Why Retailers Need the Right Software to Meet Their Evolving Needs

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ERP Software for Retailers- For businesses, the pandemic is the great accelerator. It pushed forward the pace of already-occurring trends. For example, trade shows and industry events were still held in person before the pandemic, but many were shifting toward digital presentation. Now, digital is at the forefront of this industry and dozens of others. Lawyers and accountants are holding video conferences instead of in-person consultations. Even education has gone digital (at least until the pandemic eases).

Similar trends were already in place with business software, but some companies still used paper or Excel sheets to manage operations or inventory, resisting digital and cloud-based options. Those companies were already slipping behind the competition and will fade into obscurity if they cannot adapt to the new digital demands and customer expectations.

Industries focused on at-home experiences – such as swimming pool and hot tub companies, gardening supply makers, and stationary bike manufacturers – are thriving, which puts pressure on related companies to perform and meet customer expectations. On the other side, “out-and-about” industries like restaurants and move theaters have stagnated due to plummeting demand.

The pressing need for unified connectivity

Performing well in a digital world requires companies to invest in cloud-based software tools that connect different systems and enable a seamless customer experience. Retail companies need omnichannel selling and repeatable customer transactions. This means offering e-commerce options, contactless payment, curbside pickup, and in-store purchases all through a single platform.

This technology keeps pricing and products consistent across a company’s channels. For example, if a customer buys a pool supply provider’s shock treatment online, it needs to be for the same price as the same item sold off the truck by the pool technician.

The platform must also be able to handle multiple types of purchase. In the pool example, the shock treatment is a cash-and-carry purchase, but what if the company also sells hot tubs? That’s a considered purchase for most buyers. They want to visit the store a few times, ask questions, and think about their options. The business needs a customer relationship management (CRM) component for its platform to continue the dialogue with the customer until they make a purchase decision. If the customer comes into the store and spends 30 minutes looking at various options, the retailer needs to do more than take down their number on paper. It must integrate with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, which can create a quote or estimate and communicate special discounts or other incentives. Modern retail businesses won’t survive without this type of engagement and connectivity.

Read more at Business.com