Today’s customers have exceedingly high expectations about a brand. They are moving seamlessly between the channels such as the website, mobile and physical store & they expect their shopping experience to be contextual, consistent – and relevant at any given point of time. Every retailer is struggling to implement omnichannel retail strategies at the speed consumers want and need. This is where RAWN’s strategies come handy given it’s huge experience in the retail space.

Scenario of Retail Industry in 2018

The prospects for retail businesses looks bright in 2018 as the demand is going to go up, inflation is set to reduce and wages may start to rise and the purchasing power is expected to move further up. But on the flipside the rising costs of production, logistics & other important variables are going to have substantial effect on the margins. This pushes the retailers to focus on efficiency & reduction of costs and there by improve the bottom-lines.
One important trend that is taking place is the speed at which some retail stores are closing down for good as retailers are finally getting to grips to the fact that e-commerce is eating away their market share and it online continues to outperform the rest of the other channels.

This is purely because of closer connection with their consumers with the help of new technologies and comprehensive analytics. And the same new technologies are already enabling most of the other brands in reaching out to individual consumers with individual offers and unique experiences through all the channels and has become a new level playing field leaving the ones without such technologies out of the race.

Key Takeaways:
If a retail brand had to maker its presence felt, It can only be with a proper Retail Management Software of an ERP for Retail in place to

  • Predict the demand
  • Analyze the effect of inflation on the sales
  • Forecast the avg. billing size
  • Keep the operating costs in check
  • Keeping a close tab on the bottom-lines
  • Knowing if the trends are giving rise to any drastic change in the functioning of the industry
  • Keeping a close tab on the competitors and their strategies
  • Insights on emerging technologies
  • Provide comprehensive analytics
  • Robust presence across all the channels of retail
  • Keeping an eye on the consumers, their preferences, their buying pattern, their influencers through data analytics
  • Quantify the quality aspects of the brand.

The common challenges in retail operations?

If the brick-and-mortar stores are shutting down, the primary a reasons are as below

  • Increase in Operational & Production Costs
  • Decrease in Efficiency & Profitability
  • E-Commerce players are eating into the market share
  • Do not have the proper know-how on investing in e-commerce
  • Non-Availability of crucial data regards to the performance of the business.
  • Legacy systems & software that does not have the capability of scaling up

What are the solutions?

Invest in online – Omnichannel

Investing in an ERP for Retail industry that has got a tight integration & communications between multiple channels of commerce such as a E-Commerce Website, An E-Commerce Mobile Application, A Dynamics POS System in your retail store, a chat application the website, customer care, social media & many more channels can result in better sales & bottom-lines.

Case Scenario:

It is the most effective way of shopping for the customer where he browses the details of the product on the e-commerce website, drops in at the retail store to check it out physically, makes the payment using the mobile app after seeing the long queues at the billing counter, takes the product home & reviews about it on the social media that can make or break the product, gets addressed instantly by the customer care officer for posting a grievance on the social media.

Physical stores are becoming more of showcases, galleries, service points and warehouses than commerce centers. Thanks to e-commerce, People check the product online tries it at the local stores, places the order online, gets the product delivered by the local store. The idea is to be more than just a store. The same physical store has got a great future but not exactly the way it used to be. The prosperity of any store lies in making use of the physical contact points to the fullest by engaging the customers with more personal offerings & experiences which results in a great brand recall.

Retailers should always strive to make their stores to stay relevant. Like they compare water & the form it takes based on the shape of the vessel, the retail store should be able to take any role to stay relevant in the minds of the customers & according to the changing times. The role can be of a warehouse or a showroom. So that the customers keep coming back from time to time. In 2018, experience is all that is making a difference to the customer. If the experience is matchless, the customers comes back. The stores should adorn the form of some happening hang-outs than to be more than just places to transact.

Earlier the e-commerce used to play secondary role. It is the physical store that has become irrelevant now. We as retailers have no other option but integrate the digital elements into the physical store like an electronic catalog of products, a nuclear customer service department, having interactive technologies in place like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), Cloud based Digital Signages that helps the marketing team of the retail chain instantly beam across the latest offers & products to a store which is 800 Kms away.

The important part is to replicate the experience of E-commerce in the offline world by having effective systems in place that can handle Returns, Refunds, Change in the order and all the other benefits of being and shopping online. Recent trend is the Big E-commerce players are trying their luck in the offline world by opening physical stores that are a perfect copy of their online store. This is not only helping them in eating into the market share of the the retailers who has a target base of offline only customers who are not hands on with e-commerce & other transaction platforms but also instill the confidence in prospective customers by having a physical store.

