Maximising Operational Capabilities With Retail Software

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Maximising Operational Capabilities With Retail Software.

By Rafał Imielski, Content Marketing Specialist, Objectivity - part of Accenture.

Whether it’s about improving efficiencies to ensure survival or innovating to increase market share, software solutions have served as essential tools for retail organisations for a while now. As the market becomes increasingly competitive, strong technological capabilities are more important than ever to stay afloat.

Software Solutions Across Retail Areas 

Of course, people and brick-and-mortar infrastructure remain the core of many retail businesses, and it’s not going to change anytime soon. However, there are plenty of areas and business processes that require modern technology to truly thrive.  

Customer Experience 

Entertainment giants like Netflix and TikTok use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to perfect their recommender algorithms. Retailers can do the same when it comes to upsell opportunities in e-commerce and omnichannel retail. Data collected in your daily operations can help you optimise customer communication and implement contextual promotions. This way, you can drive sales and increase customer loyalty. 

Supply Chain  

Fit-for-purpose retail software can offer unparalleled supply chain visibility, providing detailed information on the location and quantity of your stock. In more advanced approaches, you can implement an AI solution for demand forecasting and utilise its outputs to optimise stock levels across your locations. On one hand, supply chain software can help you find efficiencies in warehousing and transportation; on the other, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart shelves can be valuable assets for in-store inventory management. 

Online & Offline Store Operations 

According to Google, 74% of retail customers do online research before visiting a physical store. Researching products online on smartphones while in-store is also becoming more and more common. That’s why, to succeed in retail, you can’t forget about your online presence. Moreover, leading organisations strive to create a truly seamless omnichannel setup, providing customers with a consistent experience across multiple channels. Mobile applications can play a pivotal role in this area, having the potential to be a link between online and offline shopping. They create a win-win situation, as the customers get a more convenient and engaging experience, while retailers gain the ability to offer personalised, location-based promotions to drive sales.  

Workforce Management 

Optimising labour costs is a major component of driving organisational efficiency that lets a company stay profitable during an economic downturn. Use the right technology to track your operations, identify room for improvement, and optimise shift scheduling. Leverage historical data and AI to predict busy and slow periods in your stores with great accuracy and align your scheduling accordingly. At the same time, effective HR and communication solutions can help you improve employee experience and retain your staff. Equipping personnel with modern, fit-for-purpose digital tools can also boost their productivity and drive satisfaction. 

Legacy Modernisation 

According to McKinsey, many retailers are still held back by the legacy technologies they rely on. Further delaying their modernisation initiatives is only making things worse. Retail organisations spend 58% of their IT budgets on maintaining dated systems — money that could otherwise be spent on innovation. As they continue to postpone modernisation investments, the cost of doing nothing is only increasing. Instead, you can break this cycle and implement systems that are actually capable of meeting the needs of modern customers and retailers. Switching to an up-to-date technology will help you optimise business processes, increase productivity, and become more agile as an organisation. 

Summary  

Digital technologies have become an integral part of almost every retail business and indispensable tools for meeting the expectations of modern customers. Today’s retail landscape is highly competitive, and consumers are quickly getting used to the enhanced experience offered by leading innovators. At the same time, technology is key to ensuring the operational efficiency of your organisation.   

The areas covered in this article represent just some examples of how retailers can leverage fit-for-purpose retail solutions to their advantage. If you want to learn more about what technology can bring to your retail business, visit Objectivity’s retail software solutions page

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