Retail ERP Software

Retail ERP Software

How AI and AR can help retailers stay in business in moments of crisis

Store closures and social distancing have caused a rise in demand for virtual tools and technologies that bring the shopping experience into consumers’ homes. Beauty brands, which were among the first to try out AI and AR to enhance the consumer experience, are increasingly using the technology to suggest products based on people’s preferences and unique characteristics, including skin tone and face shape, as well as to help customers virtually try on products before committing to a purchase. Even before the Covid-19 crisis, the technology had already proved its worth. Figures from Perfect Corp, which develops virtual makeup technology, show that virtual try-on technology generated 2.5 times higher e-commerce conversions for brands and decreased return rates by more than 8%. Trident is offering Cloud Based Retail ERP Software to manager retail operations effectively

As the technology develops and becomes more sophisticated, consumers are progressively trusting in AI to help them make purchase decisions.

“Consumers trust AI to curate a choice of products, services and experiences that reduce complexity and make life more fulfilling,” writes Andrew Cosgrove, Global Consumer Knowledge Leader & Lead Analyst at EY. “AI knows its “owner” so well that it suggests new and unexpected product ideas or experiences they love.”

Digital suddenly finds itself one of the main commerce channels for retailers. We expect AI and AR are here to stay, as more consumers become aware of their virtues when it comes to convenience, and as these technologies can help retailers to continue trading regardless of what happens in the real world.

Here are four ways to make AI and AR work for your business:

1. Bring the in-store shopping experience to your customers’ homes

AI and AR take online shopping to a whole new level by making it possible for consumers to choose from selected products picked out just for them, try out new experiences and test products in ways they wouldn’t have been able to previously – all from the comfort of their homes.

Early pioneers of AI- and AR-powered online shopping include opticians, who realized that consumers still want the option to try on glasses and see what styles suit them before committing to a purchase. Virtual fitting technology has made this possible, with some retailers further elevating the experience using AI to automatically suggest the perfect frame to suit your face.

Indeed, AI lends itself to verticals where consumers may find themselves bogged down in complex choices. Instead of having to scroll through hundreds and hundreds of beauty products, for example, new services such as My Beauty Matches use AI-powered algorithms, and using the consumer’s previous searches, purchases, and known preferences, they suggest items from large databases (in this case, there are over 400,000 products) that couldn’t be easily browsed by the consumer.

Advances in machine learning help brands to identify consumer styles and preferences to gain a granular level of customer understanding, so they can optimize each customer’s individual journey.

“In one of the worlds we modeled, consumers valued time much more than money,” Andrew Cosgrove, Global Consumer Knowledge Leader & Lead Analyst at EY, said. “Their personalized AI learned about their unique preferences and used those insights to buy most of the things they needed. This allowed them to spend their time shopping only with brands that reflected their values and purpose.”

2. Find the right items across infinite aisles of products

The most successful AI and AR experiences today tend to be delivered by retailers that have large item assortments and the ability for consumers to personalize their choices. Home goods and furniture retailers are a clear use case, with many using the technology to help customers choose products that will fit beautifully into their homes and match their existing décor.

Online furniture retailer Wayfair is known for using AI to target customers with personalized recommendations. The company’s search algorithm extracts the customer’s style preferences from their search history to present a selection of furniture that is likely to appeal. Another service allows customers to take a photo of a furniture piece they like and match it to a similar item in the Wayfair inventory, which holds millions of products.

AR then takes this a step further by giving consumers the ability to virtually see how products will look in situ before committing to a purchase. Returns on investment have been demonstrated with increased conversion and reduced returns.

AI is proving its worth in fashion too, helping customers choose clothing that will fit them best by analyzing previous purchases and suggesting sizing based on their profile. Iconic jeans brand Levi’s uses an AI-based chatbot to help customers find the perfect pair of jeans. It asks consumers their preferences when it comes to fit, rise, amount of stretch and wash, and asks what size they are in another brand to determine the best size in Levi’s and suggest the right pair.

