How Retail Software Solutions Help You Gain A Competitive Advantage
The retail industry has witnessed a tremendous transformation over the past few years. Innovative retail technologies have made the sector fast-paced and highly competitive. The advent of cloud technology has also disrupted the retail industry from the ground up. These technology changes accelerate the need for advanced and bespoke retail software solutions that can effectively automate most routine store operations.
Why should you adopt custom retail software solutions?
Fingent helps you develop custom retail software solutions that help you:
- Automate everyday retail store operations,
- Switch to e-commerce quickly,
- Enhance inventory management,
- Streamline payments and invoices tracking,
- Improve order fulfillment, and
- Serve your customers better and faster.
As several countries continue with lockdown measures, the digital shopping trend and the shift in consumer behavior are here to stay. Retailers are forced to address the rising consumer expectations with limited resources like transport restrictions, shortage of labor, out-of-stock scenarios, and so on. Contactless shopping has found a better place in today’s business landscape, and retailers need to adopt personalized retail software solutions to stay relevant and competent in the market.
A few stats that underscore the significance of custom retail software solutions
The following figures suggest why brick-and-mortar stores must adopt retail software solutions and digital transformation to stay ahead of competitors and attract loyal clients.
- 30% of consumers do not wait for more than two minutes to determine if the product they want to buy is in stock.
- 78% of the customers would not use a retailer again after three late or incomplete deliveries.
- 87% of buyers leave the store if the product they are looking for is unavailable and there is no assistant nearby.
Our custom retail software solutions are perfect for companies of different sizes. We help you build and integrate software tailored to your retail business. We create personalized retail software solutions that are scalable and meet the growing needs of a single shop or even a vast retail chain consisting of several Points of Sale (POS).
Benefits of custom retail software solutions
The most significant features and capabilities of retail software solutions include:
- Managing orders, products, and inventory,
- Handling financial transactions,
- Streamlining the supply chain,
- Helping human resources and marketing campaigns, and
- Managing customer relations.
Here are the benefits of custom retail software solutions.
1. Offers real-time visibility
Retail software solutions allow you to control warehouses and shop floors in online mode and identify if certain products are in or out of stock. Also, it helps you send instant alerts if something is out of order and thus avoid lengthy downtimes.
2. Automates in-store processes
Retail software solutions help automate all major store tasks such as billing, price regulation, inventory auditing, reporting, payroll records, returns processing, and more.
3. Improves customer service
As retail software solutions help automate most store processes, your employees can spend more time engaging with the customers and promoting your new products and latest arrivals. Customer reps will have the historical data in hand while attending a customer service call. This helps them save time, effort, and money, reduce returns and refunds, and direct customers to the optimal solution. Embedded analytics in the software allows your marketing team to send personalized recommendations to your customers based on their shopping history and online behavior.
Different types of retail software solutions
1. Point of Sales (POS) software
The software for shop management, implemented in brick-and-mortar stores, facilitates seamless transactions between customers and the store on the spot. The POS market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 14% from 2016 to 2024. Fingent helps you develop custom Point of Sales software that enables you to manage sales, inventory, and employees with ease. We build custom POS software for your single store or a retail network. It helps boost your customer engagement and revenue.
2. Inventory management software
We help you develop custom inventory management software for tracking, managing, and organizing product sales, material purchases, and other production processes. Typically, the inventory management software works with wireless tracking, barcodes, and radio-frequency identification to support inventory tracking and control.
3. Payment processing software
Payment processing software is a secure program that connects eCommerce sites via virtual terminals to other payment systems that acknowledge credit cards and other online payment methods. Payment processing software allows users to add their card or bank details and notifies financial institutions that approve or reject payments. We help integrate payment processing software into your retail software solutions.
4. Retail ERP systems
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems integrate modules for controlling all stages of business. An ERP system is a perfect software for shop management. ERPs are customizable and support integration with third-party systems. ERPs like Odoo and SAP allow developing specific modules to suit your business needs. For instance, SAP FICO (Finance and Cost controlling module in SAP) and SAP Ariba (sourcing, procurement, and financial supply chain solutions).
