Less than a decade ago, the retail industry set the standards of service their customers were going to get. That was until online retail shopping came on the scene. Once the digitization of shopping took place, brick and mortar retail outlets began seeing their sales and store footfalls fall drastically. Most stores started looking at online space a bit more intensely trying to figure out a strategy to tackle the new breed of consumers – who turned to their smartphones than the stores to shop!
With the retail industry heading strongly towards a more organized online space, it is making it difficult for businesses to meet up with the increased demand and expanding volumes. The retail industry is constantly evolving at an alarming rate; technological interventions are providing tech-savvy consumers personalized experience every time they shop. In addition to making it easier for consumers, tech interventions have been able to help retailers enjoy glitch free supply chain, meet demands, build trust and maintain competitive advantage over industry players.
These are some of the technological interventions that are shaping the retail industry.
Regardless of you being an online ecommerce business or a traditional brick and mortar type of retailer, updated billing software will certainly top the list of your priorities at any time. With the increase in consumer demand for easier, faster and safer billing options, it is imperative to keep pace with the changing technology to provide customers with the same. A proper billing software usually takes care of all the bills, invoices, keeps track of inventory, identifies gaps in supply and demand and also manage taxes.
A proper billing software should give you complete control over your business, automate the whole process, reduce errors, keep close eye on profits and sales, manage inventory, help identify future needs and provide accurate real-time reports.
Make sure you have billing software that is specifically designed for the retail business. It should be able to handle huge volumes, provide smart financial reports, give audit controls, and provide stock, and complete comparative analysis of the competition.
While credit cards and debit cards have become the standard forms of billing and payment these days, thanks to newer technologies like NFC, it is going to become easier, safer and faster method of payment.
Payroll is a very important aspect of every business; however the retail industry comes with its unique payroll problems to deal with. That is why retailers have started implementing technological solutions to tackle their payroll concerns.
One of the most recent tech interventions in the retail industry is the ability to integrate payroll with point of sale system. In addition to this, smart payroll systems help retailers pay their employees from anywhere and at anytime safely and securely using mobile payments applications. Manual attendance system which is error and fraud prone is also reduced considerably. In addition to this, technology is also used to send customized payslips, auto deduct taxes, and streamline employee leave management.
Ecommerce is here to stay and it is completely changing the way retail industry operates. The idea of a store, of sales and customer interactions has changed drastically over the years. These days customers are demanding for personalized shopping experience and better brand engagement. That is the reason why more and more retailers are looking towards technology to help them out. iBeacon technology is being used extensively by large stores to great advantage. It helps by offering location based sale offers, notifications when customers are inside or near the store, personalized shopping suggestions and content depending on user behaviour and call to action.
Mobile ecommerce is completely changing the dynamics of retail industry. With the real estate on smartphones increasing day by day, retailers are trying to cash in on this by offering mobile only sales campaigns and more.
With large movements of products happening at a fast pace, it is highly important to have a reliable inventory system at place. As a retailer, inventory control is one of the most disturbing pain points. While replenishing goods consistently is one of the main aspects of inventory, understanding customer needs and forecasting demand is also highly essential. Electronic data interchange between vendor and retailer’s computers helps reduce communication time. Additionally, automatic replenishment systems also manages inventory. It also keeps over-ordering to the minimum.
A good inventory control system will help retailers take past sales into account, forecast future needs, provide easy-to-understand graphs, record inventory levels, track pricing, and also manage your margins effectively.
Business relationship with suppliers and vendors has a lot of impact on the overall success and failure of a retail business. A retailer depends on their suppliers for continuous replenishment of products; and any delay in the same can have serious repercussions.
Proper vendor communication is important to have seamless supply possible. That is one of the reasons why electronic data interchange between the internal systems of the buyer and supplier is being used these days. This negates fraud, errors and delays in supply. Vendor managed inventory has been used for quite a few years now, resulting in greater competitive advantage, glitch-free replenishment cycle, better supply chain management, and greater control over retailers inventory.
Although this might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, this is slated to become the next big thing in retail industry. Amazon, for one, has already started working on drone delivery, and the trail phase of it is also underway. Although it might be a few years before this actually takes off (no pun intended!), there are a lot of possibilities for this technology. For starters, drone delivery will certainly reduce the stress on our roads, increase customer satisfaction, reduce waiting time drastically, decrease manpower for transportation, and also reduce overall costs. However there are a number of factors that have to be considered before we see drones carrying parcels whizzing past our houses. There are a number of privacy concerns, legal hackles, and huge investment in technology that need to be considered by retailers.
For more information on how technology can help you streamline your retail business, call our experts right away. There is so much that a little technology can help achieve.