And in beauty, brands are using the technology to offer services such as instant foundation shade matching and advanced skincare analysis, as well as matching consumers with products and looks that will suit their complexion, style and occasion.

3. Anticipate consumer demands

One of the major benefits that retailers can draw from AI and AR experiences is the amount of data they can collect about their consumers along the way. This data, if collected appropriately, can be used to improve the accuracy of stock and inventory requirements forecasts throughout the year.

“As consumers browse, test features and make purchases, they are providing retailers with an entirely new set of data points,” writes Hamaad Chippa on Retail TouchPoints.

Retailers can then use this information to rethink product assortments for a better shopping experience, or to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns that lead to greater conversion rates. For example, a customer who just bought a whole load of supplies from a pet store for their new kitten is likely to want to sign up for home deliveries of cat food.

AI can also help retailers target consumers with promotions that are more likely to lead to purchases based on past browsing and purchase history.  “Whether that is 10% off online, 15% in-store or free shipping, customers automatically receive the promotions that are most likely to make them convert,” writes Imtiaz Mohammady on Forbes.

4. Optimize inventory, both present and future

Retailers are increasingly using AI to gain a better picture of what stock they hold currently and what they will need in future. Although many are used to interrogating their data to anticipate demand and make accurate forecasts, AI is taking the game to new heights by helping them to better prepare for unexpected events and predict and prevent potential supply chain disruptions. Advanced forecasting and replenishment tools can help react to changes, recalculate new quantities to reorder for stores and warehouses, and adjust the supply systems to keep up with demand.

Supermarkets in particular are turning to AI models to help keep store shelves stocked. Companies such as Walmart have been trialing robots that scan aisles for missing products. And in its Walmart Neighborhood Market store in Levittown, New York, the company is exploring the possibilities of AI and using real-time information to help store associates know more precisely when to restock products, so that items are available on shelves when they’re needed.

“Customers can be confident about products being there, about the freshness of produce and meat,” Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab, said in a press release. “Those are the types of things that AI can really help with.”

Technology to overcome challenges

Retailers need to be able to offer rich and convenient customer experiences, and both AI and AR are very quickly opening up new possibilities that could transform retail, making it more adaptable to diverse situations.

In the not too distant future, AI and AR could help to make retail experiences even more personalized, unique, collaborative and social. Without moving from their sofa, customers may be automatically sent a selection of outfits and beauty products curated just for them in anticipation of an upcoming family party. They will simply scroll through the selection, try everything on virtually, mark down what they want to purchase, and wait for everything to arrive well in time for the big event – no hassle, ultimate convenience.   Contact us for Retail ERP Software demo or write us at info@tridentinfo.com

Retail ERP Software, Retail POS Solution

7 tips to deliver better online grocery shopping

The boom of online grocery shopping has been a long time coming. In 2015, more than one third (37%) of shoppers in Asia-Pacific regularly shopped for food online, Nielsen reports. Although in the rest of the world online grocery shopping was less common, there was already a growing trend, which has only become more pronounced. According to projections by Deutsche Bank, online grocery shopping is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.2%, which is significant if compared with a 2.5% CAGR for total grocery sales.

Supermarkets have had time to prepare for the shift to online, but not all of them have stayed on top of trends. When, due to necessity, consumers worldwide moved massively towards online shopping, some supermarkets found themselves suddenly out of the race. Today, the businesses who didn’t believe and invest in omni-channel are facing the harsh consequences of their decisions.

Online shopping has been gaining ground quickly among all ages and geographies, and there is no reason to believe this popularity will fade in the upcoming months. This means there is no better time than today to invest in improving your e-commerce capabilities.