We are an Official Partner of Odoo as well as a Silver Partner of SAP. We are well placed to offer the best ERP consulting, implementation, and maintenance services for your business across these two platforms.
5. e-Commerce software
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the adoption of eCommerce among retailers. That said, retail software platforms are a must today. The software enables online store owners to add and remove products, process payments, fulfill orders, etc. Fingent helps leverage numerous eCommerce development frameworks such as Magento, Odoo, etc., to build B2B and B2C e-commerce software for your business.
You can deploy retail software solutions either in the cloud or on-premise according to your specific requirements:
- On-premise retail software solutions: An on-premise retail application is installed on your local computers or local servers. However, you may need the expertise of an IT specialist like Fingent to maintain the system and handle updates or fix issues.
- Cloud-based retail software solutions: Cloud-based retail software solutions do not require to be installed on your hardware. If you have a stable and reliable internet connection, you can deploy the retail software as a SaaS solution, which is managed by the providers automatically.
Steps to create custom retail software for your business
1. Choose the right vendor
Selecting the right software provider is crucial as well as challenging. Your choice will determine how positively a future system will impact your business performance.
2. Plan and budget
Create a detailed plan and discuss the key features your system should include. Whether to have an omnichannel solution, what function it should perform, what third-party system it needs to be integrated with, and the software development budget must be considered. You can opt for custom software development. At Fingent, we provide you with out-of-the-box retail software solutions within your budget.
3. Development and implementation
Here are a few best practices to take advantage of custom software development:
- Include an internal team of specialists having the needed expertise and experience to participate in the implementation process.
- Provide your team with adequate training to get started and explain the benefits. Your offshore software development partner can help you with this. At Fingent, we help ease your transition to custom software. We offer training and support and provide post-release maintenance and support to our customers.
- Eliminate inactive accounts and other documents that have not been processed for years to simplify the migration.
The retail software system implementation requires continuous control and testing. Thus, most companies rely on continuous testing to ensure the process will happen simultaneously with the integration.
Additionally, you must be prepared to address several issues. The primary purpose of the final testing is to simulate the lifecycle of your business with go-live processes. Fingent has a dedicated Quality Assurance & Testing team that ensures your application is bug-free, high-performing, and responsive.
After successfully implementing the custom retail software system, it needs support and maintenance that must be provided either by your technical experts or the software provider. As said above, Fingent offers post-launch maintenance support and change enhancement services for the custom software we develop.
With extensive experience in retail software development and eCommerce systems, we can become your reliable partner and make your company a front-runner in the retail industry.
If you are looking for custom software for shop management or tailored retail software solutions, please drop us a message.
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Being an Official Partner of Odoo, Fingent has always catered to the needs of various customers and streamlined their operations, thus saving their costs, time, and resources. In this post, you will see how Odoo ERP implementation helps retail management.
Odoo ERP: A Highly Customizable Cloud-based Platform for Retailers!
The retail industry is one of the primary beneficiaries of digital transformation. In 2010, eCommerce accounted for only 5-6% of the aggregate retail sales in the US. The industry has witnessed phenomenal growth over the past decade with the development and adoption of retail technology, ERPs, eCommerce applications, custom retail solutions, and stiff market competition. At present, online retail sales in the US account for 21% of the total retail purchases. Isn’t that mind-blowing?
The paradigm shift from the traditional operating landscape to a digital world presents both opportunities and challenges. Many people look for products online, make buying decisions based on social media reviews, and order products to be delivered home. They even use the internet to search local shops, order online and collect from nearby stores (click & collect) or find retailers that offer discounts in their area. The message is clear: physical/ in-store retailing also needs to pace up with the change.
To overcome the challenges in managing physical and digital selling, retailers need to adopt a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Today, ERP is extensively used to simplify and automate customer relationship management, project management, accounting, compliance, inventory, and supply chain operations. ERP is a reliable investment for business owners as they can control and monitor their operations, get reports, and gain insights on consumer behavior and market situations.
