2015 is the year for smart retailing
Ireland and also many European countries have had a tough time in recessionary conditions. “Enough of the gloom” those times are thankfully over. Christmas 2014 was OK sales wise but new year sales 2015 have proven extremely strong and retailers are fighting back and winning. “It was likely that the post-Christmas sales period would be one of the best on record” REI deputy chief Sean Murphy 2014. Your customers have more money in their pockets and the economy is creating jobs and unemployment is reducing at a rapid pace, with this pace is your retail business smartly capitalizing on this trend?
Retail technology has improved dramatically throughout the global economic slow down of 2007 – 2013. Integration, social interaction / social media, big data, cloud computing, retail business analysis and the multi channel environment are the buzz words in retail technology for that six year period. Had you heard of big data analysis in 2006 or integrated Amazon online stores linked to your ecommerce site and POS system? Indeed no, I think not.
What is out there now for retailers to exploit is very exciting and now is the time to invest in retail technology. We are on the upward curve in economic terms for consumers and businesses alike to start spending again. You as a smart business need to be at the forefront of feeding what you held close and protected for the last six years, YOUR BUSINESS!
Everything starts with your POS (Point of Sale) (Computerised Till System) system and an epos (electronic Point of Sale) system that can be not only integrate with multi channel technology but that can drive your business. Speaking from the perspective of a business analyst with a speciality in retail, I get excited speaking to businesses about what technology can do but also the processes it can put in place in your business to make you.
- More efficient
- More process driven
- More analytical
- More customer focused
- More inclusive
- More integrated
- More advantaged
- More aligned and adaptable to change
- More money
- Far less of all the other distractions that hinder your business
The obvious advantages of stock inventory management, customer management and employee management should be in your mind and built into your POS system or your technology partner should be advising you promptly and insightfully on how to get this from your POS system through integration with apps that can bridge the gap. If they are not or are making a meal out of this maybe you should be looking at a new partner.
Your EPOS system should be integrated to your ecommerce platform. This in turn should be linked to all your social media activity and any external sales channels like Amazon and EBay that you trade on, your website should be mobile and tablet friendly, it should be integrated with your accounts package and it should be easy to pull reports from and give you meaningful insight on all the above at the click of a few buttons. You should have some form of cloud solution linked in terms of reporting so that you are always in the know about what is going on with alerts set up when things important to your business are triggered (example – too many “no sales” or returns for a register or store) (your daily revenue target has been met)(a promotion you set has reached a milestone).
All of this is ready for you to exploit and I’ve not even got started on what you can actually do with the data once collected, some hints are e-mail targeted marketing, market basket analysis, customer segmentation and stock forecasting coupled with analysis to name a few. A technology partner that is excited, knowledgeable and capable of helping you achieve this is who your business needs to be aligned with, You will however have to work hard in implementing these systems but the smart business owner knows that working smarter as well as harder guarantees success.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have on anything I have discussed above or about how to get your business utilizing technology smarter in 2015.
Contact us here or call us on 01 6296058
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