Here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Focus on speed and ease of use

Simplicity and usability of the platform should be your top goals:

  • Make it easy for people to registerfind the products they need, add items to the cart, review and edit the order and pay.
  • Enable filtering per sub-groups of items to speed up search. Your customers would rather not have scroll through a hundred-item long list of “bread and pastries” to find the apricot-filled croissants they are looking for.
  • Make sure you include all relevant product information. Feature high-quality pictures, and clearly label brand names, price, ingredients with nutritional value and allergens, and pack size.
  • Include expiry dates wherever possible. If a shopper knows that the Greek yogurt lasts three more weeks, they might buy three packs instead of one.
  • Support returning shoppers. Give customers the possibility to recreate previous orders quickly and activate shopping lists where people can add staples and family favorites. Allow registered customers to see their buying history and to share the basket with other family members.
  • Ensure short page load times. If your site is too slow to load, buyers may abandon their cart without completing the purchase.

2. State the important information up front

How annoyed will your online shopper be when he finds out that his postcode is not eligible for delivery, after he spent a full hour adding products to the cart? For retailers, it pays off to be clear and provide all needed information from the start. Buyers should be aware of shipping prices and timesdelivery restrictions, geographical areas included in the service and special conditions before they have added a single item to their cart.

When it’s time to check out, make sure that all the steps are clearly labelled, and that shoppers know what’s coming up in the process. Consider adding lines that clarify where the customer is at, such as “You can still modify your order in the next step” or “By clicking here, you confirm your order and accept to pay. You won’t be able to modify your order afterwards”. Consider adding a progress bar that shows the various steps (“Customer details” -> “Shipping” -> “Payment information” -> “Review order” -> “Complete and pay”).

Once the order has been placed, include an “order completed” page where all the key information is summarized: items purchased, delivery and payment information, time of order, and what the customer should expect (an email? A call? A link to track the shipment?).

3. Think of the different platforms

Today, more consumers access websites from mobiles than from computers. According to data from marketing site The Drum, last year 63% of traffic and 53% of sales on retailers’ eCommerce sites happened via mobile. As the preference for mobile shopping is only going to get more common, you should ensure that your website performs well on mobile devices. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is my e-commerce site responsive?
  • Are the buttons big and easy to tap? Are the text fields large and easy to type into?
  • Are pictures clear? Can people easily zoom in to see extra details? Is it easy to move through different images?
  • Is all information visible on small screens, or do some lines disappear or end up off screen?
  • Can customers easily move between items and categories?
  • Is the payment process simple and easy to follow?

Many consumers start a transaction on a device and continue it on another one. If when they resume the transaction they lose all the items they had already added to the cart, they may not be bothered to start over again – and you’ll lose that transaction. Enable saving the cart for logged in customers, so they can easily pick up transactions on different devices, at their pace and convenience.

4. Make it easy to navigate

On your e-commerce site you can easily display a larger product selection than in your physical locations. If you decide to go for the “endless aisles” style, make sure you organize the selection so that customers can easily find what they need.

  • Offer top-level categories that can be accessed from the top menu.
  • Enable customers to filter and sort items by price, brand, group, review scores, etc.
  • Make sure information is easy to skim through. Use bullet points and organize information consistently (first ingredients, then package size, then weight, then expiry date…) so users can find what they need at a glance.
  • Make sure the “buy” button is clearly visible. Add a checkmark or confirmation text to clarify when an item has been added to the basket.
  • Include a search function with predictive suggestions and auto corrects (“Did you mean…?”). Your customer may call “cilantro” what you call “coriander” on your site; you wouldn’t want her to leave without it just because the search gave no results.

5. Offer flexible delivery

Offer several delivery options and time slots, and be specific with your delivery times. The best practice is to offer precise delivery windows, and allow people pick the one that best fits their schedule. The more precise you are, the more likely you are customers will decide to shop with you. Nielsen’s “Global Connected Commerce Report” advises offering 30-minute interval windows – provided you can stick to your promises, and ensure delivery within the selected time frame.

How should you ship the products? Food retailers worldwide have been experimenting with different delivery methods. Which one(s) you should implement will depend on your customers’ demands, as well as on the local context and competitive landscape. Do your customers prefer to get their products delivered home? Would they rather use a third-party delivery station, such as a refrigerated locker? Do they want to order online and pick up in-store? Can you support picking up products at the curbside, or even via drive-thru? The more delivery options you can offer, the likelier you are to satisfy all demands. What if you don’t have the infrastructure to manage timely delivery and distribution of your goods? Then you should consider partnering up with distribution agents. This model, made popular by tech companies like Instacart, has already been successfully adopted by many supermarkets.

