, in the right place, at the right time’ sums up the core of retail. So inventory management is essential. Retail technology can streamline inventory management by enabling retailers to accurately track goods from delivery to sale through to returns.

A single stock pool gives a clear view of every item of stock, no matter where it sits, to ensure that retailers can get it to where the customer wants to buy. Effective inventory management leads to lower overall inventory costs, fewer lost sales due to stock-outs, and greater customer satisfaction – and ultimately more profit. *

  • Point of sale store operations – customers want fast and friction-free checkout, and retailers need to know what has been sold. A fast, modern, POS provides detailed sales tracking, whilst getting customers through the checkout efficiently. Mobile POS empowers staff to check customers out in the aisle, to make the process even faster and more personal, and also easily enables new checkout points – for example at a pop-up, or in the parking lot for curbside pickup.
  • Supply chain management – managing supplier purchasing more efficiently can generate significant bottom line returns. A unified retail POS platform can streamline this process by enabling automated re-ordering, based on trigger stock levels, saving time and reducing the incidence of stock-outs and lost sales.
  • Merchandising – the way that goods are displayed has a significant role in influencing customers to buy. Effective merchandising requires retailers to have a deep understanding of their customers’ buying behaviours. Gaining this knowledge can be streamlined if the retailer has a loyalty system that captures customer data, and an analytics capability that helps them to turn that information into actionable insights.
  • Financial operations – integrating the back of house finance processes with the front of house sales offers massive opportunities for streamlining. It eliminates re-entry of data, with all its scope for inaccuracies, it saves time, and it can automate processes such as tax management across different jurisdictions, ensuring that the business is always compliant.

  • Employee management and training – staff are a retailer’s best asset, so it’s essential to keep them engaged – motivated staff are productive staff. ** In fact, research shows that they are up to 21% more productive. *** Retail POS software can help to track staff performance, identifying where rewards and further training are appropriate, and streamline the process of wages calculations and reduce inaccurate reporting of hours worked.

  • Store layout and design – the right store layout can attract customers, enhance their experience and keep them in the store – brick and mortar or online. Data from a retail point of sale system, showing purchasing behaviours, can feed into decisions about layouts, for example by identifying top-selling products and giving them display prominence.
  • Pricing and promotion – data and analytics from retail POS software – about who buys what, when and where – can help to develop profit-boosting pricing strategies, and help retailers to manage promotions for maximum sales and business growth.
  • Customer service operations – a unified retail POS is essential to delivering an optimal customer experience across all channels. Loyalty information ensures customers are recognised in store as well as online; and ensures that promotions are 100% aligned with shopping preferences.
  • Loss prevention – in the US alone, retailers lose around $100 million a year to shrinkage, + which is a direct hit on the bottom line. Within a unified retail POS system, the ability to link stock visibility to sales tracking data and financials helps retailers to get a good view of their shrinkage, to analyse the causes and put in place actions to address them.

Retailers are always striving for efficiency, across all of their key processes. Retail technology offers an opportunity to streamline those processes, drive efficiency and maximise business growth.

Why do we need a unified retail POS platform?

Retail operations are built on the above top ten processes. Each one can be optimised using retail technology, but the power of that optimization is significantly increased if the data and systems for all processes are integrated into a single platform. That means that there’s no ‘band-aid’ joining disparate technologies together, all can share and pass data, automatically and efficiently within the same system. With no manual integrations, no loss of data, and no incompatible formats, streamlining is maximised.

What should I look for in a unified retail POS platform?

The key things to look for are breadth of functionality within the platform: along with the core POS, does it include, for example, full loyalty, promotions, mobile POS, inventory management and online store capability. Will it work seamlessly with your financial systems and ERP. Is it delivered via the cloud, to minimise your in-house IT infrastructure and support, but with the ability to run offline if needed. When you’re looking at a unified retail POS platform, these are the boxed you need to tick.

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