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Retail Technology Stack : from where to start ?
After months and years of pandemic, lockdowns, and curfews. Change not only is constant but the norm now in every industry, including retail. Numbers, data, trends, and technologies keep on increasing and not in the expectation of slowing down, registering a new record showing that 80% of global consumers spent upwards an hour per week shopping*1. Unsurprisingly, e-commerce continues to gain momentum across countries like the UAE, indicative of a step change in consumer habits brought about by COVID-19. Data reveals that the overall value of e-commerce sales in Q3 2021 was 34% higher than the same period of the year before*2.
As the industry is growing, its technology is evolving too. Digital transformation is accelerating rapidly to invade the retail industry, which leads retailers to build and implement adaptable technology ecosystems to scale in disruptive environment.
A well-oiled retail technology ecosystem machine
Running a retail business requires several tools starting with Point of sale (POS) system, Order Management System (OMS), Warehouse Management System (WMS), accounting software, ERP, CRM…etc and the list goes on.
Forsooth, connecting your apps with each other, keeps your retail business running like a well-oiled machine. The least top and middle management can look for is to cobble together different solutions or manually manage the stock, the employees, the deliveries and all workflows.
A fluid omnichannel experience is a must too for customer satisfaction. It helps customers to move smoothly across your platforms. Consolidation is the inevitable move for retailers.
The main component of the retail technology stack
Product Information Management (PIM)
Is the process or tool for gathering, adding to and delivering product information across various sales channels. The objective of an optimal PIM is to provide the consumers, retailers or intermediaries with a large amount of relevant product information in real time and at a lower cost. Retailers and distributors regularly deal with large volumes of product information each with hundreds of attributes including images. And the assortments can change rapidly. That’s why a PIM for retail, wholesale, and distribution enterprises must be scalable and responsive. Akeneo offers a PIM for retailers and distributors that ensure the organization of your product information, develop the right catalogues for your omnichannel strategy, and deliver compelling product experiences to support great customer experiences.
Retail Point of Sales (POS) system
Is any technology that includes software where a retail transaction is completed. It provides capabilities such as scanning a barcode, making a purchase order, or printing a receipt. Features include inventory management, sales reporting, and analytics. In simple words POS is a place where a customer executes the payments for goods or services. Transactions may occur in person or online generating receipts either in print or electronically. POS systems are increasingly interactive which made Cloud-based POS systems popular among merchants. Taking for example Shopify POS features that offer Omnichannel selling, Smart inventory management, Checkout, Reporting and analytics, Shopify payments and hardware. A solution that helps retailers nurture relationships with customers by providing CRM or OMS tools.
Retail Order Management System (OMS)
As it says orders management, having a small or huge business, getting lost in orders and deliveries is quite possible. Implementing an OMS is no longer an option. It’s a must! Ever asked yourself how does it work? Not that complicated yet not that simple, it starts with the orchestration of inventory management, the selection of the best fulfilment centre for each order, the delivery in the best possible ways and the providing of insights to keep costs down. It’s a complex undertaking of each step needs to happen for each order to be managed effectively. Clearly not a manual system. Which is why OneStock propose an Agile order management system for omnichannel retail, that will facilitate your orders management, sell your stock faster, improve your profitability and provide you with a unique in-store and online customer experience.
Retail Warehouse Management System (WMS)
As defined by Oracle, a WMS is a software solution that offers visibility into a business’ entire inventory and manages supply chain fulfilment operations from the distribution center to the store shelf. WMS systems are designed to support the needs of an entire global supply chain, including distribution, manufacturing, asset-intensive, and service businesses. As proposed by Cegid WMS solution, a more efficient warehouse space management.
This would enhance the customer relationship management and leads to customer satisfaction that make your business grow organically in a healthy way.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
With the evolution and the growth of the retail industry, customer centricity is more and more the core strategy of any business. Your business growth is directly related to how well you manage your customer. A CRM system helps companies stay close to their customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. Timsoft now is partnering with salesforce. You can implement salesforce CRM solutions with us.
For more information: get in touch with our salesforce experts.
According to a report published by Bigthpearl reports in 2020, the total global retail software market is already worth an estimated $55 to $60 billion. No retailer can grow without digitalizing every inch of its business yet adopting and delivering best retail technologies doesn’t happen overnight. The key to start or build a well-structured technology ecosystem is to first understand and list down your user/consumer pain and gains figuring out what to focus on, take an honest look at your operations and initiatives. Technology can be overwhelming given the sheer number of solutions available but when you take the key knowing your internal capabilities and having the right experts on board you are already at a good stage, speaking with retail specialists who can advise you on the ways in which you can kick start the digitalization projects or enhance the already implemented ones.
How will you leverage technology trends in retail?
Keep up with our weekly blog posts about retail technologies and much more to stay UpToDate and not get lost in this technology revolution happening every day.
*1: Retail Consumer Research – 2021 Report – Oracle
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