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

When running a successful 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 websites, 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. Isolated customer data and information

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 programmes or systems 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 and information is capable of interacting as part of a wider, smarter retail solution.

2. The need to focus on 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 system, but it is absolutely vital to place it 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, one that is facing a somewhat uncertain future, 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. Importance of altering 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 willing and able to adapt.

People can often be reluctant to embrace any type of change, especially if it means they must alter the way they work, but without having the right people with the right mentalities in place, even the smartest of systems will be unable to improve your overall operation.

5. The need to work with other parties

Some merchants can be reluctant to work with any other companies; they want to do everything on their own, and desire nothing more than to build a business from the ground up and make a success of it. Quite simply, these days are over; nobody can perform every business function on their own, and so working with trusted partners is vital.

This is especially important when setting up an integrated retail solution; 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.

Choosing the right integrated retail system for your business

There are so many systems and technologies 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 that allow for a streamlined approach and seamless selling that customers have come to expect in today’s world is paramount.

How can ShopTill-e help small and medium-sized retailers?

With ShopTill-e you don’t need to think about getting different retail systems to talk with one another as it has already been specifically built from the ground up to work as one integrated retail system that does everything.  The all-in-one retail solution.

It's cost-effective but because all the features are included from day one, it's extremely powerful and provides small and medium-sized retailers with everything needed to run and manage in-store and online selling.

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 shop 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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