5 Ways Retailers Can Save Time and Sell More

5 Ways Retailers Can Save Time and Sell More

5 Ways Retailers Can Save Time and Sell More

Automate your retail business & operate more effectively

If you came across this article then, like most retailers, you’re always searching for different ways to automate your retail business and operate more efficiently. Especially if this will help grow the company sales, right? Below are 5 processes that you can simply automate, and you don’t have to be a programmer to do so.

We understand not all retail software offers all the features listed below. Before investing in a 3rd party software, make sure your point of sale provider can integrate.

5 WAYS RETAILERS CAN SAVE TIME AND SELL MORE IMAGE

1) Integrate with distributors and vendors

With this type of integration, you can easily import you vendor’s product catalogs into your retail database, with no manual effort. After that, you will be able to generate and send purchase orders automatically to your suppliers based on predefined minimum and maximum stock levels to replenish your in-store inventory. You can then receive purchases order acknowledgments back from your vendors, and also Advanced Ship Notices (ASN’s) before the shipment arrives, as opposed to having to scan every item that is in the shipment and not knowing what should be included. For your online sales, ask your vendor if they offer drop shipping and if they do ask your eCommerce provider if they can integrate with your vendors. If so, you can pull your vendors available inventory levels from their warehouse onto your website and sell their merchandise as if it were your own. By enabling drop ship, you can sell more products on your website and offload fulfillment to your vendors, speeding up delivery and saving you time.

2) Integrate with accounting software

By integrating your POS and accounting software (i.e., Sage, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Great Plains), syncing sales totals can be done automatically, cost of goods sold and payments for easy reconciliation- eliminating manual data entry and human error. Also, you can learn how to create and send smart invoices through QuickBooks.

3) Integrate promotional email campaigns with your customer & sales data

Integrate your email marketing tool with your retail software and use its CRM and sales data, from both your in-store as well online businesses to segment and automate personalized emails to consumers based on their shopping behavior, past purchases, brand preferences and demographics. (Example: send a 10% coupon for a scarf to customers who recently purchased the matching hat/gloves.) 

By creating automated workflows based on specific behaviors, you can continuously market to your customers, based on their specific preferences and actions, without any ongoing effort.  The process will flow automatically once a certain purchase is made or action is taken.  Personalized email marketing has been known to produce up to 6x times more success than sending out generic mass emails to your entire customer list.

4) Automate abandoned cart emails

Don’t allow the shoppers with items in-cart to slip away. Create an automated marketing campaign consisting of emails, popups and chatbots that offer discounts, free shipping, product reviews or links to products that are similar to entice your shoppers to complete their online order and buy from your website; the more web searches which end in conversions, they higher you will ultimately rank on search engines for your applicable keywords.  And, of course, more conversions means more revenue.

5) Sell your products via online marketplaces, integrated with your point of sale

Many retailers now sell on marketplaces such with Amazon, Wal-Mart, eBay, Facebook and other 3rd party marketplaces to expose their products to potential new shoppers, but the savviest retailers now integrate this process through their point of sale software. 

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Depending on the retail POS software you use, you will be able to automatically upload your products from your POS database, synchronize your stock levels and pricing, offload fulfillment to Amazon, and track sales from each marketplace in one place. Your incoming orders can flow directly into your point of sale software as if they were coming in from your own eCommerce website.  If you are to use multiple marketplaces, your retail system might integrate with Channel Advisor, allowing you to easily manage all marketplaces centrally through one platform. 

Small Merchants Beware: Learn Why You Could Be at an Increased Risk of Data Theft

Small Merchants Beware: Learn Why You Could Be at an Increased Risk of Data Theft

Small Merchants Beware: Learn Why You Could Be at an Increased Risk of Data Theft

When it comes to data breaches, small retailers get hit hardest

In March of 2018, athletic wear brand Under Armour revealed that an unprecedented data breach had compromised the confidential data of over 150 million users of their MyFitnessPal health tracking app. Though the stolen passwords were encrypted, MyFitnessPal users’ email addresses and usernames were exposed, and Under Armour’s shares dropped nearly four percent in the aftermath.