6. Guarantee high quality

Research by Nielsen shows that concerns over the quality of fresh items and worries about the risk of spoilage during delivery are two of the main barriers to online food shopping. To help consumers overcome these concerns,

  • Offer delivery options that preserve product quality. Refrigerated lockersone-hour delivery, and click and collect within a specific pick-up window are some of the options to ensure freshness while offering customers high flexibility.
  • Provide detailed information for fresh produce. This means including not only a description, but also freshness labels that say how many days the product will last after it is delivered.
  • Solicit feedback, and feature customer reviews under each product your website.
  • Allow customers to exchange the products, or get their money back, if the food does not meet their expectations at delivery.

7. Make it all work together seamlessly

When you are selling products online, you will be judged for more than just the quality of your products. If your website crashes, if the delivery service runs late, if a product description is incorrect, if the refrigerated locker where you deliver products breaks down, customers will hold you responsible. Convenience is a core element in consumers’ decision to shop for grocery online. A poor experience, a snag in the process, and you risk losing a customer forever.

It pays off to analyze and future-proof your whole chain, from production, to the technology you use, to accuracy of product information, to physical delivery, and ensure that every step of the process is smooth, efficient, and up to standards.

Online grocery shopping has moved beyond its tipping point. Although it’s hard to predict what will happen tomorrow, we can expect that grocery e-commerce will continue its upward trend. Retailers who want to shape the market and win over competitors must move quickly and fearlessly. If you need advice getting ready for the digital future of grocery shopping, do not hesitate to contact us.

Retail ERP Software

7 Reasons to have a Retail-oriented Solution to Unite E-commerce and ERP

Solely brick-and-mortar retail is gradually have become the exception rather than the norm. Increasing numbers of consumers have welcomed the convenience of online retailers, allowing them to evaluate items in less time and make purchasing decisions rather than visiting various physical stores. In everyday market research, 81 percent of consumers use phones and tablets. In reply to these developments, businesses try to boost revenues by embracing ecommerce and spreading to other platforms.

Yet each new site introduced by marketers raises the difficulty of their distribution chain. To integrate all channels information to make good enterprise-wide choices, they need new digital resources. To establish a consolidated database of all purchases, clients, and goods, several retail businesses prefer to incorporate their ERP implementation services with each of their distribution channels. There are however some clear benefits of using an integrated solution designed specifically for the retail sector over integration solutions for common use applications.

Below are some features of built-in retail integration solutions that show the requirement of customization for a common integration framework:

1- Flexibility Over Retail Vhannels

All businesses move toward cohesive user experiences. Retail-specific integration solutions enable different systems, like your point-of-sale (POS) and ecommerce system, to import and then use product descriptions into your Retail ERP Software. It means you have the same range of products throughout all the product lines, while constantly pricing and discounting those items.

2- Omni Channel Experience

Retail integration solutions offer services for Omni channel purchase-online pickup-in-store (BOPIS) fulfilment which enables customers to buy an item from one channel and deliver it from another platform. They might buy a product at a retail outlet, for instance, and have it shipped to their house, or they might order it online and pick it up at a local retail outlet. The retail-specific integrated system manages ZIP-code searches for shop inventory, and shares shop pickup information between systems.

3 – Inventory Clarity

Retail connectivity solutions provide an accurate representation of product availability by synchronization of inventory data throughout networks and systems on a routine basis. Entities can even merge individual warehouses and shops into satisfactory groups to enhance the control of the distribution chain.

4- Client Information Integration

Your Retail ERP system will exchange customer data with your online store and other channels, using a retail-specific implementation solution. Customer data must stay consistent over digital and physical platforms and will avoid redundant information. Such knowledge could be used to generate and monitor purchase requests, and to improve loyalty program management.

