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ERP for The Retail

ERP software specially for stores or other retail companies fits in with the trend to focus ERP solutions on a sector. You can read here about the special features that make an ERP system specifically applicable for retail.

ERP and retail

Anyone who is in retail knows everything about it: margins are under pressure, there are more and more people involved, so the chain as a whole is becoming more and more complex and, last but not least, the customer is becoming increasingly demanding. Moreover, the shelf life of a product in the market and among consumers is becoming shorter, while competition is becoming increasingly fierce, also internationally. What are you doing about it? First of all, it's important to know exactly what is going on: with your customers, in your organization, with your stocks, your promotions, etc. That information can be registered and stored in an ERP for retail. Enterprise Resource Planning software gives you insight at all times into all the data that's important to you: product and service range, current prices and stocks, offers and promotions, lead times in deliveries, finances, sales figures for the various channels etc. ERP software for the retail trade is an indispensable link for a successful business in the retail sector. After all, measuring is knowing.

Companies in the retail sector face major challenges due to these lowered profit margins and higher quality requirements. Competitors that are new, higher costs and thin margins. It's not at all easy to keep the core assets, the stock, in balance. The unpredictability of the customer in his buying behavior reinforces, with the emergence of new sales channels, the problems of keeping the right balance. The customer is always looking for the added value and retail companies have to prove it every time. This is only possible if you keep an eye on information flows: know what the customer does, where you stand with your company, what the added value of your products and services is for the customer. And of course you need to know at all times what you - literally - have to serve the customer.

Online

Throughout the retail there are benefits to be gained with an ERP, but online retailers can gain much more than the average from it. Certainly larger web stores, B2B players or parties with a larger offer usually use it. The fact that there are also many web shops that don't work with an ERP usually has more to do with the limited knowledge or budget than the lack of benefits. Small players sometimes get away with ERP modules that are processed in warehouse, administration or web store software. This allows you to use inventory administration, customer history or product properties more efficiently. Before you purchase an ERP system, you should first see whether you're using existing systems optimally.

Retail and software

The retail customer is changing in every way. Not only in his buying behavior, but also in terms of place, time and the way in which he buys. He visits the store and searches online. He wants to make contact from any location and along the preferred communication channel. And for the latter, he uses all the means at his disposal, including devices such as tablets and smartphones. An offer as a retailer must therefore always stand out, constantly innovate, be intrigued and be available 24/7. In addition, the customer is increasingly influenced by others in his community. The reviews that can be viewed online are becoming increasingly important. A purchase decision is triggered by an experience of others. Every customer experience is immediately shared with everyone and everywhere. Not the advertisement, but the (online) valuation of others, specially on social media, determines the purchasing behavior. All functionality that requires good software.

Personal attention and service is required from the customer, in addition he or she expects to be known to the retailer. No difference may be experienced by the customer between the different channels, this is of great importance. Whether a customer purchases his products offline or online; the price, brand experience and product information must be the same within all channels. This is also called an omnichannel strategy.

Grip on the process

A retail organization needs ERP software for the retail trade to keep a grip on this entire process. He must be able to respond flexibly to all these trends. That combination determines the success of the retail organization.

All specific and relevant core functions that are important for the retail market are part of ERP for retail. It offers an application that's adaptable to a specific company. In addition, the application meets all requirements for optimum support of a dynamic market. Changes in behavior and needs are quickly detected and the software can be flexibly adjusted accordingly.

Core functions

The core functions of ERP software for the retail sector are planning, merchandising, EPOS, promotions, loyalty and management information. Planning is necessary to maintain much needed control over stock, (unnecessary) costs and availability. Merchandising ensures optimum attention for your products and services. Always the right quantities in the right place. That makes a difference in the margins. It's not only the store that counts as a point of sale for consumers. He searches for products through all kinds of channels. With social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the world has become a lot smaller for your organization and for the customer. It's important to know what is being said online about your products, services or organization.

Insight into the transaction, duration and maximum support through current information are decisive arguments for the customer to buy. It goes without saying that a good promotion of your products and services requires attention. Customer offers are picking up, the monitoring of those promotions are again crucial for the optimization of your own business process. But then you must know what that customer is interested in, what he has already purchased, where he has purchased, how often and how much etc. ERP software offers retailers a solution for this. All such data is recorded and recorded so that you can extract valuable information from it. Finally, you want to know everything about what is going on in sales, customer behavior, lead times, deliveries, stocks, etc. Management information is essential for this. Every ERP package will (have to) offer that function. What else do you get out of it?

Optimize

However, it doesn't stop with just those built-in functions in the software. A customer can approach your company in all sorts of ways. The findability of your products and services largely determine the chance of sale. Improve the search options, for example by displaying search results in a way that offers the best chance of sale. A search function can also be optimized through a customized, (customer or market-specific) glossary. Think in and use the terminology of the customer! Offer discounts or other benefits based on coupons, ensure fast and error-free processing of an order by connecting your systems. Avoid disappointment at the customer by informing him at any time about the status of his order.

An ERP system for the retail sector gives the possibility to create specific promotions. Traceable e-mail campaigns, affiliate programs or other external links can be used to guide your customer in his purchasing behavior. Online sales are nowadays an indispensable part of the sales strategy. The business model of many retailers largely depends on being able to successfully apply online sales. This requires a solution that's able to meet customer expectations and that has the technical sophistication and flexibility to grow a business.

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