• Retail Management Solution

iVend offers a retail management solution for today’s world.

Learn more about the best retail point of sale.

Nothing stands still for long in the world of retail. We’ve always seen change, but the pace has accelerated beyond what seemed possible even just a few short years ago. When it comes to technology, today’s retail management solutions are almost unrecognisable compared to their forerunners – the large, fixed in-store terminals where we used to queue up to check out.

So let’s take a look at three of the ways in which retail management solutions have changed, and, more importantly ,just why this matters to retailers.

  • Not just the store – today’s retail management systems are not just for transacting in the physical store during opening hours. A retail management system brings together brick and mortar stores with online shopping; it combines front and back of store operations. Customers interact with it at a wide range of different touchpoints.
    This means that a retail management system is intrinsically linked to the customer’s experience of your brand. Your retail management platform is a brand interaction, and colours your customers’ impression of your entire business. Your retail management system can help you win, retain or even lose customers without them ever setting foot in your brick and mortar store, based purely on their interactions with your brand through your retail management platform.

  • Integrated platforms – today’s retail management solutions integrate a wide range of functions into a single platform. As well as in-store point of sale, a true retail management solution incorporates your online store, customer profiling and loyalty management, promotions, retail data analytics, inventory management, mobile POS, accounting, and links to an ERP back office system.
    Having all data and functions within a single platform gives retailers the opportunity to do more and do it smarter. For example, using loyalty data to design and target a personalised promotion, and using in-built data analytics tools to measure the impact. Above all, these platforms deliver online offline integration, which is the fundamental enabler of omnichannel retail. Retailers can offer the cross-channel* shopping journeys that customers demand, such as click and collect/BOPIS, curbside pickup or Buy Online, Return in Store (BORIS).

  • Cloud based – one of the most significant changes to retail technology in recent years is the way that fast, reliable internet has enabled a move to the cloud. Rather than having their retail point of sale system installed on the hardware in every store, retailers can simply access the full suite of retail management solution services online.
    Cloud-based retail management solutions bring multiple benefits for retailers:

    • Cloud is the enabler for Mobile POS, providing an easy to use system to engage with customers. Via a user interface and mobile POS device, associates can check online orders, confirm pricing, see inventory information and complete the sales transaction. Mobile POS, which is growing at 15.5%++ per year, helps to save sales, upsell, reduce checkout queues and engage customers.
    • A cloud-based retail management solution enables ‘always on POS’, with instant ‘anywhere, anytime’ access to operational data. Store managers or head office can see sales information, inventory and promotion results in real time, and take swift action, such as dynamic pricing**, to respond in a way that maximises value and revenue. They no longer have to wait for overnight downloads, or work with week old data+.
    • From an operational point of view, a cloud-based retail point of sale system places fewer demands on IT resource – reducing time spent managing software, security and updates. Staff can focus on other, revenue generating or cost saving projects, making a positive contribution to the bottom line.
    • Cloud-based software enables the as-a-service financial model, allowing retailers to pay for what they need, when they need it and eliminating large upfront capital expense. This frees up cash, and gives you the flexibility to expand your systems as you grow – rather than having to purchase hardware and licences before they are needed. The point of sale-as-a-Service model also makes sophisticated systems, which were once the preserve only of the ‘big players’ available to smaller, more niche retailers, giving them the same levels of efficiency and service as their larger counterparts.

Retail management solutions have made a big leap in the last few years, transforming the technology landscape and retail operations.

What happens to cloud-based point of sale if there is a connectivity failure?

In the past, many retailers were nervous about moving to cloud-based retail management solutions because they were worried about being dependent on an internet connection. Two things have happened to allay those fears, and have been behind the massive shift to cloud-based pos:

Firstly, high-speed, highly reliable internet connections in many parts of the world have given retailers the confidence to move away from legacy on-premise systems and embrace the benefits of the cloud.

Secondly, there are providers, like iVend, whose solutions can still operate in stand-alone mode, should there be an internet issue. They simply reconnect when they can and synchronise all data and transactions.

Can we get the same benefits as an integrated solution if we have solutions from a range of providers?

Whilst you will get some benefits by having the functionality of, say, a loyalty program, or a promotions engine, they will not be as great as if you implemented a platform that has those functions ‘baked in’. When different systems have to exchange and share data. you can find there are compatibility issues between them. These will usually be fixable, but take time and resources. When you use an integrated solution, where all the elements were designed and built to work together, those issues simply don’t arise, so your time to value is considerably faster.

Future Proof Your Business

Future-proof your business by utilising Cloud technology.
Contact us to discuss moving your retail stores on Cloud today to build resilient retail operations for tomorrow.

Recent Posts