The retail sector regularly faces challenges and previously these were met with technological advances and new approaches. However, the best way for retailers to address current trends is to closely evaluate the back-office system foundation of their business.
A one-system approach, will give you enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and order inventory management. You then gain a single source of the truth for all your customer, order and inventory data in real-time. And this data is available to all existing and future front-end, customer-facing systems.
Brick and mortar stores can no longer operate separately from the other sales and service channels you have. To meet the buy anywhere, get anywhere expectations of today, you need to be part of the supply chain. With access to accurate customer and inventory data, which empowers your sales team and enables them to sell and provide an even higher level of customer service.
Despite the popularity of online shopping, physical stores still exist and online-only retailers are transforming them into showrooms to demonstrate their service and enhance the experience.
The shoppers of today expect anytime and anywhere commerce. They become frustrated when they see “out of stock” references. Therefore, having a readily available inventory, allowing shipment to the customer, is a major competitive advantage in the retail sector. The creation of an “endless aisle” ensures that your inventory is always available to your customers, and you will never miss a sale.
This is inevitably about the data. Has your shopper abandoned items in their shopping cart? Have they viewed a product page on your e-commerce site, or made purchases online or in-store? Valuable information like this can be used to engage customers, drive loyalty and contribute towards the growth of brand spend.
Only when you have a full understanding of what your existing systems are capable of, and what you need to change to achieve the growth you want, can you begin to address the retail trends apparent in 2017.