Top 5 Innovative Technologies To Raise Retail From the Dead
Over the past few years, the worldwide retail industry was on the steady decline stage. Lots of retail markets reported shortages, sales drops and closing of the offline stores. Among the most wide-spread reasons for that there are slow customer movement towards online shopping, increasing shopper consciousness and lack of engagement in physical retail stores. Indeed, why would one go to a shopping center if almost anything can be bought online and delivered to the door tomorrow or even later today? Many customers, again thanks to the Internet, became more experienced in online shopping, able to easily search for better deals and prices.
To cope with that, retailers launch sales, and although they sell more items, the income is getting lower and lower. And how boring has it become to go shopping — everything you see is just a store with hangers and shelves, not that much to be excited about. The good news is, software opens a door for a smart retail and introduces possibilities to make good old shopping exciting and engaging. Let’s have a look at some of the solutions.
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While it seems quite a new thing, it actually has been already in use for much longer than you could think. First applications of AR in retail date back to at least seven years ago. At the beginning, the AR needed much computational power so the appliances were pre-installed in physical stores. For example, in Lego stores you’d be able to look at the finished model of your choice simply by putting the box before camera. Or, in Japanese Uniqlo stores, you could have walked into an improvised AR changing room with a large LCD displaying you wearing clothes of your choice.
What’s good, these days the needed computational power is always with you, so you can provide AR shopping mobile apps right to your customers’ phones. Anything is possible, from fitting your new shoes in Converse Shoe Sampler, to checking out how that couch will look like directly in your room with IKEA Catalog.
The most known way to increase sales in retail industry is selling lots of seasonal goods. Of course, anyone understands that most red Santa caps are sold before Christmas, and that customers buy new sunglasses just before summer comes. These examples are obvious, but season-dependence is not the only thing about prediction of purchases. These days everything is much deeper.
There can be a strong interest in goods related to TV shows, political events and mass media in general, and these are really hard to predict. If you forecast an interest to anything, you have the ability to prepare related goods for sale beforehand, and your competitors will do the same only afterwards. This is almost impossible without custom specialized software which would collect and analyze news, Twitter trends, search queries and so on. No wonder that word-known companies have already enhanced their retail with respective software. For example, Amazon and Benchmark are using Zoho CRM.
Retail Shop Software
In our century, the winners are those who do their thing faster and better. It’s just as simple as that. Retail businesses have a lot things to do, and manual coverage of those result in losses of time, quality and profit. Total retail industry computerization and automation increase everything needed for a thriving business and save lots of money both for retailers and their customers. Modern retail shop software can be very extensive and cover lots of additional things thanks to its modularity. You can get an online catalog, cart and checkout, as you would expect, but you might also get a lot of other useful things like management of discounts, integration with social networks, shipping management, stats and so on. If you are thinking of the ready software available on the market, check out Salesforce (used by ALDO, Amazon, American Express, Belkin), Shopify (used by Tesla, WWF, Hootsuite, Reddit) etc.
Retail Management Software
This, said retail software is far from limited only with comfortable online shopping solution. You can get a lot of things for your business, such as inventory management, order fulfillment management, shipping software, productivity management and so on. All these things help with running retail business smoothly, with prediction of inventory fulfillment and movement, accounting, balancing of goods between brick-and-mortar shops, working with partners and providing custom goods and services to the end customer. Retail Pro CRM is a good example of such software and it is used by such notable customers as L’Oreal, Diesel, Bang & Olufsen, and G-Star Raw.
Point of Sale Software
The major and probably the most well-known part of retail software is Point of Sale, or POS software. These applications help you with creating orders for your offline shoppers, all financial movements between them and your cash desk, and with collecting all information needed for accounting in an automated way. The most simple software will just generate a receipt and account the sales to database, but the most modern one may be custom-crafted for the needs of every retail business owner.
POS software is capable of calculation the final quote with complex sales and discounts, can work with auctions, coupons and pre-paid schemes, it works with bank cards and lots of connected technologies like shopping accounts, wireless and mobile payments, token payments and so on, which would require separate software. POS software is also capable of collecting information about customers for your future relationships, and managing the security of your business and your clients. To give you an example, Epos Now is the choice of Universal Studios, Mac and Posh, Mirage, and Lightspeed is used by Leica, Dash, Jogha, and Cheeky Monkey.
Software is not a rival but a good companion of retail, which has been proven by many successful companies. If you think that your retail business cannot be saved or needs significant improvement, consider integrating software with cutting-edge technologies that will meet your needs.
Our experts can help to develop a fully customized software from scratch to bring your retail to another level. Feel free to contact us to learn more!