Odoo ERP for Retail Management
ERP software allows integrating the core processes to run a company in one place, such as finance, manufacturing, HR, supply chain, inventory, procurement, tracking, transactions, etc. It also integrates all the data and related business processes of an organization.
Odoo ERP is a popular, open-source, cloud-based business management software that helps manage various business needs such as manufacturing, finance, inventory, point of sale (POS), eCommerce, purchase, logistics, etc. Odoo is an intelligent ERP system that allows retailers to integrate their whole data and all the processes associated with the retail industry. For retailers, Odoo is a perfect choice that increases profit and enhances productivity as it provides comprehensive solutions that can seamlessly integrate with eCommerce.
How Odoo ERP Benefits Retail Management
Following are the significant benefits of using Odoo ERP in retail:
1. One-step checkout
In online shopping apps, the checkout stage tends to have several processes spread across different web pages. This can put off some customers who don’t want to spend their time navigating through each. Odoo eliminates these multiple processes by offering a one-step checkout that is fast, convenient, and intuitive. It has the potential to reduce checkout abandonment and thereby increase sales.
2. Craft stunning product pages
For eCommerce websites, high-quality product pages are crucial to gain maximum traction. Long descriptions with dull-looking pages are outdated. Odoo ERP lets you build beautiful and stunning product pages with a simple drag and drop feature. You can also customize your online store’s look, layout, color, and theme with Odoo and make last-minute changes to meet the demands and expectations of your clients. You can also make changes and enhancements at regular intervals to add more features to your store. Make sure that your digital store is mobile responsive to be compatible with the changes and new features.
3. Payment module integration
Having different payment options can enhance the customer experience. With Odoo’s plugins and extensions, retailers can integrate and customize various modules like wallets, cryptocurrencies, credit and debit cards, and UPI. It also supports PayPal, PayUMoney, Buckaroo, Sips, Stripe, Ingenico, Adyen, and Authorize.net.
4. Sales, purchase, and finance management
Odoo offers non-retail and retail companies different sales management processes. Odoo has a Point of Sale (POS) module, which is integrated with the sales and inventory module. This module helps retailers track stock and commodities in real-time. The module also allows for the use of biometric devices to log in and out. It’s compatible with any hardware and doesn’t require installation. What’s more, the POS remains operational even when offline.
5. Inventory management
It’s a known fact that inventory management in a volatile and dynamic consumer goods market is an arduous task for many retailers. With several issues such as excess inventory or out-of-stock scenarios, inefficient inventory management processes result in financial loss and lead many retailers to bankruptcy.
Odoo ERP offers inventory management as its integral feature, where it stores details of an organization’s entire inventory, including the individual product details. Odoo enables retail managers to keep track of crucial information such as:
- The present status of the inventory
- Items that will run out of stock
- Shelf life details of each product
- Notifications related to product expiry
- Ability to make demand forecasts based on past trends and customers’ online behavior and buying habits
Odoo ERP enables retailers to gain a competitive edge by modifying inventory to meet the fluctuating customer demands.
6. Manufacturing and production
Retailers who are also engaged in manufacturing and production can use Odoo’s module to help run functions. The Manufacturing module can assist in creating bills of materials (BoMs), managing semi-finished products, subcontracting manufacturing, etc. It can also help in configuring work centers and managing and configuring kits.
7. The Cloud Advantage
- Odoo solutions are cloud-based, allowing retailers to access their e-commerce stores from anywhere in the world.
- Odoo is flexible, customizable, and scalable, making it especially ideal for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
- Odoo is an affordable ERP solution with the maintenance fees included in the license fee.
In a nutshell, Odoo ERP serves as a high-performance retail management system where retailers can manage everything on a single system. It can bring tremendous benefits to the retailing industry. They can integrate Odoo’s various business apps such as Sales, Accounting, Customer relationship management (CRM), Inventory, etc., with Odoo e-commerce.
