Retail management technology – like all technology – continues to evolve, increasing the pressure to upgrade. Now, anytime a new iPhone is released, people are prepared to trade in their device for the latest version. While many are not adapted to this "upgrade culture", it is important to remember that when it comes to retail technology, it cannot be approached with a "if it's not broken, don't fix it" mindset.
So, how do you know when it is time to upgrade your retail technology?
If you are not running on a cloud-based system.
Retail store owners are busy people and cannot be in the store one-hundred percent of the time – especially owners with multiple store locations. It's important to be able to access store information such as sales, employee schedules, and inventory from anywhere, at any time. When managing in-store sales using a legacy system, retailers are limited to the amount of information available to them. Additionally, ditching your legacy system will help protect you from data loss by backing up all data to the cloud.
When your cash register takes up too much space.
If you're still operating on an analog cash register, it is definitely time to upgrade! Legacy hardware is clunky and often operates slowly, resulting in a poor customer experience. Upgrade to a mobile solution if transaction volume allows, or opt for a desktop printer and cash drawer with a PC or tablet for a more sleek and aesthetically pleasing solution that will run smoothly and more efficiently.
If you're POS cannot be integrated with back-office functions.
Being able to integrate your in-store POS system with back-office business functions is a necessity for the modern retailer. By having the ability to integrate your in-store sales with your back-end inventory, finance, and supply chain, retailers are able to streamline their workflow and focus more on the in-store experience.
If you cannot use your in-store transactions to drive marketing.
In addition to having your POS integrated with back-office functions, it is important to have a system that integrates with your marketing as well. If your current system cannot collect customer data and communicate with your CRM, you are not only wasting time by creating extra and unnecessary steps in your workflow, but you are ultimately losing out on sales.
If you are unable to unify commerce.
More and more consumers want their in-store and online shopping experience to work seamlessly together. By this, they want options to buy online and pick up in-store, or the option to place an order for a showroom or out-of-stock store item to be shipped to them directly, or sent to a friend as a gift. In order to do this, retailers need a unified commerce solution. Many retailers attempt to do this by finding an eCommerce platform to integrate with their current POS and ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, ultimately creating a software "hairball". The best way (and only way) to find a true unified commerce solution is to upgrade your POS to a system that is built natively for eCommerce and back-office platforms, such as Oracle NetSuite or Salesforce.
When you're system does not integrate with EMV payments.
Since the EMV fraud liability shift in 2015, retailers are now responsible for credit card fraud stemming from their own store transactions when they do not offer EMV payment options. Most retailers have made the switch, but some are still lagging behind due to outdated systems that are unable to integrate. While doing an entire rip-and-replace of your in-store retail management solution is expensive, paying for credit card fraud is likely to cost you more. It is also something that consumers are beginning to look for when shopping to ensure that their credit card information remains secure.
If you're ready to give your retail technology a boost, contact us today!