Here are the 5 latest trends in the Retail Industry

  • Physical stores to have more immersive experiences to attract new tribe of customers
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) allows retailers to personalise the shopping like never before
  • Visual search is changing the way where customers are uploading the photos to search
  • New strategies like try before you buy services, shop now pay later, the checkout-less store are being formulated to acquire customer base
  • The customer is seeking seamless experiences and instant gratification
  • POS Software: Your generic POS software is dying and an integrated ERP for Retail is a breakthrough in the retail industry where you get a complete picture of your retail business right from Sales, Inventory, Logistics to interactions with your customers & the KPIs of your business with a single system in place.
  • Utilizing large amounts of data: As the current trends indicate that the money lies in mining the data in infinite possible ways. So drilling down into the data can determine pricing, customer preferences and product positioning, impact on sales, customer satisfaction and corporate profits. A retailer can use point-of-sale records of customer purchases to develop products and promotions to appeal to specific customer segments.
  • Generic ERP Software: As you might have guessed, choosing a generic ERP software is a pretty risk-free option. After all, a big name like Microsoft, SAP or Sage is always reassuring. Millions of users have chosen these robust, high-performance and easy-to-manage solutions. With verticalization, you can customize the software to suit your needs. The integration specialist you’ve chosen to work with (by the way, why is it in your best interest to opt for a software company with integration expertise?) can provide an industry-specific add-on, just like a painter would add a topcoat for that perfect finish.
  • POS + ERP Integration: Today every retail or hospitality company has a POS system which helps the hotels, restaurants and retail to calculate their daily to monthly revenue and income. Though a POS system can help the company know what it is earning, it still fails to give the company a larger picture in terms of forecasting, inventory, supply and channel management. Many old POS applications still do not have a detailed accounting & inventory feature, making it difficult to identify the stock inventory & balances of the accounts. The results is that, there are still large number of companies which are running a number of manual processes to maintain their inventories & ledgers. These companies should consider ERP and POS Integration.

Openbravo’s competence for a Retail ERP

  • Experience: Our products range from market-oriented strategy development to client-focused solutions. We integrate the lessons learned from our diverse portfolio, applying this superior knowledge base from one project to the next. We have a proven track record of successfully executing an array of projects of varying size and complexity in the retail sector.
  • Retail clientele: Our clientele includes SMEs, international companies, public-listed companies and multi-national companies. Some of our clients are Mercedes Benz, Decathlon, Elecmec UK, Srinivasa Hatcheries etc.
  • Team: Be rest assured to receive the most efficient and affordable support from our dynamic and enthusiastic team, Battle trained to tackle complex challenges in retail businesses.
  • Openbravo Partners: RAWN as Openbravo partners have helped many corporations leverage it’s technologies resulting in many achievements & milestones. For instance, a global sporting retail giant witnessed an increase of 23% in their revenues in a fiscal year after we deployed an Omnichannel ERP in place. For a client from Poultry & live stock industry, our strategies has decreased the production times by 14% that made them replace SAP for Openbravo.

Benefits of having a retail ERP in place?

  • ERP for Retail can enable you to get real-time information about your business
  • Increase in Productivity and Operational Efficiency of your Retail business
  • Manage all the financial details such as General Ledger, Chart of Accounts, Balances, Profits & Loss by the day and by the hour. And everything will be automated.
  • Boost in your Procurement flow by controlling your minimum stock quantity, Send your POs and RFQs, and compare your suppliers’ prices, and be in control
  • Most ERPs, integrate seamlessly with a POS system. This will allow you the accuracy of having your stock and transactions updated by the order.
  • One of the best aspects of an ERP is its reporting system. This is what allows management to get control of all departments. It typically ranges from product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of a product in a single application. You can always know your profit and loss, and your company balance sheet will be at your fingertips.

Basics modules & configurations that are a must?

