Technology For Owners Of Multiple Retail Stores
Stores like IKEA, Walgreens, and Nordstrom’s use technology to boost sales, save time, and protect their customers’ information. Gathering and using data is so crucial to sales that some of the big stores spend 30% of their budget on technology. The good news is that even small to medium business owners can use the same technologies for the same purposes. This is especially helpful for the single-owner business that has branched out into multiple locations. If you are still doing a manual count of inventory at each store and have not adapted to the XXX chip in credit cards, here are some technologies you may want to incorporate into your business.
Technologies We’ve Covered
There are a number of technologies we have already covered on this website and in blogs. You can find more in-depth information about each of these technologies by following the links:
- Using the cloud for inventory
- POS basics
- EDI for online orders
- Developing an app for your store
- The use of scanners on inventory and for sales
- CRM software to track customers’ buying trends
More Technology for Retailers
You can be sure that your customers are using technology to do their pre-shopping. What is pre-shopping? It is the time they spend on the internet reading up on an item they want to purchase. They will research brands, compare costs, and study customer reviews until they know more about the product than you do.
To monetize the customers’ reliance on technology, you as the business owner can claim a fair share of the internet for yourself. Simply scanning data provided by Pinterest can give you a heads up on the newest trends for your retail store. You can improve your marketing and have a better idea of which items will have a quick turnover.
With a strong involvement online, you can collect information about various demographics and market to their specific tastes. This quickly builds your customer base as customers share information about your store with their friends.
A strong involvement online will help you gauge the flow of inventory. As customers shop for particular items, you can receive notices and stock those items in your store. For example, a college town that is anticipating a big homecoming game generates a lot of business with team logos. The owner of a scrapbooking store can anticipate this by stocking paper, stickers, and other embellishments that appeal to those fans. A fabric retailer can push flannel fabrics for team blankets for that frosty night. Your clothing store can market toward the big game with the right color combinations and accessories. You can shape your inventory orders and turn a bigger profit by keeping up with what your customers are doing online. Market research has shown that ¾ of consumers will do business with a retailer that targets their interests or needs.
Not only can you plan your inventory using information from data gathered, you can coordinate that inventory between your stores. If you have a customer who wants a particular item that is not at your location, you can let them know whether or not it is at your other store, and when it will arrive. This kind of individual attention is the bread-and-butter of small retailers.
Even big companies have learned about the value of customer loyalty rewards. With the proper technology in your store and in your online work, you can keep track of your faithful customers and reward them for their loyalty. Quite often, the difference between shopping at your store and shopping elsewhere is simply the fact that they will get one more punch on their card if they shop with you.
Showrooming is the customer practice of shopping in your retail store and then going home to make their purchase at a lower price on the internet. Battling this requires a whole different skills-set on the part of your employees.
You can start fighting this problem with your own price-matching. You know your bottom line of course, but chances are you can match prices on the internet and still make a profit.