Written by Bobby Nairn, One Step Retail Blogger
One of the most puzzling questions a retailer must decipher is understanding when to upgrade your technology.
In recent years, the retail industry has been slammed with store closures and talk of the apocalypse. While there’s no denying that retail is going through a significant transformation and technology is playing a big part. Standing still is the only incorrect choice. Yet, retailers are hesitant toward investing time, money or effort into disrupting their traditional ways.
Discovering, buying, and implementing new technology may seem like “too much of a project” for you right now. But please try to understand this process is vital to creating a future for your business.
“I have yet to read a story about a retailer that invested in technology to gain a better understanding of their customers, more visibility into their business, offer a seamless experience across channels, and modernize their operations… only to fall behind their competition.” – A Smart Retailer
Today’s technology is incredible. Even compared to only a few years ago. Yet we allow outdated technology to weigh our business down. Successful retailers today use a solution that supports their business goals and allows for continued growth. It’s that simple.
Let’s explore some of the red flags that should reveal it’s time to make a change in your technology. And be prepared for everyone in your company to praise you for doing so.
Frustrated, overwhelmed, trapped, disappointed. Or any variation of those emotions. If this is how your system makes you feel, that’s a good indication that there’s a better choice for your business. If you dread having to use your current technology and it isn’t advantageous to your operations. Don’t overthink it, it’s time to upgrade or move on. Over time technology slows down. Becomes complicated with a side of glitch. And begins to weigh you down, literally and figuratively. Think fast, sleek, agile, and user-friendly.
Without actionable data, it will be a tall task to improve your business. Your technology should allow you to compare and contrast different locations side by side, along with online and social analytics too. Much of the success of your business relies greatly on obtaining a complete 360-degree view of your customers, channels, and operations. Only then can you make informed decisions that add value to your business.
Today’s shoppers use a variety of channels to explore your store. Whether in-person, online, via mobile or social media, the same shopping experience is expected regardless of how your customers choose to shop. To make this possible, you’ll need complete visibility across all retail channels from within your solution. An extensive customer profile paired with real-time data will allow you to not only understand who your customers are and personalize their experience but also fulfill orders with one click because you can identify where your inventory is at all times. Without these capabilities, shoppers may opt for an experience that is more relevant and convenient. We don’t want that, let’s explore options for omni-technology.
“Workaround.” This is a word used quite often with legacy or outdated systems. We try to get by with these workaround’s but at what expense? Lack of efficiency? Complications? Errors? The right technology should welcome the growth of your business while also offering the flexibility to navigate an ever-changing retail landscape. If your system doesn’t support the changes your business is making, there are other technologies that can accommodate your needs.
Tired of wishing you had the latest features that your business requires? It’s time to go get ‘em. Social media integrations, customer loyalty programs, promotions and campaigns, real-time data, digital receipts, mobile, and e-commerce features, or new payment methods. If you have a ton of FOMO over the features you desire for your business, this should be a sign you’re ready for something new.