The Odoo App Store features nearly 10,000 apps that connect to the same database on Odoo’s own servers. A testament to Odoo’s popularity is in the numbers: it has more than 5 million users worldwide, from start-ups to large enterprises.
With a simple checkout process, robust customer portal (order tracking, advanced shipping rules, and return management), order review, and wish lists, Odoo ERP provides real-time information to users.
Read more: Why Choose Fingent as Your Odoo ERP Partner
Fingent has an ace team of Odoo developers that offers consulting, development, and implementation services. Whether you want to integrate Odoo ERP with your existing e-commerce store or build an online store from scratch powered by Odoo integration, give us a call right away.
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Technology has helped retailers to reach people globally and provide services that were never possible through the traditional brick and mortar store operations. Such massive shifts in technology have engaged even the least encouraged shopping enthusiast into acquiring items of their interest. With the advent of smart technology, shopping is just going to get more fun, engaging, and exciting. Here are a few top technologies that will completely change the way you shop.
1. Smart Shelves
Stores can now embed sensors on their shelves and turn them into a smart shelf that detects the stock remaining, the pricing changes, and alerts the staff accordingly. Many times customers find their favorite product out-of-stock. Smart shelves offer a real-time update regarding the inventory of the product and detect if it is running low. It gives retailers the power to change the price of products in real time. Retailers can plan their stocks and discounts based on the customer’s interest.
2. Retailing Apps
Smartphones are a great way to reach your audience and retailers can create their custom apps to sell their goods easily. These apps provide information about stock, alert customers about offers and work to understand the customer behavior. With Big Data analytics on the rise, retailers can figure out what sells more and even personalize the app as per the customer interest to entice them for shopping. The apps are also a great way to test new products and check if they really generate interest from the customers. If yes, the products can be launched and if no, a survey will help to understand what changes would work better.
3. Interactive dressing rooms
Major retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Rebecca Minkoff are driving an interactive technology in their flagship stores. An interactive mirror is set up in the trial rooms or fitting areas where shoppers get to analyze a 360-degree view of the outfit they are trying. It allows them to compare other outfits in similar design or color alongside. Customers can send the entire video to friends right away to get an opinion about it. Shoppers have the freedom to ask for a different size or color right from the dressing room. This saves time and increases customer satisfaction as well.
4. Smart stores
Customers who shy away from stores due to long lines at the billing counter can breathe a sigh of relief. Smart stores are not a thing of future anymore since Amazon is opening a Self-Checkout store soon. The customer simply has to walk into the store, pick what they want from the shelves, and walk out of the store. The items picked will be added to the app itself and charged on the mode of payment selected by the consumer. Another smart technology that stores can utilize is having a Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Walk Throughs to provide a personalized experience. Such a technology works best at places that sell furniture, paint, and home improvement items.
5. Mobile Payments
The use of Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology for making payments is available with all latest mobile phones. Such a payment method makes it easy for customers to purchase items without carrying their credit card or cash along. It is far more convenient and easier to manage not just for the customer but even for the retailers.
Technology is on the rise and retailers are not staying behind to use it. If you are a retailer, it is not too late to join the race and get ahead with smarter technology and solutions. And if you have set your mind on a certain technology, look no further than us to develop it.
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Productivity is the mantra to success in today’s highly competitive world. Expanding the customer base and taking large margins are both tough in a highly competitive world. In such a state of affairs, improving productivity is the only sure shot way for enterprises to stay in the game, even as they painstakingly battle it out for the new customer.
Most enterprises understand the indispensability of software to drive sales and improve productivity in today’s tech-dominated world. However, many enterprises make the mistake of deploying generic software. Such software may come with far lesser hassles to procure and deploy but can sap the very vitality of the enterprise.
Custom Design Gels in with Entrenched Systems
A retail software never works in isolation. Unless it syncs with the enterprise systems it is supposed to serve, it causes a discordant note, and executives end up spending time trying to fix the software, rather than make sales.
