Anyone who owns a business understands the importance of maintaining efficiency in your supply chain. Inventory management can be one of the most challenging parts of this, especially if you’re still relying on manual systems to take care of it. In a world of big data and digital transformations, it’s hard for any type of business to keep up reliance on legacy systems. This is true whether you’re running a small business or a large enterprise, and it’s true whether you’re running an eCommerce shop or a brick and mortar retail store. Even if you prefer to maintain a physical store, it’s a bad business practice to forgo online shopping options entirely, especially when you consider that worldwide eCommerce sales surpassed $4.2 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Making online shopping offerings gives your business a piece of that lucrative pie and can have other benefits as well. For example, if you increase your online presence, you can bring additional foot traffic to your brick and mortar store. This is because customers frequently use their smartphones and mobile apps to find places to shop, and the better your online presence, the more likely it is for your business to show in local searches.
Of course, adding online shopping options also adds another layer to your inventory management, since it will be almost like tracking inventory for two different stores. That’s why you’ll need some of the best services available to help you keep track of your inventory and equipment, as well as keep your books balanced. Here are just a few business services that you can’t afford to miss out on if you want to take your retail store to the next level.
Enhanced Retail Analytics
You should already be using a point of sale system (POS) to help you with sales data and inventory data, but you can enhance the capabilities of your POS greatly by pairing it with retail data analytics. Businesses both inside and outside the retail industry rely on advanced data analytics these days to gain insights into their business processes and make better business decisions.
Put simply, retail analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing data regarding inventory levels, supply chain efficiency, customer preferences, sales data, and any other information that helps you maintain excellent procurement practices. One great feature of retail analytics software is that it can use a combination of historical data and current customer data to accurately forecast customer demands through predictive analytics, so your POS system can send you alerts exactly when you need to restock. You can even choose to have alerts automatically sent to your suppliers, so you don’t even have to put in the orders yourself.
Having easy access to inventory, sales, and customer data also makes it easier for you to improve customer service. For example, you can use all this data to determine who your best customers are and make them special offers based on purchasing history. You can also use this data to help you set up customer loyalty programs that offer points to shoppers that they can trade in for discounts and other advantages.
Equipment Management Solutions
Of course, the products you have for sale in your store aren’t the only inventory you need to keep track of. You also need to worry about the equipment you keep on hand in stores, such as electronic barcode scanners, credit card, and debit card scanners, mobile devices, and more. The last thing you need on your mind is missing equipment or additional costs for when equipment is damaged. That’s why equipment management software is so important for any store.
A reliable equipment management solution will let you easily track what equipment is available at any time, who’s using checked out equipment, and even the exact location of each item in use. This makes it much easier to hold employees accountable for any equipment that may be damaged or missing. With a convenient mobile app, employees can check out equipment on the go, and they can even scan asset tags for immediate troubleshooting. Asset management software even makes it possible for maintenance managers to schedule regular appointments for preventative maintenance, so you can be sure your equipment functions as intended at all times.
While advanced analytics and asset management will help you take care of a lot of the stressors involved in a retail business, you’ll need top-notch accounting services to make sure everything is affordable and that your new business plans are working out. If you’re a small business, then one bookkeeper with QuickBooks might do the trick, but as you start to grow, you might want to look into online accounting services to ensure that your finances are in good hands.
Maintaining an in-house accounting team is costly, and you’re unlikely to ever need it for much of the year. It’s extremely cost-efficient to outsource this need, and it lets you find experts in the field who likely have more experience than employees you’d hire in person anyway. When it comes to your online sales, you can even find eCommerce accounting services that specialize in different niches and can help you with your marketing as well.
No matter what kind of retail business you’re running, you’ll need the best tools and services available to make smarter decisions and put yourself ahead of your competition.