  1. PIM (Product Information Management): Product Information Management (PIM) is a set of processes and tools that centralize and manage an e-commerce business’ product information to ensure a single, accurate view of product data. PIM offers a centralized platform to, cost-effectively, manage data on an e-commerce business’ products and services. PIM facilitates the maintenance of consistent and quality product data and information.
  2. Customer Management: Customer management consists of three aspects.
    1. Managing Relationships with the customer at all times
    2. The fundamental rule for establishing and managing a customer service relationship is to first understand the customer of their needs. The ineffectiveness in doing this usually leads to unwanted products. By identifying certain marketing channels, sales strategies and identifying customers who are most likely to buy, usually generate more business.
    3. The first step in managing opportunities is to qualify them to determine which opportunities are worth the investment of their time and resources.
  3. Order Management: Order management is all about keeping track of orders and managing the people, processes and partnerships required to fill them. It involves keeping track of the order itself and managing data around the customer: what’s their past order history? Do they pay on time? Are they a high-volume customer?
  4. Supply Chain: The management of the flow of goods and services, involves the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption.
  5. Cash management: It is the process of collecting and managing cash, as well as using it for (short-term) investing. It is a key component of ensuring a company’s financial stability and solvency.
  6. Omnichannel Compatibility: Omni channel retailing is the opposite of the fundamental approach, where in, this is fully automated and customers gain a unified experience across online and offline. Such as mobile browsing, ecommerce marketplace, online store fronts and everything in between to physical store. Also it is just not about having a presence on multiple channels, rather it is about considering a robust Omni channel strategy to turn things around.
  7. People Management: Proactive employees are an important asset for any business. With the right kind of attitude and organizational readiness, employees can increase the profitability of the organization to a great extent. However, by giving out both rewards and constructive feedback, one can bring about a lot of difference in the performance of an employee.
  • Supply Chain Automation: An entire supply chain process can exhibit better productivity by harnessing the power of automation to improve the efficiency of its tasks. By centralizing the controlling process responsible for the entire supply chain, it is possible to achieve excellent coordination between processes such as procurement, shipping, warehousing etc., Furthermore, the adoption of automation helps in channelling personnel towards business growth and development instead of expending their efforts on the ordinary everyday process.
  • Forecasting: Forecasting is one of the primary responsibilities of a manager in the manufacturing industry. It is necessary to identify the future demand in order to arrange for the required inventory and supplies. However, in industries with significant trend dynamics which depend on various factors such as season, year etc., it is sometimes complicated to predict dependable estimates. In such situations, with the help of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning methodologies, in association with automation techniques, one can easily make excellent forecasts.
  • Ordering: Are you a retailer where your orders are in the form of email or other medium? Are they keyed into the system manually? Would you rather have your sales people or customer service team members selling and serving your customers instead of doing data entry? Sales order automation in an ERP converts faxed and emailed purchase orders into automated sales orders. When customer purchase orders are printed or arrive by email, you simply re-direct them to the ERP and all order detail in the PO is extracted and transformed automatically into a sales order in your ERP system with 100% accuracy. It eliminates the challenge of dual entry for your customers as you no longer need to request they re-key their purchase orders into your web order system once they have created the PO in their own system.
  • Cash Management: Automated cash management enables in processing payment transactions with data from clients and puts it into a format that complies with the standards of the organization. This enhances the reconciliation statements and helps automate processes, improving operational efficiency.
  • Communications: Boost your productivity and Decrease the time spent on repetitive mundane tasks such a emails and social media outreach by leveraging the power of our sophisticated and efficient automation tools.
  • Reconciliation:  Automating reconciliation streamlines the amalgamation and consolidation of data from disparate systems, together with providing the necessary transparency, good governance and robust audit trail to meet challenging reporting requirements.

Why Openbravo is the numero uno in retail space?

  • Openbravo is robust Cloud POS and Retail Management solution. As the needs of the retail businesses are extremely dynamic, Openbravo makes sure that your organization manages all the funtions of the bsuiness in a more streamlined and efficient way.
  • With presence in over 60 Countries, 450 Customers from diversified retail sectors, 15,000+ users with more 20,000 POS terminals, Openbravo is the numero Uno in the Retail ERP Business.
  • Openbravo provides POS solutions that can be deployed on any type of device. This helps in having a real and seamless omnichannel experience that include delivering superb shopping experiences throughout the store, Streamline all the functions pertaining to retail management with a full set of solutions covering merchandise management, supply chain and omnichannel commerce.
  • This is one of the very few ERPs that can
    • manage your retail operations more efficiently
    • Run smoothly on a secure and reliable Cloud infrastructure
    • Providing flexibility under different business scenarios like single or multi-brand retail, owned or franchised businesses.
  • Openbravo is Empowering businesses to succeed in both local and international operations by maintaining retail management agility.

As Openbravo partners RAWN has helped many corporations leverage it’s technologies resulting in many achievements & milestones. For instance, a global sporting retail giant witnessed an increase of 23% in their revenues in a fiscal year after we deployed an Omnichannel ERP in place. For a client from Poultry & live stock industry, our strategies has decreased the production times by 14% that made them replace SAP for Openbravo.

Next steps!

The retail industry was, is and will be a competitive arena. With the world-wide retail sales expected to cross 5700 billion USD in 2018 alone, it’s time to pull up the socks and start developing some amazing retail strategies to stay ahead of the competition and have your share of the dollars.

A great product in hand is not sufficient. Retailing at the lowest prices can get you customers but it is extremely difficult to maintain overall profits. Having said these, with proper ERP strategies in place it become easy for the decison maker to stay ahead of the competiton. Get in touch with us now to leverage the best of retail technologies to stay ahead of the competitors!