5- Unified Loyalty Program

A retail integration solution makes it much easier to operate a single loyalty program with consumer, pricing, and discount information integrated into your Retail ERP system. You will receive and redeem coupons, gift cards, and loyalty points across all platforms, creating better customer satisfaction and higher participation levels than a channel-specific rewards program.

6 – Single Integration Solution for Payment

A retail-specific integration approach increases time to value by offering preloaded integration with major payment service vendors. The use of one integrated system for processing payments, order processing, customer data, and product inventory offers greater efficiency and lower production costs than multi-integrator dependence.

7 – Managing Multiple Languages and Currencies

Retail integration technologies are planned for retail operations around the world. They have help for managing multiple languages and currencies, so you can quickly set up physical or online stores in new geographical regions.

Conclusion

Integration solutions intended for the retail sector provide many out of the box that would involve many months of costly customization to accomplish using platforms for general purpose integration. Trident Information Pvt Ltd provides a flexible and versatile integration solution which many international retailers use. For more information on the power of retail-specific integration, contact Microsoft ERP Partner Trident Information Pvt Ltd on https:/www.tridentinfo.com/contact/

 

 

Retail ERP Software

Redefining shopping excellence with an unified E-commerce solution

Over the last decade, the retail sector has experienced enormous change and transition. Many have suggested that conventional brick and mortar retail is dying and that for the everyday needs, consumers switch entirely to online platforms. However, this is not the case. As per a survey from the National Retail Federation, since 2010 retail storefronts in the US have continued to expand at approximately 4 percent annually along with the consistent double-digit growth of online shopping. Almost all of the top 50 online retailers have brick and mortar stores, as well. Although progress in e-commerce tends to outpace physical stores, the rate of progress in physical retail outlets is still much higher. E-commerce is also not a stand-alone medium in most cases but used in combination with conventional and new platforms to meet consumer needs such as buying online pick up in-store or Click and Collect. Physical outlets are still a big part of consumer spending patterns, but with this, we also have seen that consumer priorities have changed around shopping. Trident is offering Retail ERP Software for an outstanding commerce experience that helps in gaining maximum profits.

Gone are the days when store employees are the only experts in information about goods. Consumers already have greater access to product details, price clarity, and accessibility. This means that retailers have to look at customer engagement across all platforms to make sure that their enterprise is capable of delivering on these recent high requirements. E-commerce will no longer be a major differentiator for retailers in the next few years, but will instead allow integrated retail trade to compete in the ever more challenging customer needs worldwide.

So Trident ( dynamics 365 partner) & solution dynamics 365 for marketing not confined to e-commerce, but aims to streamline the process of unifying consumer shopping experiences through an end-to-end business framework that puts together e-commerce, in-store, back office, and call centre. Let’s discuss furthermore how Dynamics 365 for marketing solution helps retailers meet those dominant business requirements.

1)- Grant Excellent and Customized Consumer Experience

Consumer experience is not only one of the top growth factors in the retail sector, but according to the recent survey by Microsoft and Forbes, 33 percent of retail managers are also considered a great business priority. The main task is to identify what constitutes outstanding customer experience for each individual business, as expectations of customers differ by micro-vertical retail, product category, and consumers themselves. It is up to the retailers to better define how their marketing commitment aligns with the experience. When customer experience is established, retailers need to be able to deliver on this commitment by providing technology that allows customer engagement in the next generation and does not limit their ability to evolve and build differentiating consumer experience.

As per the report by Microsoft and Forbes, providing customized shopping has become increasingly popular and over 49 percent of customers aged between 18 and 24 stating they are more likely to purchase from retailers offering custom shopping experiences. The aim of personalization is to form a bond between both the retailer and the consumer by delivering goods and/or services across all retail channels based on past interactions. It enhances the relationship to an encounter more similar to an interaction with a trustworthy friend or partner than a simple transaction.

