In the 21st century competitive capitalist global economy, retailers need to be efficient, agile and fast to survive and prosper. Embracing technology such as Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce, for any retail business has become inevitable to thrive and gain a competitive advantage. Technologies such as a point of sale system, a system of inventory control and a fully automated system for statistical forecasting have almost become a basic need in the retail industry. These technological systems are critical when it comes to planning, decision making and reducing your overhead cost of conducting business. They also offer an edge over your competitors and help your business grow.
In this article, we have compiled a list of ways through which a retailer can improve their business using technology.
Improve the brand satisfaction of your consumers
Consumers expect you to inform them whenever a particular product is on order or in stock. Consumers do not want to have their time wasted while your sales representative calls the warehouse to confirm or wanders through the store looking for a particular product. It is critical that any retailer puts consumer satisfaction first as they are the players who drive any business. An electronic inventory system will get the consumer their preferred product with just the click of a button and the time taken for this exercise to be completed is reduced significantly. Electronic inventory system also enables you to check for a product in in the different stores in the chain and if need be, refer the consumer to that particular store.
Keeping track of your business margins
An automated inventory control system can make suggestions for markdowns and prices by taking into account the parameters that are standard for your retail store. The system can based on the prices you feed it, keep track of your margins for a specified period of time. You can never lose track of the margins of your retail store even when there are special offers that come with different pricing. The inventory system enables you to set different product prices for the various stores located in different geographical locations. The system can, for instance, set a special price for specific consumers such as senior citizens or your employees. The automated inventory system keeps tracking the gross margin achieved by the business over a specific period while considering the markdown effects.
The use of EMV cards and their related payment methods began in 2016 after some difficult years of adoption. E-commerce fraud has been a menace for most online stores over the last five years. Late last year, some payments firms such as Stripe and MasterCard began to solve the problem using new tools for anti-fraud that leverage in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Machine learning and AI technology are capable of identifying fraud patterns and signals and has the potential to predict and report fraudulent activity long before it happens. According to the head of AI and machine learning at Stripe, Micheal Manapat, the intelligent systems technology has completely changed how fraud is detected and fought in the 21st century. Manapat noted that Stripe had adopted a Radar System that is based on machine learning and AI which is evolving and growing the company’s ability to expose new data.
Reduce your cost of doing business
A retailer can be able to know the products that they already have in their warehouses and the merchandise that is in order using an inventory control system. The system also gives information on how many items have been received, ordered, sold and delivered to the consumer. Once the system has been set up and its up and running, your databases are updated whenever a product enters or leaves any of your stores. The inventory systems also offer a data analysis instantaneously whenever a product is moved from one store to the other which helps you in keeping track of your retail operations. You can get every detail of the operations and details of your retail store by just going online.