Enhancing certainty and expanding profit margins are twin goals for small retailers. Fueling revenues and mitigating uncertainty requires merchants to juggle many balls at once. Inventory tracking, customer relationship management, accounting and website maintenance are just a few examples. Keeping up with important technology trends for your small retail business and choosing the right tools, will help you achieve your business goals.
All of these functions can be facilitated with the proper technology. Yet, constraints can be daunting. The following list of retail technologies offers the perplexed small business owner a guide for clearing the trees to more clearly see the forest of options.
Establish A Presence with Website Appeal
As the digital era matures, modern consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, often shopping in stages. The journey typically begins with online research of a product, rapidly leading next to a retailer’s website. This is where shoppers verify a company’s credentials. It is the gateway through which shoppers enter prior to becoming either your customer or exiting to the competition. Whether creating a new website or polishing a current one, building an online presence that is attractive and affordable can be implemented in-house. Excellent do-it-yourself (DIY) options have evolved with impressive speed, offering intuitive site building without the need to know code. Even the least tech-savvy person can design a simple, yet elegant, website quickly and inexpensively. Outstanding DIY options include Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. For less than $20.00 per month, these and other website building platforms empower small retailers to create an effective internet presence, including the ability to easily incorporate applications such as shopping carts. Moreover, with just a click, you can expand your presence across mobile devices and along the spectrum of social media sites.
Nurture Connections with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
According to recent surveys, 78 percent of shoppers are inclined to become repeat customers if provided with personalized information, while more than half are willing to discontinue shopping with retailers failing to deliver relevant content. Additionally, an overwhelming 86 percent reported a willingness to pay up to 25 percent more for an improved shopping experience. Delivering personalized experience that contemporary shoppers expect is becoming easier for the small retailer. The advancement of affordable and effective CRM software offers convenient access to a suite of applications scaled to meet challenges that are unique to small business. Delivering content-relevant information does not require the resources of a large retailer; small retailers have been implementing effective strategies with proven results. For the small business, improved sales and higher revenues can be a reality with software that enables finely-tuned marketing strategies.
Boost Efficiency with a Point of Sale (POS)/Inventory Control Platform
A reliable POS program can maximize your operational efficiency, ROI and overall profitability. And not only can these systems centralize important inventory and sales information; they can also integrate accounting software, simplifying your bookkeeping. Contemporary POS systems are scalable to fit the needs and budgets of small business, while being more robust and user-friendly than ever before. By continuously taking the pulse on your sales, they deliver affordable options that provide the small retailer with real-time data on a wide assortment of crucial metrics.
For example, retailers can instantly know what items are selling, how they are selling, which ones should be discounted or returned, and stock availability and location. Since POS software empowers small business to instantly diagnose retail snags, merchants have the ability to implement prompt solutions. Collectively, these functions lead to an enhanced customer experience, promoting shopper loyalty along the way. Pricing options and objective reviews of POS solutions are located all along the internet highway, with some also offering guidance tailored to your retail niche.
Shoppers are increasingly interacting with retailers across their devices. The rapidly expanding tide of all-things-mobile has not quite caused the extinction of the personal computer, but it has created an urgency for the small retailer to incorporate technologies that connect the dots of a customer’s preferences. The ability to track a shopper’s journey as they begin to browse on a smartphone, continue to research on a tablet, and complete their purchase on a laptop is an indispensable part of doing business in the digital age. Not only does multi-channel tracking personalize the shopping experience, but it also reinforces the value of your own brand and contributes to cementing customer loyalty. A wide range of CDT platforms allows the small retailer feasible access to this integral business component.
For small retailers who are short on time and pressed for cash, these proven applications can generate a robust ROI, while delivering almost immediate results. Engaging marketing, simplified inventory management and compelling customer service are just a few examples of how incorporating these platforms into your business infrastructure can simultaneously pull some heavy oars and feed the bottom line.