Thanks to rapid technological advancements, so many production processes are becoming automated. In factories, robots now run on advanced software that helps speed up production time, and cut wastes, as these robots are highly efficient and precise.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen an increased number of retail stores incorporate many products of technology to ease the stress of running their ever-bustling enterprise while staying profitable. As more and more retail stores are opened across the world, the need to remain competitive is something store owners are constantly being reminded of.
No doubt, the success of a business is largely dependent on the customers and how they are treated. Having so many competitors, retail stores have to deliver excellent customer experiences to stay competitive and turn in profits. Automating several manual operations and store processes is the fastest way to achieving exceptional customer service. This is where this solution comes in handy.
What Exactly is Retail Software?
Retail software is a computer program that equips the staff of stores with powerful soft tools to seamlessly carry out operations thereby increasing efficiency and speed significantly. Such programs are designed in such a way that they can be easily integrated into just about any store size. They are scalable and so can be used for a single store or a chain of stores.
Retail software is of two types. One is installed manually on a PC by IT specialists and the other can be used on-demand as Software as a Service (SaaS). The former is called “on-premise” and the latter, “cloud-based”.
To utilize cloud-based retail software, it doesn’t have to install directly on your PC. All that is required is an active internet connection since all Software as a Service model are managed by their providers. Click here to learn more about SaaS
Retail software solutions take care of several important tasks including:
- Product management
- Supply chain
- Customer relations
- Human resource
Benefits of Retail Software Solutions
Without a doubt, automation will be right on the top of the list of benefits store owners enjoy from integrating these advanced solutions into their workflow. Many processes and operations can be carried out by the program with minimal human intervention. Tasks like processing customers’ orders, auditing inventory, billing, payroll, and so on can be automated to give workers more time to handle other areas of the business.
As many processes become automated, employees have enough time on their hands to better serve customers; another notable benefit. Greater store control is another advantage of these advanced systems as shop owners or managers are updated in real-time on various situations. For instance, the system may be programmed to send an alert to the appropriate person when a particular item is out of stock.
Types of Retail Software Systems
There are several retail software solutions that have been designed to perform specific duties. They include:
This program helps control warehouses and take real-time stock of inventory. It helps to:
- Automate invoicing which helps save time and keep revenue transparent.
- Automatically synchronize stock with orders to update inventory in real-time.
- Generate reports in real-time for better sales predictions, procurement planning, and stock optimization.
- Automatically track the expiration dates of goods, eliminating the problem of selling spoilt goods to consumers, thus boosting customer satisfaction.
- Scan barcodes and track both store and customer orders.
With this type of retail solution, stores are able to connect directly with banks and many other payment platforms. It helps with:
- Securing customers’ payment records.
- Processing online payments and credit cards.
- Bank reconciliation
- Creating reports of every transaction and their current statuses
- Creating customized invoices
The e-commerce industry had been growing steadily in the last decade, however, with the pandemic that hit last year, its growth has exploded with hundreds of traditional brick-and-mortar stores scrambling to get a slice of the many benefits of selling online. E-commerce solutions typically include the following features:
- Inventory management
- Customer management
- Shopping cart
- Marketing management
- Payment processing
- Search and filter options
- Product catalog
Other types of retail software solutions include omnichannel platforms, enterprise resource planning (ERP), point of sale (POS), and retail management. Visit https://www.qad.com/what-is-erp to learn more about ERP.
Creating a Retail Software
There are a few steps that go into creating software for your business. First, you’d want to make sure you get the right vendor for the job as this will ensure the entire process runs smoothly. Once you’ve settled with a vendor, you need to begin discussing the feature the software should have that would suit your business and make operations run seamlessly.
When all your requirements for the computer program have been understood by the provider, you can then proceed to discuss how much the service will cost. Make sure to negotiate so as to get the best deal you can get. Next, move forward to implement and test the new program once it is developed by the vendor.
The cost of developing these types of systems varies widely, depending on several factors like, the level of customization the business owner wants, the number and complexity of features, the number of users, hosting type, and license fees. So, you’d want to put all of these into consideration when drawing up a budget.