It’s clear that the retail landscape is in a state of a major transformation. Thanks to disruptive technologies and changing consumer behavior, traditional retailers are under increasing pressure to keep up with digital-first companies such as Amazon, Takealot, Superbalist, etc.
A large SA retailer that employs approximately 40,000 people, is implementing a survival plan to ensure it does not close its door, having previously reported having struggled with making enough profit in the past. The retailer’s plan, which will help to up its game, is based on seeking funding and not using technology to up its profits.
The future could look bright for those retailers who are willing to embrace innovation and invest in long-term growth. But how do they need to adapt? And where should they be focusing their spend and resource?
Here are 5 ways retailers can safeguard their position in an omnichannel world.
There’s no doubt that the selection pressure on retail businesses is changing, and those that fail to adapt certainly face decline and even extinction. But whilst traditional retail businesses based on brick-and-mortar stores urgently need to update their business models for the Amazon age, they also need to start recognizing the unique advantages their physical locations offer – and then using technology to enhance them.
After all, unlike shopping online, the brick-and-mortar experience is one of true discovery, which can be done with friends, and also offers the possibility of in-person interactions with retail staff. The more retailers can play up these three elements, the more they can win back the hearts and minds of consumers, using the opportunity of in-store interaction to their unique advantage.
If retailers invest properly in infrastructure that breaks down internal departments, they will be able to offer consumers truly omnichannel shopping experience.
Until recently, there was no connection between what a shopper bought or looked at online and their behavior in-store. But knowing who the customer is, where they are, and their preferences is critical. To do this, retailers are using analytics, location, and context, and seeing rising sales as a result.
By aligning back-end operations with front-end customer service, and using technology at every step of the supply chain, the retail industry will start to get a single, multi-channel view of its omnichannel customers. This is exactly what it needs to offer the seamless, streamlined experience that consumers now demand.
Tied to the above point, part of developing insight into a customer’s in-store behavior includes collecting data around stock and inventory. At present, the structure of many retailers fails to live up to the needs of modern customers. Stock is typically received and allocated to different departments that serve the physical shop, e-commerce, pop-ups, and wholesale. But this kind of approach is no longer fit for purpose in an omnichannel world.
With growing customer demand to access any item through any channel at any time, retailers need to have a precise picture of their inventory 24/7.
To achieve this, and ultimately increase profit margins and retain customers, retailers must improve their POS systems and make better use of inventory tracking technology. Investing in technologies such as radio-frequency identification and electronic shelf labels will enable retailers to monitor stock levels in real-time, and ensure they know exactly what they have in at any given time. Not only will this avoid customer disappointment in out-of-stock items but it maximizes efficiencies, saving the retailer time and money in the long-run.
If brick-and-mortar retailers are going to overcome the challenges they face, they must be willing to invest both money and time into offering the kind of experience customers have come to expect. Perhaps surprisingly, the focus for this investment starts with employees – more specifically, empowering employees through digital technology and connected workplaces.
After speaking to 900 managers and non-managers in global retailers, and conducting interviews with two industry experts for our report The Road to Digitalisation in Retailing, we found that retail workers using digital workplace technology were not only more productive (72%), but also better able to differentiate their customer offering against the competition (59%).
The benefits of digitization for employees is clear. But with more than a third of those surveyed saying retail has been slow to implement workplace technology compared to other industries, retailers must make this more of a priority. To thrive, they must focus on technology at the edge of the network – in the physical locations that staff and shoppers are most likely to interact, and then provide staff with the connected digital tools that allow them to deliver a more personalized service to every customer.
After years of focusing only on spending that brings immediate results, retailers are having to accept the need for long-term investments in both POS systems and people. Because unless they conduct a full overhaul of their legacy infrastructure and bridge the skills gap by outsourcing the right talent, they stand little chance of navigating digital transformation successfully.
Rather than mothballing any project that doesn’t deliver instant gains, the industry needs to find new ways of measuring success over longer periods of time. Once retailers get comfortable with this, they can start to focus on building smart digital workplaces – spaces that connect back-end employees with those on the shop floor and provide them all with the tools and flexibility to do their jobs properly.
For retailers, the present can sometimes seem bleak, but the future doesn’t need to be. If that is, technology is embraced and integrated in a way that empowers employees, serves customers and improves the bottom line, and retailers prepare to hold out for longer-term results.
Here are a few things which can be taken care of by using a StorePoint POS Restaurant Management system:
Technology moves on and new features are often launched. Today many POS Systems are cloud-based and this can be a real advantage as it offers many features and facilities to your store. Here we list some good reasons to have a cloud-based POS system and increase your productivity.
A cloud-based POS system can be accessed from any devices as long as it has a browser. From a phone or a tablet, from work or from your sofa, you will always have access to your data. Managing your business doesn’t mean that you have to be in your store anymore.
Besides managing your business from home, a cloud-based POS system also allows you to be mobile inside the store. As the system can be used from a portable device, it allows sellers to move around with the equipment. This can be very practical as vendors can have the product’s information quickly available. Moreover, this feature is extremely used in restaurants as it allows waitresses to automatically send orders to the kitchen printer, and take payments at the customer’s tables. Having an mPOS system, therefore, improves customer service.
As soon as an item is sold, the cloud based POS system instantly saves the information. Sales reports, stocks and customer information are always updated.
With a cloud based POS system, data is always saved online, which makes the system safer. Additionally, as everything is automatic, you don’t need to worry about where and how often your data needs to be backed up.
Most of the times a cloud-based POS system can be installed on your existing device, which will save you from buying an expensive hard drive, such as a computer. Regarding the software, it can come for free to up to R 10,000. The cost of the program varies depending on the number of cash registers, the number of items in the store and the number of vendors.
Additionally, you will generally need to pay a low monthly fee. This will typically be between R400 and R900, and the fee can be fixed or based on credit card processing charges.
A cloud based POS system has many different options and you can decide which ones you need for your store and which ones you don’t. Marketing, accounting and loyalty programs can be totally adapted to your needs. You might need a management option to help you successfully control your employees. Also, it could maybe profit your store to have a powerful loyalty program that could advertise your business.
In today’s world technology is moving very fast, and you don’t want to have your new equipment obsolete a few weeks of possession. A cloud based POS system can usually be updated easily and for free. New versions secure you will always have the latest trend and the best available tools.
A cloud based POS system can easily be upgraded, and it can track your growth and business needs. Additional product lines, features or stores can be added to the software. Nevertheless, even if it is rare for this equipment, don’t forget to check if your provider charges a cancellation fee to avoid being locked in a specific contract.
Even if a cloud-based POS system seems perfect, there are a few points to check before opting for this option. Check how you can transfer your data from your existing POS system, and if the provider will help you in this process. Also, you need to be sure you have a powerful internet connection or software that can run without it, and synchronize when you are back online. You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t receive any payments.
Cloud-based point of sale systems offers easy integration to accounting packages like Sage One and QuickBooks. Integration also means quick access to restaurant food online ordering like StarvinMarvin Food On-line ordering system
Are you tempted with the advantages and importance of having a cloud-based POS system at your store? Before making a choice, you need to know which features your business needs.