UK retail software vendor, itim, which supplies point-of-sale, merchandising and supply chain solutions to retailers such as Debenhams, Sainsbury's and The Entertainer, is using the UK's Retail Business Technology Expo show in May to launch a new set of mobile solutions in conjunction with a sophisticated order management system after popular uptake among a number of retail clients.
It follows a series of successful implementations which have seen retailers like The Entertainer use itim's multi-channel order management and in-store mobile devices to help customers order from a wide range of toys across all sales channels and achieve an increase of 5.5% in like-for-like sales in the first year.
itim's TRS Customer Order Management software has been put through its paces during various retailers' busiest trading conditions - Christmas, Black Friday and during seasonal sales peaks. A general move towards more online and mobile shopping has encouraged many retailers to try and bridge the gap and drive footfall to bricks-and-mortar stores through innovative services like 30-minute 'click-and-collect', same-day delivery and real-time stock checking and by introducing more mobile-friendly technology in stores.
itim's latest software allows retailers to orchestrate orders across all channels and enables store staff using mobile devices to take and process customer orders. This allows retailers to be more flexible in their customer service, whether for picking up goods in a chosen store, or for delivery directly to a customer's home or local collection point. Customer order management tools help re-route and drive more sales of unsold stock that might be lying dormant in a warehouse or another store. New in-store applications have also been added, meaning that staff can give more personalised service, instantly check stock availability across the estate and make recommendations tailored to a customer's needs.
Simon Evetts, UK managing director at itim, stresses the importance of retailers having an accurate picture of stock across all channels and locations in order to meet customer demands. Real-time stock visibility sends a strong message to customers that, if there's a product they want, they can be sure in the knowledge that you can find it and reserve it.
"Many retailers satisfy customer orders from the warehouse, not stores, without really considering the benefits of moving stock around and having the visibility to drive more traffic to their stores where the majority of sales still happen," he says. "Retailers need to get the most out of what stock's available and having a single view of stock across multiple channels - rather than silos of disjointed information across various systems - is crucial."