There is a significant technological dependence to reach this next stage of customization. Networked and real-time visibility into consumers and activities are needed by retailers. Dynamics 365 put together all facets of customer interaction through e-commerce, call centre and in-store as well as simple incorporation into new channels to enable retailers to gain a holistic customer perspective. Couple this with out-of-the-box integration with Dynamics 365 Consumer insights and retailers can not only deliver AI-driven suggestions based on customer shopping history, likes, and patterns but also provide store agents with tools for presenting the customer’s 360-degree view and facilitating rich interaction throughout the selling journey.

 2) Omni Channel Experience   

Nowadays Customers expect to be able to purchase anywhere they want, and by whatever platform. Retailers also acknowledge the importance of Omni channel as one of their top three priorities, with 47 percent of Microsoft and Forbes survey executives rating this.

Most retailers are still struggling in having an Omni channel experience because of the complexity of internal infrastructure and disconnected or fragmented systems. Trident’s Dynamics 365 NAV makes it much easier to offer a native Omni channel solution for retailers, as it was built in the cloud.

3) Flexibility

An integrated solution is important not just for customers to engage and shop in retail, but also for how a unified solution can allow first-line employees to take part better and make sure ideal operational efficiencies across your supply chain. Dynamics 365 for marketing offers retailers the ability to streamline their operations with enriched knowledge that characterizes their business. Employees at the store can gain greater information and insight into stock availability, cross-application support for task management, as well as trade analytics that enable managers to monitor performance and insights to help them make informed decisions.

Retail ERP Software

Don’t let your retail system destroy your holiday season – LS Retail

Holiday season trading is big business for retailers. As retailers up their efforts to draw in more shoppers and take full advantage of “the most wonderful time of the year,” it pays off to be prepared. NRF expects retailers to hire between 530,000 and 590,000 temporary workers during the holiday season, and to spend millions of dollars on window displays and marketing. But many forget one critical aspect that can make the difference between a profit-making and a loss-making season: the status of their technology.

From slow e-commerce sites to out-of-stock scenarios, here are some disastrous but all-too-common seasonal-related problems that retailers face, what causes them, and what can be done to prevent them.

Issue #1: Your technology can’t sustain the high volume of transactions/increased workload

The cause: Tech outages can be extremely costly – but for many retailers, they are a familiar nightmare. A study by LogicMonitor found that 96% of organizations have experienced IT-related disruptions, and 10% of organizations have had 10 or more outages in a three-year period. Common causes of down systems include network failure, usage spikes, human error, software malfunction, hardware failure and third-party outages. An increasingly common cause of outages are disconnected legacy software systems.

“One of the issues for some retailers is the fact that systems are, in fact, a patchwork of different technologies and functions added over time,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, said to RetailWire. “As the demand put on them increases, they occasionally fall over. For others, it can be about capacity – which is why a lot of retailers have failures at peak times such as Black Friday.”

The solution: Retailers should look to replace their technology siloes, which are complex to maintain and costly to support, with a single retail system. A unified system can provide them with a complete overview of their business and all its data. On top of that, the technology is delivered by a single provider, which means full support, and simpler and quicker upgrades.

“The solution is unified commerce, one version of software servicing all channels,” retail industry thought leader Ken Morris said in the RetailWire roundtable. “Until retailers wake up and embrace this vision, we will continue to see these types of outages as it is almost impossible to keep this multi-tiered Frankenstein’s Monster running without more people or less complexity.”

Issue #2: Part of your system goes down, and you can’t promptly pinpoint which part, or you don’t have the resources to fix it quickly

The cause: Again, the cause are ageing, disconnected systems unable to communicate with each other, with unsupported hardware and software. Outdated tech will complicate the day-to-day running of your organization and put a strain on your resources. On top of that, if a part fails, it can be extremely hard to identify where your system is down. Without knowing what to fix or when the disconnection happened, how can you get your system back up and running, and minimize disruption to your business?

One of our clients, discount fashion retailer Gallo Clothing, faced this exact scenario one Christmas eve – its busiest sales day of the year. The store was full of shoppers when suddenly the cash registers stopped working. Gallo’s systems had stopped communicating with each other, but where had the glitch happened? The company couldn’t identify and fix the problem straight away, so managers instructed staff to process all transactions manually. With cashiers forced to write every item and price and calculate the total for every single shopper down, each sales transaction became painfully slow, and the queues grew longer and longer. Customers began to complain, and others left the store to shop elsewhere. Some never returned, unwilling to give the business another chance.

