Small independent retailers and hospitality providers face an array of challenges in today’s competitive business environment. Retaining happy and loyal customers should be a fundamental part of their ongoing strategy, as well as attracting new clientele. It is vital that they try to remain one step ahead, and embracing new technology will give them the ability to do this.
They need to build up-to-date knowledge about what is going on across their business, which could include understanding the impact of sales on stock availability, the success levels of promotional campaigns they run, and their overall profit margins.
Modern software is designed to help retailers build entirely new interaction levels with their customers. It has the ability to give them a whole new level of knowledge about business performance. What’s more it is straightforward and relevant for today’s busy trading environments.
I’d argue that ‘off-the-shelf’ systems won’t offer the levels of support that many independents need. Whilst they present a less expensive up front purchase, over time their costs will increase, as the need for support is required. Business owner & managers will have to live with what they bought, and many often fail to recognise that on top of the till costs, investment is also needed for ongoing maintenance and servicing.
Well-considered purchasing when it comes to software can provide the business owner with the ability to see trading patterns – whether a particular product is selling well – by time and location, for example. From there the retailer can alter their stock ordering, or they can identify wastage trends and adapt stock levels to suit.
Business services software does not only generate considerable savings, it will also help to grow the top line by offering new services linked to the till, for example cashless payment options, mobile ordering or app-based loyalty schemes.
The upfront purchase doesn’t have to be high, or beyond the realms of the business owner. And what they need to remember is that the transparency and information provided by the system can provide an array of cost savings – it’s about spending upfront to save (more) in the long term.