It is Independent Retailer Month and we are going to dedicate July’s posting on helping you to get the most out of your retail business.
In this article, we want to highlight the importance of using a software solution in your retail business, and most importantly implementing the right one. Therefore, we asked the opinion of the best; three experts from leading business software reviews sites shared their wisdom and experience.
Differentiate your business
You might think that when it comes to competing with large retail chains you can’t win because you cannot afford the lower prices, but there are effective ways to differentiate your business and win clients. “Putting the consumer at the center of your sales process and helping to shape their shopping journey through personalized customer service and better informed store associates can help your business compete against large retail chains”, says Karen McCandless, researcher and editor at GetApp, a site that helps businesses compare sales management software. “This is where the right business software is crucial. Almost 78% of respondents in a recent survey have seen an increase in customer satisfaction through using sales software. The right software gathers all information in one place, which can then be accessed on the go. This can decrease churn, provide better customer lifetime value, and allow you to respond to customers anytime, anywhere in a personalized manner”.
Implement a POS system
One of the most important software for retailers is definitely a POS system. “The capabilities, affordability and ease-of-use of today’s retail point of sale (POS) systems leaves independent retailers with no excuse to operate without one,” says Justin Guinn of Software Advice, a retail and online inventory management reviews company. “Yet, 64% of single-store retailers we consult don’t have a POS in place. It’s unheard of considering the operational benefits enabled by features available in most all POS systems. Most important amongst the five primary POS features are sales reporting & analytics and inventory management, which are requested by 76% and 74% of POS buyers we consult, respectively.”
Do your research first
On the importance of a POS system agrees Cara Wood, retail technology specialist at Capterra. "As a small retailer, finding the right software is crucial”, comments Cara. “These days, you really can't run a store without POS software. Stores that only take cash and run on a glorified calculator to make sales just don't stay in business. What's even more important for a small retailer is finding the right software on the first try, because you don't have the funds to bounce around between solutions. So make sure to do your research deeply.”
To sum this up, the right software solution is the tool to survive in a highly competitive market. A retailer should take his time to network with a variety of software vendors before selecting a solution and remember not to let themselves get carried away by the many features a software app offers which might not actually be needed. Nevertheless, picking the best isn’t always possible, especially if you don’t have a long experience in the field. In this case, cloud-based software might be helpful, as you will not need to invest in expensive hardware upgrades, making your budget suffer. At the same time, most of the vendors offer a monthly subscription that you can cancel at anytime. The possibilities are many.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. And if you liked this post, don’t forget to share it on social media.