Latest retail management news:
For stores today, omni-channel retailing is no longer a lofty goal. Emerging technology and mainstream mobile devices are making the seamless integration between online and physical stores not only a reality, but a requirement.
A recent article on The Guardian website highlights this trend. Technologies like radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near field communication (NFC), along with the rising use of smartphones and tablets, is making omni-channel retailing more achievable and important than ever before.
And yet many retailers still aren’t ready. They don’t have the right infrastructure. In fact, many still have mainframes. How can you take advantage of these new technologies with an aging architecture? It’s all about the flow of information. It’s one thing to have all of this data, but what are you going to do with it?
Retailers need a flexible, extensible environment to leverage these advances in technology. The good news is that a lot of these technologies are cheaper than they once were. Sure, retailers might have to bite the bullet and throw out their old infrastructure, but it will be worthwhile in the long run.
The article takes a look at how other retailers are moving ahead. For example, one national U.S. retail chain plans to have RFID in all of its locations this year. Customers will be able to purchase items at self-serve stations and through their mobile devices, cutting costs for checkout transactions.
It’s just one example of how retailers are making changes to “enhance the retail formula.” Retailers must provide convenient ways for customers get store information and share their shopping experience. It’s a lot like “the good parts of e-commerce, with all the fun and tactile richness of real life thrown in,” the article notes.
If omni-channel retailing is your goal, The Guardian article recommends three ways to make it happen.
- Spread digital operations across the organization: Too often, the digital operations work in “silos.” This prevents retail or other departments from taking full advantage of omni-channel retailing opportunities.
- Invest in technology: Some retailers have held off on implementing more digital capabilities due to high implementation costs. But the costs are dropping rapidly.
- Explore opportunities today: Keeping up and preparing for digital developments requires a long-term plan. Start planning today. Retailers should explore what they can do now to connect with their customers via multiple channels.
Source: The Guardian, February 2013
RECENT RETAIL MANAGEMENT NEWS
An article on the Bloomberg website highlights how retail sales are on the rise as the economy improves. What this means for retailers is that they had better start investing money into improving their own legacy environment to boost the customer experience. Now is the time to invest in retail ERP software.
Now that retailers have captured consumers’ attention with mobile apps, it’s time to get them to take a bite. In other words, convert browsers into buyers as a way to curb showrooming. An article on the Business Insider website highlights how more retailers are engaging their customers through omni-channel retailing.
No longer considered a newcomer to the marketing scene, mobile is now a major player in omni-channel retailing and in the battle for consumers’ dollars. Statistics cited in an article on the MediaPost website make it clear: mobile is here. Retailers must start leveraging mobile strategies now. Those playing the waiting game will go out of business.
Looking to boost sales during the slower months? Use retail ERP software to capture customer information, mine the data and take action. An article on the Business 2 Community website shares five ways retailers can use digital marketing to make emails, promotions and coupons more targeted and effective.
Retailers must understand how consumer habits are changing, an article on the Infofree website explains. In particular, consumers expect year-round Black Friday-type deals, while online shopping, free shipping and showrooming all are on the rise. A retail ERP system can help businesses analyze these trends and adjust future plans.
People, especially the younger generation, expect to be able to do everything through their mobile devices. A recent study cited in an article on the MediaPost website proves that consumer patterns today are centered on mobile. Retailers must make sure the mobile facet of their omni-channel retail strategy keeps up with the demand.
As the needs of the customer evolve, so should retail strategy. Omni-channel retailing is shaking up the industry as the channels become blurred. An article on the SmartBlog on Leadership shares how retailers can take advantage of omni-channel retailing, loyalty programs and showrooming. Above all, customers want retailers to know who they are.
No longer considered the new kid on the block, smartphones continue to gain mainstream momentum and serve a vital role in omni-channel retailing. An article on the BuzzCity blog takes a look at how QR codes, social networking and consumer electronic devices have pushed smartphones to center stage in a maturing mobile industry.
Even though retail sales got the cold shoulder in December, analysts say consumer spending will warm up in 2013. One analyst points out in an article on CNBC.com that many retailers had the wrong inventory or a shortage of inventory this holiday season. Retail ERP software is the key to better inventory management.
The retailers who survived the recession are the ones that adapted best to consumers’ changing purchasing patterns. More than ever, consumers are cautious about how much they’re spending, an article on Forbes.com reports. Retailers need retail management software to understand these changes and stay strong in an evolving retail landscape.