How Old Technology Can Negatively Impact Your Retail Business
Your business technology applications and platforms keep your retail business running, connecting the entire business so you can have visibility into every aspect and make smart decisions while delivering excellent service and giving customers what they want.
That is, however, if you’re not using old, outdated technology.
If you’re hanging on to legacy systems, you might be saving money or avoiding the inconvenience of upgrading and learning new systems, but you’re also doing so at great cost. Because legacy systems don’t integrate with each other or with online marketplaces and the like, they operate in siloes, which causes you to incur costs due to missed opportunities and ill-informed decisions. Legacy systems are also costly to maintain. And finally, they simply cannot give you the ability to offer services customers demand, which could cost you their business.
In short, old technology doesn’t save you money—it costs you money and more.
Here are some other ways your old technology might be sabotaging your business:
#1: Inability To Accept Product Returns Across Channels
Today’s customers use multiple channels to browse and shop, and they expect to be able to do returns in the same way. They want the ability to return something without a hassle—through any channel, regardless of where they made the purchase. If your current systems can’t accommodate this expectation, you are at risk.
#2: No Click-And-Collect Or Curbside Pickup Capabilities
Otherwise known as BOPIS, or Buy Online and Pick up In Store, click and collect as well as curbside pickup services are a must with customers, especially post pandemic. Both options are convenient, bridge the gap between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail, and most importantly, contactless. If that’s not reason enough to offer these services, note that click and collect has been shown to encourage upselling, as they lead to larger shopping baskets because customers add unplanned items when they pick up their purchases.
#3: No Visibility Into Your Inventory, Causing You To Oversell
If you have multiple locations—and possibly an eCommerce site—that have separate databases, you don’t have the ability to get an accurate inventory count, much less keeping those numbers updated in real time. With this comes the increased possibility of selling items that are out of stock, which causes avoidable frustration with customers. With legacy systems, you risk angering your customers and perhaps losing them for good.
#4: Another Problem With Lack Of Visibility Into Inventory—From The Customer Side
Today’s consumers don’t browse like they used to. When they go shopping, they check first to see if you have what they want before they come to your store, which requires the ability to check your inventory themselves. If you don’t have the ability to give them visibility into the products that are available in your stores, customers are going to go somewhere else.
#5: Manual Processes
Manual processes that could be automated will eat into your profits faster than you think. Tasks like doing physical paperwork not only take time away from doing more productive work, but they increase the chances of errors and contribute to lack of real-time visibility into inventory and other key numbers.
#6: No Knowledge Of Your Customers
With social media along with so many other channels available to customers, you need to be able to identify, learn about, and follow them. You then need to take the information you gather and feed it into your internal systems so you can engage with them through personalized interactions. This is impossible if you manage your stores and channels as separate entities. With most legacy systems, you can’t take advantage of valuable data, resulting in duplicate, incomplete, or incorrect information and general blindness to who your customers are. If you don’t know that, how can you design meaningful loyalty and reward programs and deliver personalized service and promotions?
#7: No Real-Time Reports
If you are using outdated technology, then you are also probably running each of your locations and channels as separate entities. This means you likely do not have real-time visibility into your operations nor the ability to report on that data. In addition, that data is not going to be complete nor accurate—and it will be outdated before you finish running your report. The result is that you lose the ability to make informed, timely, decisions, and you’ll miss opportunities.
#8: Inability To Easily And Quickly Change Prices And Make New Offers Or Promotions
When you are running your retail operations on separate systems, doing fairly simple things like changing prices, launching promotions, or making new offers become complex, time-consuming, and costly. If you can’t see what’s selling and what’s not, for example, how do you know which promotions make sense and how to price your items?
Stop Wasting Money: Digitally Transform With A Unified Commerce Platform
Hanging on to old, outdated technology costs money on so many levels. It’s time to stop bleeding cash and digitally transform. Contact the retail experts at ArcherPoint to discuss the benefits of a modern, unified commerce platform, where all aspects of your business—including all channels—are united on one common platform.