Blog Small Merchants Beware: Learn Why You Could Be at an Increased Risk of Data Theft

Rapidly Advancing Tech Means More Frequent Breaches

As hackers become more and more sophisticated, large-scale customer data breaches are only becoming more common: Equifax, Facebook, Timehop, and Ticketmaster are just a few of the massive companies to come under attack in recent years.  While data theft from well-known corporations make for shocking headlines, such massive hacks actually account for a mere 20 percent of all data breaches. In fact, according to data from the PCI Security Standards Council, the vast majority of hacker attacks prey upon the US’s 5 million small and medium-sized merchants.

In the aftermath of a data breach, a retailer must do damage control to protect their customers, salvage their reputation as a company, notify consumers whose data was affected, reimburse cardholders for their losses, and even face penalties imposed by credit companies, all of which can add up to significant financial costs. While a $500,000 hack might only mean a slight setback for big box retailers, the same amount can easily destroy a smaller business. And unlike large corporations, small and medium retailers, while aware of the risks to their business, often lack the time, resources, or technology to implement preventative security measures. Even small and medium retailers who take basic precautions against customer data theft often remain vulnerable to attacks from today’s highly skilled, sophisticated hackers. Meanwhile, the increasing frequency of data theft has made consumers less forgiving of merchants who compromise their private information.

Tokenization Disguises Data

Smart retailers both large and small must take data security seriously. Though modern hackers are getting better by the day, so too are data security measures, which are now easier than ever to implement. One such security measure, tokenization, is a simplistic system which essentially removes the need to store credit card numbers and personal data within the point-of-sale system itself. Tokenization creates a random string of numbers and letters, the token, during each credit card transaction

Blog Small Merchants Beware: Learn Why You Could Be at an Increased Risk of Data Theft

This token is then used as a stand-in for the cardholder’s information, and since the customer’s information is not stored within the retailer’s POS system, the credit card information cannot be compromised during a data breach.

Minimizing Accessible Information with Point-To-Point Encryption

Point-to-point encryption also greatly improves POS software security. Rather than hiding the customer data through tokenization, point-to-point encryption, or P2PE, secures the card data as it is entered into the POS device. Through this method, customer data and cardholder information is never present within the memory of the merchant’s POS system, so information stays out of reach of stealth spyware and hackers will be unable to recover customer data during a system breach. Tokenization and P2PE security measures both comply with PCI-DSS requirements, and used in conjunction are an efficient and secure tool for small and medium merchants.

Though retailers bear the responsibility for protecting their patrons’ confidential information, their POS software provider can be a crucial ally as they seek to implement new security technologies such as tokenization and P2PE. A reliable and merchant-focused POS provider is an additional layer of protection, as they ensure that the retailer has the most up-to-date and in-budget solution for their company. In addition, to add an additional security measure, merchants should look to choose a POS provider who exclusively deals with PCI-compliant credit processing companies.

10 Steps for SMB Retailers to More Effectively Compete in the Changing Retail Environment

10 Steps for SMB Retailers to More Effectively Compete in the Changing Retail Environment

10 Steps to Effectively Compete in the Changing Retail Environment

How Small-To-Mid Size (SMB) Retailers can in a constantly evolving Retail Environment

As the retail industry evolves, it becomes more and more challenging for SMB retailers to compete. Differentiating against big box retailers who are rapidly expanding into the mom-and-pop shop markets, as well as keeping loyal customers purchasing from your business as opposed to shopping online elsewhere, is not an easy task.  To better compete in-store and online, omnichannel SMB need to maximize their access to current technologies and retail management systems. 

Ten Steps for SMB Retailers to more Effectively Compete in the Changing Retail Enviornment

Celerants retail technology experts compiled a Top Ten list of ways retailers boost sales, lower overhead costs, and increase customer flow and satisfaction.

1. Integrate With and Encourage Social Media Interactions

Social media channels are the backbone to any company, whether online or not. Retailers utilize social media influencers, tagged, posts, and ads on every social media network to expand their reach to new markets through their own consumers. Letting the customers promote your product increases outreach and product credibility.

2. Incorporate Videos to Sell Your Brand

Videos are a full-picture and increasing in popularity branding tool, especially among millennials; showcasing the product, allowing for reviews, and a full/real picture of the product. This especially helps for the omnichannel approach for people to come into your store or visit online.

3. Enable and Invite Your Customers to Post Online Reviews

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Another opportunity for the consumer to sell your product for you, is having online customer reviews available for all potential consumers to view and judge. Online reviews also increase content on your websites and all social media channels, which positively impacts your SEO. The easiest way to manage this is through automated emails sent to the customer immediately after purchase or delivery, to get a full picture of the experience immediately.

