While everyone wants to see their business growing, along with success comes more responsibility. In the technologically-driven times of today, there are a plethora of integrated POS and e-commerce programs along with other software applications available to help in making the task completion more efficient.
The best solution for retail integration is an entire management system that handles every aspect of the business on one platform. That prevents inconsistencies and reduces the likelihood of errors within the company records.
What’s Included with Retail Integration Solutions
When you think about your business and everything that is required to keep it operational, you probably are doubtful that there is one solution out there that can take care of every aspect.
- Point of sale (POS)
- Inventory management
- Supply chain management
While each of these systems separately helps in making your job easier, running them individually opens up the door for errors and inconsistencies. By talking with a solutions provider, you can discover what kind of e-commerce pos integration and other systems your business will benefit most from now and in the future so that you don’t have to make changes down the road.
Depending on the platform selected, you can utilize inventory management solutions along with whatever other applications you need to operate your company all from one convenient system.
Using Your Existing Management Architecture
If you are building your business correctly, and you most likely are if it’s expanding, and you’re looking for a more efficient way to do it to keep up, chances are you have existing applications that you are already using. After taking the time and energy to get them all set up, you don’t want to erase it and start from scratch. A quality retail integration solution will take your current POS ecommerce software and other tools and bring them to work in conjunction with your new system.
How You Know it is Time to Integrate
You want to avoid hiccups from occurring at all costs when it comes to your business operations. The smallest mishap can end up costing you money, and it can easily be avoided with the adequately integrated management software. If any of these things are happening to you repeatedly or even once, it’s time to start thinking about what can be done to make the changes, so it doesn’t happen again.
Wasting time – some companies have employees spending entire days inputting information about sales into their POS systems. The process is tedious, and it can be eliminated when integrated. That will open up your staff to spend time on more important tasks and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Running out of inventory – there are times, especially when you have an online presence, that customers will be ordering more products than usual. When it happens, you run the risk of running out of inventory. Having to explain to your customers that they ordered something you don’t have isn’t good for business. With your systems integrated, you will know right away when there is something that is no longer available so there is no chance you will end up with disgruntled or confused costumers.
Manual errors – regardless of how careful you are, if you are manually inputting all of your data, human failure is inevitable. That’s something that won’t happen when it’s done through the management system. Thanks to everything being run electronically, there is little to no risks for mistakes happening.
Orders going out late or incorrect – a simple typing error can result in a catastrophe. You could send the wrong product or the right product to the wrong person because of one simple typo. As a result, you are tying up customer service representatives that have to try and rectify the situation enough to satisfy the customer. That goes without mentioning the costs that come along with fixing the mistake that should have never happened in the first place.
Declining customer satisfaction – in order for your business to thrive, your primary objective is keeping the customers happy. If they aren’t getting what they ordered when they expect to, patrons are less likely to come back and make future purchases. Your patrons are going to keep coming back to you if the experiences they have are good ones.
The Benefits of Integrated Retail Management in a Fully Digital World
As soon as you start blending your existing integrated POS and ecommerce applications with other much-needed programs on one platform, you will immediately begin to see the improvements in the operations of your company. One of the significant benefits is being able to quickly and accurately complete your necessary data analysis.
Instead of trying to look at every area separately, all the information is gathered and displayed in one easy-to-navigate location. You can see clearly what is going on with your business and you can quickly compare and correlate the data that has been gathered in new and effective ways. Imagine getting your paperwork done in just a few hours or less instead of spending a week trying to get yourself organized.
Some of the other benefits that you can expect to experience include:
- More time to spend managing other areas of the business. No more time wasted on unnecessary tasks and paper shuffling.
- Visibility in real-time of every area of your company
- More opportunities for cross-selling and upselling
- IT maintenance and integration costs are eliminated
- Faster customer service for a higher quality experience for your clients
- An increase in productivity with time saved in dealing with multiple different applications
- Training is completed more quickly for new hires or current employees that are changing tasks
- No further hires required for roles in data management
- New channels and physical locations can quickly be set up with the integrated system you have created instead of starting again from nothing
- Clearer and quicker communication across all departments for a more seamless operation
Implementing retail integration solutions is an investment in your business. The amount of benefits that you see within just a short time is going to prove to you that it’s money well spent. The small price you pay to get started with running everything from one central platform is going to pay for itself in no time at all.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Retail Management Solutions
Now that you know you need retail management solutions and what all the benefits are, you have to start thinking about what kind of system your business needs. Every company is different, and there are a plethora of options when it comes to choosing what’s going to be best for you. Here is what you should be looking at before making your final selection:
Features available – all companies are going to require something different from their retail management systems. Someone that sells clothing is going to need features that are not the same as someone that owns a bakery. There are some solutions out there that can handle both, but there are others that are more suited to your specific needs.
Cost and hardware – of course, the cost is going to be a factor in making your decision, and you have to explore several different options when exploring all that is available to see what fits within your budget. While researching the prices, also look at what kinds of hardware you are going to have to install to get things up and running. It could include anything from a receipt printer and cash drawer to a barcode scanner or credit card terminal. Everything is determined by what you need to run your business.
Inventory record keeping – it’s been established that inventory tracking is a benefit of having an integrated retail management system, but when you are exploring your options, think about how complex you want that inventory tracking to be. If you have more than one warehouse, for instance, you’re going to want something that can work between multiple locations.
Ease of use – not all systems can be easily operated. Think about your ability to run technological equipment. If you want something super simple, there are programs out there. If you can handle something more intricate, it opens up your options a bit. Also, take into account having to train your employees to use whatever systems you decide to install.
Physical software or Cloud software – cloud software is becoming increasingly popular because it allows you to have access to your data from any location. The physical software can only be viewed from the place where it has been recorded. You need to determine if you want to have that more flexible option when it comes to seeing what you have in your files.
Finding Quality Retail Management Solutions in an Ever-Changing Market
You want to locate a retail management solutions company that can handle the job you have in front of you when it comes to integrating all of your systems. With the market always changing, the provider that you choose has to be competent in the development of new services and products as they come available.
Be sure that you are working with a team that has experience in the industry and one that is dedicated to providing you with superior customer support throughout the length of your working relationship. You need to be able to get in contact with an expert if something goes wrong so that you aren’t slowing down your own business operations. Choosing the right retail integration management company to work with is the key to your success in your private flourishing company for now and in the years to come.