The Importance of Using the Right Software
for your Retail Business
The importance of using the right software for your retail business. Technology is of vital importance to modern business. No matter the size of your operation, you will invariably use some type of technology when carrying out your daily activities.
The initial outlay for technology purchases can account for a significant portion of a business’s budget.
It’s an important long-term investment, so do your research and choose solutions that really work for you.
Your technology choices should positively impact your daily business activities. They should streamline your business procedures and processes, making activities easier, smoother, and faster.
Retail hardware will usually include till equipment, PCs, and their associated equipment, but businesses can also take advantage of specialist store technology for even more functionality.
From vending and stock-taking equipment to robots and self-service machines, retail technology can be an effective tool to support your business operations.
No matter how powerful the hardware you choose, it doesn’t function without software – and you need the right software to get the most out of it.
We delve further into the software side of retail technology and what it should be doing for your business.
The benefits of retail business software
Choosing the right software to run your retail business will offer you a host of benefits, and right at the top of the list for every retailer will be time-saving cost-effectiveness, and accuracy.
Your retail software should take much of the workload off you and your staff. By automating processes, your staff are freed up for more productive activities. At a minimum, your retail business software should be able to:
- Manage transactions and improve transaction speeds
- Store and recall data, such as customer and product information
- Provide parameters and constraints to prevent errors
- Operative intuitively and be user friendly
- Process information quickly and collate useful data
- Provide accurate, useful, reporting for analytics
- Manage your stock, pricing, orders, and deliveries
- Assist with cash control
- Store accounting data to help you manage your business, including debtors and creditors
- Integrate with your other business systems, e.g., payment providers.
- Assist with planning and implementing promotions
- Improve customer experience
Retail software is designed with retailers in mind. It provides tools that are specific to retail businesses, however, most will specialise by sector, so be sure to select software that is right for your field.
For example, software for restaurants may include a booking system or table planner that a supermarket won’t need. A clothing store has no use for the type of information that a pharmacy database would require.
Software that is designed specifically for your sector will provide everything that your business needs… and probably some extras that you will find useful but haven’t even thought of yet!
Some business software will even offer customisable elements, to further cater for your individual business’s requirements.
Choosing the right software for your sector is always the most cost-effective choice for the long term.
The software that you use to manage your business requires a little long-term planning.
It’s not something you’ll want to change regularly, if at all, so choose a dynamic product that grows with your business.
Scalability is important. You’ll want specialist retail software that can easily adapt and expand with the growth of your business.
For example, you might start out with a small coffee dock. As your reputation grows you may decide to add a fresh food line, then expand to a café, or open a second store. Followed by a chain of stores!
Ensure that your chosen business software offers the option to expand rather than be replaced.
Consider possibilities should ever decide to enlarge your operations. Maybe you’ll add new products or services, upgrade or increase your equipment, open new branches, or expand to new locations.
Your software should be adaptable, migratable, and upgradeable, with the ability to integrate with other business software.
When investing in new business software, bear in mind that you might someday require additional storage, or a head office server to link your future stores, and be sure that your chosen software can meet all your potential demands.
Your business growth should not be limited by the capabilities of your software.
After-Sales and Support
Good retail business software will always offer backup support, and you should look for more than ‘installing your own software with an online user guide’ by way of service. Your chosen software should be professionally installed, with full training included.
In case you have a problem or query, a good software provider will offer a fast and effective support service to deal with your queries in real-time.
In a busy retail business, there may come a time when you have a customer in front of you and require fast answers; be sure that your software provider can support this.
It’s important to be able to talk to an expert who can offer advice and information, helping you to get the most from your software package.
Ensure that your business software comes with the latest innovations, and has an ongoing development programme.
Technology is always changing and improving, and your software should be regularly updated and improved to reflect this.
Choose a reputable, modern, software provider that continually invests in their software, so that when new features and integrations become available, your software is ready and able should you decide to take advantage of them for your business.
Who are we?
We are dedicated to providing your store with the most up-to-date and reliable point of sale hardware, along with software management tools to help you manage your business effectively.
To find out more about what we do, get in touch to chat with one of our knowledgeable consultants:
About the author:
Susan McGuire has been with Retail Solutions for 6 years, and during that time has had roles within the areas of Maintenance, Finance, & Marketing. You can follow her on LinkedIn!