The retail industry has long been trying to avoid the need to invest in systems and leading edge technology in the storefront, but is now almost forced to adapt to these advances to stay competitive and meet customer demands. There is a great opportunity for retailers to emerge as industry leaders and, more importantly, gain competitive advantage by harnessing the potential offered by new technology.
Read through the following trends and see how you can use them to make decisions in 2015, stay ahead of your competition, and provide a better shopping experience for your customers.
1. Data will be more accessible and powerful.
Expect the number of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) using big data and analytics to grow. Retailers will realize they need to rely on data to know their customers better and provide customized shopping experiences. Retailers who offer something back in return for the privilege of having their data will ultimately be more successful.
2. Companies will find better ways to manage risk and protect customers.
In this day and age, consumers aren’t just looking for unique and convenient shopping experiences – they also want their purchasing journeys to be safe and secure.
3. More retailers will take control of their value chain and improve order fulfillment.
The most successful retailers will be the ones that have complete control of their supply chain, from production all the way to consumption. Retailers will need comprehensive inventory planning, replenishment, and warehouse management capabilities, and they must be able to share the valuable information within those apps with customers.
4. Mobile will continue to grow in all directions.
Mobile technology will continue to evolve and the ability to transact will become faster, easier and more convenient. The more prevalent the use of mobile devices, smartphones or tablets becomes, the faster people will want to see results. Whatever the acceptable response speed was last year, it needs to be faster this year. Retailers will need to be investing in fully integrated ERP/POS solutions in order to facilitate the best experience possible for their customers who can easily leave for another offer with a simple swipe.
5. Stores with omnichannel strategies will continue to thrive.
The omnichannel experience will be driven by the new consumer demand for accessibility anytime, anywhere. Retailers who embrace omnichannel retailing will be able to reach out to connected customers regardless of their preferred channel. The key to this experience is making sure all channels are accessing the same database.
If you’re using applications like QuickBooks or Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets and are quickly discovering you are not able to keep up with these expectations, learn more on the SAP Business One for Retail page or contact us at 949.420.3300 or email us at email@example.com.