How ERP-agnostic POS sets your Omnichannel Retail Strategy Free
Most retailers in 2017 understand the value of implementing an omnichannel retail strategy – to drive customer engagement, customer experience and ultimately to increase sales and profit. They know that a strong omnichannel solution means multiple channels working seamlessly together, and that to do this, those channels must be underpinned by a common technology platform, allowing seamless visibility and exchange of data between what were previously siloed systems. The success of a technology platform is predicated on it being part of an overarching digital strategy that encompasses the entire organisation—rather than an ad hoc point-in-time initiative.
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A retailer’s ERP solution is the backbone of that digital platform strategy – the repository of the key data that is essential to running the business.
If the ERP is the backbone of the retail operation, then customer facing applications, such as POS, Loyalty, e-Commerce, are the arms and legs, touching the ‘outside world’ of shoppers, and generating the forward momentum that grows the business.
Selecting and implementing an ERP is one of the largest IT investments that any organisation makes – they are complex and expensive systems, designed to last and to scale with the business, and choosing the right one is a crucial business decision. One of the decision-making criteria is the degree of integration with those customer-facing applications that feed into and from the ERP.
Yet in my meetings with retailers all around the world, I keep hearing the same frustrations expressed about integrating ERP and POS. Having selected the right ERP for their business, they are discouraged by the effort required to integrate it with their existing POS and other customer facing applications.
Or they find their chosen ERP is ‘tied’ to a POS that really doesn’t fit their requirements.
What they really want is to choose an ERP and based on its merits and fit to their requirements, without having to worry about integration difficulties. They want to select their POS and other customer facing applications on the same requirements-led basis, and be able to integrate the two systems without massive additional effort and cost.
At that point the conversation turns to the advantages of an Open API, ERP-agnostic retail suite like iVend Retail.
If retailers select a retail application suite that uses Open APIs to be 100% ERP agnostic, they can be confident in the knowledge that it can integrated with any ERP. That could be their existing ERP, the new one they’re about to implement, or one they haven’t even selected yet. And that’s when they start to see the possibilities and get really excited.
They want to hear how iVend delivers this ERP agnostic platform through Open APIs and how those same APIs allow for integration with a range of other customer facing solutions. Meaning that they can quickly and efficiently integrate any of the iVend modules with their chosen ERP – whatever it is. That’s the beauty of agnosticism – no ties.
By selecting an ERP-agnostic retail application suite like iVend, retailers can have the confidence of knowing that integration with their ERP or other applications is vastly simplified. Open APIs offer the opportunity to use their in-house development team, or a partner rather than having to use the ERP vendor’s resources. Open APIs mean that integrations or new modules can be built or managed by the retailer, to their timeframe and their cost model, rather than being tied to the price, time and service level offered by the ERP vendor.
Which in turn means that they can build the integrated digital platform that is the essential foundation for a true omnichannel retailing ecosystem. An ecosystem where all elements of the software solution work in tandem to help retailers provide the best possible customer experience – whatever the channel.