When we think about technology in retail, it is usually via our own experiences, like when we are at the checkout tapping our debit card on the eftpos machine at our local hardware store or ordering our favourite ubereats meal via our phone.
Behind the scenes, it’s a different story. Rapid technological advances are being made almost daily and retailers of any size and format; whether an online only business or combination of online and bricks & mortar stores; are well positioned to take advantage of a myriad of ways in which to utilise modern technology in their business.
Whether to increase sales, drive product developments, or streamline in-store processes, by using the right technology businesses, suppliers and retailers are in the box seat.
With what can first seem like an overwhelming array of options, how do you uncover what types of technology will benefit your retail business?
Plan, investigate, analyse and evaluate
An important first step is to plan, investigate, analyse and evaluate your current business resources and operational processes.
By conducting a thorough analysis of your business practices, you can clearly identify gaps and opportunities to modernise systems and operational procedures.
We recommend looking at these key areas when planning your business resources;
- Analysis of existing business practices and their effectiveness.
- Configuration of new technology to fit with better business practices.
- The proper staging, training, imputing and support of any new or upgraded technological device or system.
Don’t use technology for technology’s sake. We recommend using it wisely to solve problems and avoid creating new ones!
When reviewing new technology to increase your business sales performance and productivity, it’s worthwhile considering what current procedures and practices are currently in place. What are the reasons those processes were originally implemented? Do they still meet your requirements and what, if any, problems occur?
Often procedures are set up in specific ways at the time of implementation to support business outcomes required at a point in time, however many outdated processes can be simplified with the newer technology. A word of caution, before making any changes, think carefully about the reasons these steps were setup in the first instance.
For example, retaining paper copy of all receipts as emergency backup data and historical use can be unproductive and costly. In this scenario you can easily use the sophistication of newer technology to store transactions electronically including adding an electronic backup plan in case of emergencies i.e. power outage.
Review the cost effectiveness of any new technology you are considering as new equipment or software systems may be expensive and you may find another less expensive and smarter solution to a problem or task.
Take the time to assess how you are using your current equipment. For example, how well are your labels barcoded? You may find that instead of needing a new barcode scanner you may need more durable labels.
The initial groundwork may seem daunting but don’t let that stop you, as the benefits will far outweigh this detailed review and assessment process. Once the preliminary work has been completed, you will save a huge amount of time in the longer term, notably when moving manual processes to fully automated.
One key area that shouldn’t be overlooked when looking at how technology can benefit your retail business is the value of staff training.
Keep your team and employees trained and up to date on any new piece of equipment or software. Technology is only limited by your employee’s knowledge of how to use it.
What should I do next?
If all this sounds daunting, the Acumen team, with over 40 years expertise in developing and installing software, can provide great advice on which steps you should take next.
Acumen Computer Systems offer professional advice, expertise and can easily design a customised fully integrated software solution that fits across every facet of your business.
Reach out for a conversation around how we may help you navigate the complexities of upgrading or investing in new retail technologies. Phone: 1800 228 636