With the popularization of e-commerce and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the brick-and-mortar retail sector has faced monumental challenges. Several pessimistic predictions were made regarding the downfall of the traditional retail industry, but nothing of this sort has materialized. On the contrary, retail businesses have readily adapted to the changes and emerged triumphant. New-age retailers have ushered in a revolution using the right technological solutions, data-driven management techniques, and intuitive marketing methods.
Investing in the Best Retail Management Solution:
Gone are when a retail management solution was merely a POS system to facilitate payments. Today, this platform encapsulates an end-to-end digitized solution covering all aspects of retail operations and merchandising. Apart from boosting sales and efficiency, the software is scalable, versatile, and has multiple in-built features. Automating inventory control, planogram designing, and daily reports saves time and keeps the store well-organized. Since the operational and marketing requirements differ from business to business, it is crucial to be very selective and meticulous while opting for a retail management system.
Purchase Considerations for a Retail Management Solution:
Built-in Features for Inventory Management:
A high-priority requirement is to exercise real-time control of incoming, outgoing, and in-store merchandise. Since manual inventory management is extremely challenging and tedious, an AI-driven system can fetch multiple advantages. This includes scanning the products from an e-catalog for automated recording and using a dashboard for centralized stock control. Robust retail management solutions also automate supply chain management to ease product returns and multi-channel deliveries. Most importantly, it is easy to monitor stock movement from warehouse to store by automating stock count. All of these inventory management features should be considered while choosing a retail management solution.
Inclusion of Retail Analytics for Crucial Insights:
Most retailers only look for loyalty program integration in the retail management system. But given the rapidly changing consumer behavior and overall market heterogeneity, the modern-day retail management system must include retail analytics components. With the right algorithms constantly studying consumer data, valuable insights on pricing, promotions, and rolling stock can be derived. For large-format retail stores, retail analytics helps analyze data segment-wise (apparel, home decor, furniture, FMCG) for higher clarity. Even for the senior management team stationed at company headquarters, these analytics-driven insights can help in framing crucial business decisions. In a nutshell, the vast repository of consumer data can be navigated and utilized constructively for business growth.
Proper Workforce Management Module:
Employee management is yet another crucial zone for retail businesses. Whether it is for ensuring employee accountability, curtailing attrition rates, boosting productivity, or incentivizing, a retail management solution should be versatile. The conventional cost and efforts incurred in monitoring employees can be significantly reduced with digitized modules for employee management. It also eliminates day-to-day paperwork by enabling attendance management, shift/roster management, and tracking user access for proper accountability. From employee-wise sales to daily/weekly targets and subsequent calculation of PLI (Performance Linked Incentive), many tasks can be eased out.
Seamless POS Solutions for Effortless Checkouts and Accounts Management:
No retail management system can be envisaged without a well-built POS module. Accounts-Management is the heart of every retail operation, and it needs to be carried out meticulously. The manual system is not only time-consuming but also highly susceptible to mistakes, fraud, and other errors. With the popularization of digital payments, the need to opt for an intuitive, user-friendly POS is all the more necessary. Additional features like key accounts management, diverse currency support, e-invoice generation, and loyalty point redemption must be availed. Opting for a multi-feature retail management system with an in-built POS is recommended for new and upcoming retail ventures. There could be instances wherein an existing store with a set POS system is opting for a new retail management solution. There should be a seamless integration of the in-built POS with the new retail management software in such cases.
Amongst the radical changes in the retail industry, the use of retail management software has been crucial. Along with the implementation of data analytics, digitization has profoundly impacted the way retail businesses function today. The right solution helps keep pace with altering consumer preferences and facilitates multi-channel retail, inventory management, cost compliance, and accountability. Since this requires considerable investment, businesses should consider the parameters mentioned above before choosing the right digital solution for retail management.
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