The solution: Retailers no longer need to put up with unreliable, siloed software systems that threaten the smooth running of the business. But they must be willing to invest in their future, rather than patching up old systems and hoping they won’t fail when they need them most.

“Retailers have spent years not spending enough on technology and building a robust future-proof architecture,” roundtable panelist Oliver Guy said to RetailWire.

The good news is that modern, unified commerce technology platforms aren’t as expensive as retailers may think, and they can also deliver a fast return on investment. Gallo Clothing now uses LS Retail technology as the foundation for its businesses. Not only has it not experienced any issues since the implementation of the solution, but it has also achieved record profits. The company says it’s because the system is so fast and efficient. Gallo’s president told us: “In the years since implementing the LS Retail software, we’ve seen more customers, sold more products and had much shorter lines.”

Issue #3: You can’t react fast enough to customer demand, and end up disappointing customers with out-of-stock items

The cause: Out of stock items are one of consumers’ biggest gripes. They’re also hugely damaging to a retailer’s bottom line. The “Out of stock, out of luck” study by global research and advisory firm IHL Group found that retailers are missing out on nearly US$1 trillion in sales because of out-of-stock items. And almost a third of shoppers ended up turning to Amazon when the product they wanted wasn’t in stock at their local store

Many retailers admit that the reason they experience out-of-stock scenarios is because they don’t have a complete view of their inventory, their data is unreliable, and they lack the tools to analyze their data and make accurate forecasts.

The solution: You can no longer get by with running weekly or even daily reports to keep track of their business. Today, you need a real-time view –  especially during busy trading periods.

Luxury fashion retailer Club 21|Armani Exchange gained this visibility when they upgraded their financial, admin, warehouse management, buying & merchandising, CRM and POS systems to a single software environment.

Clare Vella, retail director, told us about the first Black Friday after implementing their new LS Retail software. “It was 10pm on Friday evening. We were watching the sales hourly, and one store was seeing an enhanced level of trade coming through,” she said. “We were able to respond to this by calling the warehouse and getting an emergency delivery to that store, which was critical at that point. We increased our sales by well over three times the amount we could have done within that store that weekend by being able to respond in real time.”

Issue #4: You can’t easily accept returns across channels, or see where the item a customer bought/wants has ended up

The cause: While many retailers claim to have a true omnichannel strategy, meaning all their channels are seamlessly integrated, the reality for most is that they operate their physical stores and e-commerce as separate entities. But this siloed approach throws up a number of challenges, including a disconnected customer experience, lack of visibility across the organization, and an inaccurate view of inventory.

When a customer buys something online and then wants to exchange or refund it in store, your systems may be holding you back even if you’d like to facilitate the transaction. Perhaps the customer has paid online using PayPal, and your in-store staff can’t see the transaction, or don’t know how to issue a refund. Or maybe a shopper comes in specifically to swap an item, only to find that it is out of stock. All of these issues are caused by a disconnect between retailers’ online and in-store systems.

“The underlying issue is making sure that systems can talk to each other in near real time, which is needed to ensure that transactions and inventory can be fully reconciled, and that the business and its customers have reliable information on their accounts,” the ECR Community said in its report “Buy online, return in store”.

The solution: When you manage all channels using a single system and database, each customer account can be kept updated in near real time. And because inventory, logistics, sales and returns systems are linked through individual product identification and customer accounts, each item can be traced and located at any point in time. The result is that you’re able to work at speed, minimize product losses and ensure all transactions are reconciled.

Importantly, regardless of the channel they use to browse and shop, customers won’t be disappointed by out-of-stock scenarios as your online store draws from the general ledger to pull up real-time stock information.

Blog Source : https://www.lsretail.com/blog/dont-let-your-retail-system-destroy-your-holiday-season

Translate »