What to consider when getting different retail systems to talk to one another

When running a successful retail business, it is absolutely essential that all processes are not only conducive to bringing in profits, but are as efficient as they possibly can be. 

Traditionally, it was simply enough for a piece of equipment or system to carry out its own role effectively; a calculator could handle figures, a cash register could store the money, and pen and paper would be enough to carry out an inventory. This is, however, no longer the case.

With more and more online and multi-channel selling, and with profit margins currently tighter than ever due to a combination of continually altering consumer habits, and the ongoing coronavirus crisis, retail businesses need to adapt or they will die.

It has therefore never been more vital for all retail systems to not only be as effective as possible now, but also in the future; this means that epos systemsecommerce websitesepos hardware, software and data must be able to communicate with each other so that they can provide the most appropriate solution to today’s customer demands and challenges, and also carry out tasks that will help the business run smoothly day by day.

Of course, this is far easier said than done, so what are the key problems associated with creating an integrated retail solution for any business?  

Let's take a look…

1. Separate data across your ePOS, ecommerce and inventory systems

One of the biggest problems – and one of the most obvious – is that prior to introducing any form of integrated retail solution, all of your data, information and processes will be separate. 

They will inevitably be stored on a variety of different programmes or systems for example a point of sale system for your in-store selling, an inventory management system to manage stock levels and an ecommerce website for your online sales, given that they have never previously been required to do anything other than perform their own primary role.

The first problem that will be encountered, and therefore the first that will need to be resolved, is ensuring that all data, information and processes are capable of interacting together as part of a wider, smarter retail solution.

2. Importance of real-time data

One of the most significant benefits associated with gaining real-time information is that as soon as a sale is made, not only will the financial side be sorted immediately, but the associated inventory and stock levels will also be updated.  

This is something that could very easily be dismissed as a 'nice to have' rather than a business essential given that it will, very likely, require a complete and extensive overhaul of a retailer’s current retail system, but being able to understand what's selling, where and when in real-time is absolutely vital and should be placed atop the agenda. 

If you fail to make use of real-time data and its wider benefits, your business will ultimately struggle.

3. Potential financial and time outlays

It can be difficult to commit to any significant purchase or devotion of time, especially for a business that either doesn’t have huge profit margins, or has limited spare time to invest, or one that is still operating in the same way that it has done for years.

However, it can be very beneficial to consider an integrated retail solution as an investment rather than simply a purchase; it has never been more vital to look into the future and become a retailer that is capable of thriving going forwards, and change may be necessary to attain that goal.

4. Transforming multi-channel retailing processes and staff training

While real-time data, improved retail systems and streamlined processes can, of course, make your entire operation more efficient, this will only be the case if all employees within the business are able to easily adapt to a new system.

People can often be reluctant to embrace any type of change, especially if it means they must alter the way they work, so it's important that any new retail system is easy for staff to understand and fast to use going forwards.

5. Using the integrated retail system and partner

Merchants desire nothing more than to build a retail business from the ground up and make a success of it, but nobody can perform every business function on their own, most retailers have limited time and resources to do everything, so working with trusted partners and the right retail system is vital for growth.

This is especially important when setting up a new integrated retail solution for your business; you need to work with people that are not only able to provide a reliable and beneficial retail system, but can also improve the system over time, and can provide all the necessary support, advice and knowledge to ensure it is as valuable to your business as possible.

How to choose the right integrated retail system for your business

There are so many epos systems and ecommerce platforms out there, but trying to get them to talk and work together can be a minefield.

This lack of cohesiveness is a common problem and finding a system that can handle the combined needs of selling in-store and selling online that allow for a streamlined approach and seamless selling that customers have come to expect in today’s world, is paramount.

ShopTill-e helps small and medium-sized retailers save time and sell multi-channel efficiently

ShopTill-e is different.  You don’t need to think about getting your point of sale and ecommerce systems to talk with one another, as it's already been specifically built from the ground up to include a smart ePOS system and powerful ecommerce platform with full inentory management - it's one integrated retail system that does everything.

ShopTill-e is an all-in-one retail system that takes away the headache of running multiple systems.

It's affordable because it combines the ePOS system with the ecommerce platform so you only need this one retail system, but it's also cost-effective as it includes all the great features from day one.

It's extremely intuitive and provides small and medium-sized retailers with everything needed to run and manage in-store and online selling and grow.

Want to know more about how to make better use of your retail operation? 

Need to streamline the processes of your ecommerce website and retail point of sale  but not sure how to go about it?

Get in touch with us today, and let’s take a closer look at what you need and how we can help!

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