As entire nations have been placed lawfully under lockdown measures to minimise human contact, many sectors which rely on human interaction and physical proximity have been devastated. The impact of the global pandemic has shaken many industries, but the retail industry has suffered a huge blow, with footfall falling to zero. An inability to operate has halted any development and inflicted economic damage to many players in the game, but in light of the pathway out of lockdown, how can retailers look forward to ensure that they are ready for the bounce-back of retail?
Tackling fluctuations in demand
With the exception of essential shops, such as food stores and pharmacies, all non-essential retail has been forced to shut up shop, leading to a precarious drop in city centre physical footfall and leaving many shopping centres in fear.
Yet while some retailers are seeing demand stall or shift to other channels, some are seeing unpredicted spikes in demand. Food supermarkets especially are having to tackle significant out-of-stock situations on essential products as panic buyers have hoarded supplies. The introduction or improvement of technology in your business to predict and manage demand has never been more appropriate.
The commercials feature in Sage 200 is designed to help manage every aspect of your supply chain, including receiving and delivering goods and also features an inventory and stock management solution to help optimise stock levels. Additionally, a retail ePoS software solution from Micross Logic can help you to identify your most profitable and your most popular stock items, which are both important and not necessarily the same. The introduction of technology can help to keep down costs, deliver what your customers want and help you make improved business decisions based on valid and real-time data.
Balancing cash reserves
Retailers, especially those with physical footprints, are having to examine their current cash positioning in order to continue paying the bills and keep their business afloat. In particular, retailers need to examine their current and predicted liquidity profile and assess their short term cash forecasts. Given the sector’s dependence upon regular cash flow to pay for stock, rent of properties and wages, the ability to forecast accurately is highly dependent on the survival of the business.
Sage 200 financials manages the day to day running of a business, providing users with control over their costs and processes. Sage 200 includes functionality to track budgets, analyse data and create flexible accounting periods, an extremely useful capability when cash flow is restricted.
Manage Sales and Promotions
Following announcements in late February, we are all pleased to have a roadmap out of restrictions and a promised resumption of a more normal life. Retailers are set to reopen in the coming weeks, which is welcome news to everyone in the industry. A resurgence of physical customers will demand a positive experience in-store, and the introduction or improvement in retail software can help make a seamless transition.
Micross Logic offers an ePoS solution that can help manage sales and promotions in store. The technology can easily be configured to operate customer loyalty schemes, in-store sales promotions and accept vouchers at the checkout counter. Many of these offerings may have been put on hold for the previous 12 months, but with the bounce-back of customers, it is essential that your store offers an excellent experience. Additionally, this information can be fully stored, accessed and ultimately analysed to understand buying behaviour, trends and stock availability.
Increase sales at the till
The physical store offers many things which you simply cannot replicate virtually. The experience for the consumer is far superior and can really gain a sense of your brand. However, the advantages are not limited to the customer; as a retail operator, having a customer in your physical store offers a unique opportunity to increase your sales. An ePoS solution can be configured to automatically apply multi-buy or special offers at the point of sale. This allows your business to easily run special daily promotions to help move slow stock or uplift customer experience by offering bundles of selected products. In times of economic difficulty, these extra sales could be a much-needed lifeline.
With retail set to come back in fashion, the time to reap the benefits of employing technology in your business is now. One solution does not fit every business, which is why our solution can be configured to meet the needs of businesses, small, big and everything in between. If you would like to know more about our Sage 200 or our ePoS solutions, please get in touch to see how we can help you make a successful comeback.