The retail industry is a tough environment. Along with changes in regulations, like GST, retailers also have to contend with the pace of technological changes, which can bring both benefits and challenges. As the organized retail sector in India grows in prominence, here are the top 5 challenges facing retailers in India -
There has been an increased adoption of Point of Sale (POS) software that provides some level of inventory management. However, many retailers still use excel sheets, or written notes, to manage inventory. Having a POS software has become a necessity in today’s environment.
Retailers tend to view an investment in software as a non-critical expense. But, investing in a good POS and inventory management solution can open up retailers to great efficiencies such as adopting stocking techniques, like Open-To-Buy, using multiple prices for an item, and track transportation costs while receiving merchandise. Since the Indian market is largely price sensitive, many compelling features of an inventory management solution can be overlooked in favor of a cheap solution.
As your inventory grows, it can be hard to manage the number of suppliers you work with, and to maintain separate terms of payment for each supplier.
At RetailWins, we are constantly interacting with retailers of various sizes, and we have found that businesses tend to get short-sighted in terms of their requirements from a point of sale system.
An inventory management system can do much more than just offer point of sale functionality. Having vendor and customer management modules can streamline operations to a great extent. They can allow retailers to focus on their core competencies rather than be burdened by operational tasks that can be easily automated.
Managing offline, physical stores is a challenge in itself. Adding an online store can bring in a number of logistical concerns.
How can you offer to buy online, pick up in store convenience to your customers while effectively managing both your online and offline inventories?
The answer is in using a robust inventory management solution that allows you to segregate merchandise between various stores, and track the movement of goods between them. Industry standard software allows retailers to commit store inventory for online sales. This can prevent the sale of an item at the store so that merchandise bought online can be picked up in a store without any hassles.
Most brick and mortar retailers still consider India as a volume game, where customer loyalty is not a priority. This gives businesses trying to build a brand, and a following, a head start in creating the excellent customer experience. Having an online store is one of the easiest ways to acquire new customers.
An online store also allows your customers to interact with your brand at their leisure. Unlike physical stores, you have complete control over the look and feel of your online store. An e-commerce portal can be an effective tool in gathering information about your customers and build a relationship with them.
An inventory management solution that tracks employee movement across counters, and that tracks any adjustments to inventory or cash registers can be an effective barrier for employees committing fraudulent transactions.
Imagine the convenience of tailoring the look and feel of your POS screen based on what each employee is permitted to see. Having an employee management module in your inventory management solution allows you to create pre-defined groups that you can easily assign to your employees based on their designation in the organization. These groups can also specify what security privileges an employee within a group can have.