Avoid being caught with a ‘sorry wrong number’ scenario
Everything has gone according to plan, or at least the best it could given the new environment. You're ready to reopen your retail business with a renewed spirit and some added features to address the new era of commerce.
A couple of months in isolation has not been wasted wallowing in doubt. After all, the best entrepreneurs always look for the positive. This is the time you needed to create a great new website or freshen up the old one, and now you have e-commerce activated in your sales repertoire. Concerning the changing trends in the customer experience, you have put a seamless curbside pick-up option into the check out panel.
The last few months have been hard, but now in a testament to your endurance, your omnichannel sales portals point to expansion new optimism.
Time to reopen your brick and mortar location. Your marketing campaign has spread the word that your physical location is now open with effective safety protocols in place. Your business is ready for the new era in local commerce.
The big day approaches when stores are allowed to open up again, and your confidence remains unshakable. Running down the checklist, you see no gaps.
The product is filling the shelves and artfully displayed. Check
Point of Sale solutions are in place on all channels. Check
Boxes and Bags emblazoned with your logo are stocked and ready to use. Check
Curbside Pickup protocols align with your location. Check
The online store is functioning flawlessly, and the product is professionally displayed. Check
Checkout Functions send appropriate alerts to curbside pick up channels. Check
Finally, sales start rolling in online. Slowly at first, consumers trickle in, just getting their feet wet again. As the numbers pick up, you start to see how the new features are contributing to the customer experience. Customers are loving the curbside option, preferring to order ahead.
You start to notice that one certain item is jumping off the shelf. It seems very popular. People are buying it online as well as in-store, and some are prepaying for pick up of the same item at a later time. Then…
A customer is en route to the shop for their curbside delivery, and your courier leaves with the last online purchase of the same product. That’s when you suddenly realize that was the last item on-hand.
You’re sold out!?
How could this happen? You always used to know how much stock was in the back.
Don't feel guilty. You're not alone. Often, retailers who expand point of sale portals quickly,neglect one of the most vital aspects for smooth expansion. Operating a single point of sale like a shop front, you may not find keeping track of stock very difficult.But, when omnichannel selling is introduced to the business, tracking stock movement becomes a very fluid enterprise.
What should you do?
Omnichannel sales are increasingly harder to juggle as your business grows, and introducing a new system to your operating system can look daunting at first. Inventory management solutions are often the most forgotten functions in small businesses,but they are also one of the most integral to successful growth.
Synchronization of sales channels with new customer experience features requires advanced software that adjusts to the user's needs. Systems synchronization and seamless integration becoming important players for future expansion.
Many ‘out of the box’ inventory management systems are inflexible, too expensive, or toolarge as a small business solution. Some require the skills of a dedicated individual to manage movements and purchases.
With up to date technology software applications, and Inventory Management systems that allow for simultaneous operation across multiple devices in Android or iOS platforms, today’s retailer is armed with a real-time account of all their inventory movements from any location. Features like pre-set alerts, and smooth integration with financial and logistics software, aid the seller to stay in constant touch with stock volumes and movements, no matter which point of sale channel is moving the item.
Never before has an entrepreneur been afforded the speed and ease of use with the inventory management that an in-house device application offers at a cost-effective price point. Features that address changing point of sale environments, and compatible functions like curbside pickup and online purchase checkouts, are easily synced for continuous visual confirmation of product movement. The resulting customer interaction will become the catalyst for sustainable growth.
Sales growth and brand expansion are what most small retailers aspire to, and effective technology solutions are at the forefront of that success. When a small business like yours portrays a professional and current buying experience,customers remember you. Knowing they can always find their favorite items available whenever they need them, is a building block to customer trust that no business can do without.
Factoring inthe safety of shopping locally, the relative speed advantage that comes from being local, and assurance for the shopper that they will always find what they need when they need it, your small business is now playing in the Big Leagues.
The adaptability and fluidity of an inventory management system that syncs with all your business operations gives any growth-minded entrepreneur the invaluable tool that promotes clean and near effortless systems operation. As a bonus, an app-based software working in real-time with everyone involved with point of sale movements makes the dreaded year-end audit decidedly less distasteful.Strength in numbers then, always function best when operating in unison.