4. Empower Your Customers to be Truly Mobile

 Consumers are always aware of retail benchmarks; they compare prices to other retailers; they read reviews before even entering the store; and can, now, pay using mobile devices. Companies should use a mobile retail POS for their retail management system in order to interact with these customers and immediately generate “good reviews”.

5. Don’t Just Send out Mass Emails; Personalize Them

Shoppers generally have a spam filter full of automated emails, so personalizing these emails to their preferences will keep your company’s emails out of spam. This retail POS is more difficult to leverage, but personalizing likes, dislikes, and preferences will increase traffic to your website efficiently.

6. Offer Your Customers Loyalty Programs

Almost all retailers have developed some kind of awards program that not only provides incentive to customers to shop at their store, but allows for them to track important metrics and data of flow into and out of their website. When a customer signs up for these loyalty programs, the company will get their age, demographic, location, and other important information to targeting brand outreach and products.

7. Invest in Your Website’s SEO

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As the competition between retailers increases online, a companies’ SEO must be sustainable- regardless of intended outreach or audience. Effective SEO strategy allows for, you to increase web traffic, get more “clicks”, and sell more products.

8. Offer More Products on Your Website without Stocking Inventory

Leveraging your vendors/distributors products and offering a wider variety of goods to your customers on your website eliminates the need to stock vendor merchandise by taking advantage of their live inventory on your site and sending directly to the consumer.

9. Optimize & Automate Online Ordering Fulfillment

In today’s eCommerce climate, it is difficult to compete with the instant gratification some online retail stores can provide. Leveraging all your stores to reach the most customers as a fulfillment center, considering: Location, supply, promotional surpluses, specific shipment options, staff, and pickup/delivery frequency; optimizing how fast your customers receive their products, while minimizing cost, labor, and time.

10. Sell Your Products through 3rd Party Marketplaces

Utilizing retail management system giants such as Amazon and EBay, means that your company is missing out on thousands of sales. Selling your product through this point of sale exponentially increases outreach. It also optimizes retail POS platforms because you will no longer directly deal with fulfillment requirements, payment, or customer service, especially with Amazon Prime, a wildly popular option among online consumers.

5-Facts-About-Online-Markerplaces
How To Utilize E-Mail Marketing to Promote Your Business In-Store & Online

How To Utilize E-Mail Marketing to Promote Your Business In-Store & Online

How To Utilize E-Mail Marketing to Promote Your Business In-Store & Online

Personalized E-mail Marketing Drives More Traffic - Delivering Up to 6X Higher Transaction Rates

Integrated marketing automation tools allow you to manage your campaigns & promotions and seamlessly send personalized emails to customers with automated workflows.

Use the data you’ve collected

Use your acquired customer data and automated e-mails to market to customers based on their buying patterns and overall shopping behavior. This will ensure that customers receive emails relevant to them, which in turn will increase the likely hood that they will click through and make another purchase.

Give some incentive

Through email marketing you will be able to invite customers to post online reviews of their recently purchased items and suggest similar products to them. Go ahead and send some coupons they will have use for and watch as they trickle in. This provides your customers with a reason to return to your store.

Pull data from every channel

Within the CRM, customer emails will be grouped by their shopping habits, past purchases, brand preferences, and demographics. The marketing tool pulls data from all of your retail channels: from your POS and eCommerce to third-party marketplaces.

Automate when to send & to whom

By utilizing this data, you can automate personalized email campaigns to send to targeted groups or individuals at specific times: for example, after a purchase or if an online shopping cart is full. This will ensure that your customers receive emails specific to them and increase the possibility of another sale.

Putting email marketing into action…

Integrate: Integrate your email platform with point of sale, to send messages based on past purchases and preferences.

Define: Decide who will be receiving this E-mail

Test: Design and make sure to remove any errors

Send: Send immediately or schedule for later release

Socialize: Share your campaigns on social media

Analyze: Track and interpret your results for continued growth

All in all, email marketing is a cost effective way to increase traffic and sales across all of your retail channels, from your POS & eCommerce to market place integrations. In modern day, growing your email list is absolutely essential for marketing to your customers and growing your business.

Download Our eBook: 6 Proven Email Tactics For Retailers

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