The generic software offers a rigid structure, with limited flexibility, and expects business to follow such a structure and approach. Any enterprise is an ecosystem with a culture of its own, and processes which have evolved over time. While change is possible, and maybe even desirable, it requires great effort and energy. Trying to change the enterprise system for the sake of the software is foolhardy. Any change should ideally be for the better, and a thought-out decision, rather than being forced due to the exigency of implementing software.
Custom build retail applications gels in seamlessly with the entrenched enterprise systems. Of course, the caveat is a well-designed app, developed after a thorough study of how the enterprise works.
Reach Out to Target Customers Effectively
Custom retail apps make it easier for the enterprise to reach out to its customers the way they want to, through the channel of preference.
Today’s demanding customers prefer varying channels, such as email, SMS, social media, and more. Marketers require a seamless way to leverage the preferred medium while delivering the required content.
Grouping the brand’s content repository into an interactive management app makes it easy for sales executives to email or SMS customers directly, generate social media posts, post content on different websites, and do more. When all effort is through a single console, marketers are spared time and effort searching for information and taking it to the required channel manually. In fact, regular or routine messages may even be automated, to be dispatched at a predetermined time. Marketers may use the time saved on their core competency, and increase sales further.
Custom retail apps go beyond, enabling personalized shopping experience and support to customers. Brands would do well to connect customers with a salesperson proactively. The salesperson would, in turn, need to be equipped with all information regarding the customer, including their publicly available demographic information, purchase history, likes, preferences, online searches, and more.
Custom Apps Enable Seamless Communication
Seamless and prompt communication is the lifeblood of today’s enterprises. Today’s customers are highly fickle and demanding. They seek instant answers and move away if the business cannot satiate their quest fast enough. A custom retail app, inbuilt with collaboration tools, and configured to tap into information from all depositories, delivers not just faster responses, but also more user-friendly communication.
Marketers, sales executives, and other enterprise stakeholders, powered by an in-house app in their smartphones can remain in touch, respond to the customer, and collaborate seamlessly, from any location, at any time. Sales executives may look-up or access critical information when at meetings with clients. Managers, equipped with real-time insights, may enforce better control over the workflow.
Custom retail Apps Perfect Analytical Insights
While most generic software offers some analytic capabilities, any custom software worth its byte offer deeper and invaluable insights into customer behavior.
The obvious and most apparent need for analytics is to view sales data unhindered. Getting real time sales data, drilled down to store, unit, salesperson, and other minute levels enable taking timely action to boost sales and resolve any trouble spots hindering sales.
A comprehensive custom build sales management suite monitors sales activities on a real time basis, and measure the impact of various marketing and promotional campaigns. Linking sales to marketing campaigns make it possible to evaluate the success rate of specific campaigns, making explicit the ROI of marketing and other interventions.
A spin-off benefit is insights on how executives and other employees interact with the app, as in the time required for completion of specific tasks, whether the tasks are completed in one go, and more, paving the way for workflow improvements. Event tracking also becomes easier, and automatic reports save time and money.
It is poised to get better. More and more retailers are now integrating beacon technology to their apps, to track how customers behave in the store, how many times they visit a certain location, and gain other insights not easily available before. Marketers could use such insights to tailor custom offers and position their products better. Sending out relevant and timely messages to shoppers not only cater to the immediate increase the likelihood of purchases but also improve brand retention, beneficial in the long term. Needless to say, it improves the strike-rates of marketers manifold, sparing them wasted effort resultant from guesses and hunches.
Custom Apps Offer Solid Templates
All software gather data, but data is useless unless put into use for actionable information. Often, businesses fail to harness the data properly. Smart businesses opt for deep customization of their reports, with solid templates to ensure each manager or supervisor get insights that really matter to their task. The best reports are dynamic, populated with real time data. In today’s fast paced and highly fluid world, historical data is as useful as yesterday’s newspaper.
The humongous benefits of custom retail apps notwithstanding, success depends on such apps being easy to use, with little learning curve or training required. It requires a competent and talented team of developers who know their stuff, to leverage the power of simplicity and roll out intuitive custom software for the business.