Consumer behaviors and preferences have changed significantly over the past few years, driven by the convenience of online and mobile shopping. Traditionally brick-and-mortar retailers have expanded their businesses to include new digital and social channels. Facing tough competition from e-commerce giants and big box chains, retailers continually look for innovative ways to engage consumers and earn their loyalty — especially millennial and Gen Z shoppers who demand competitive pricing, easy access to information, and social responsibility from the brands with whom they choose to do business.
Retailers are also challenged to find more efficient cost-effective ways to manage their businesses and to increase margin. Increasing labor costs are fueling the need for streamlined training and labor management. And consumer demands for accurate, real-time information is driving a need for advanced inventory management systems and buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) and ship from store capabilities.
How Technology Can Address the Retail Industry’s Needs
Retailers won’t be able to compete in a digital, omnichannel world without IT solutions. A retail management system, including a full-featured point of sale (POS) system and integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) will enable retailers to manage multiple locations and multiple channels more efficiently, provide the accurate data and customer experiences consumers are looking for, and collect and analyze the data retailers need to perfect their strategies, market more effectively, and foster shopper loyalty.
Why the Retail Market is an Ideal Fit for Services
Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions give businesses the agility they need to scale and adapt in the ever-changing retail industry. With these solutions, retailers know they are always using the latest version, updated with the most current features and security patches. They also eliminate a large, upfront capital expense for the solution and replace it with a budget-friendly, predictable operating expense.
Even retailers with in-house IT resources can benefit from services that automate processes and improve efficiency, such as remote monitoring and management for IT hardware and devices, Hardware- or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, PCI compliance assistance, or Analytics as a Service.