The retail industry has faced tremendous change over recent years, with a shifting market of social media-driven brands and the influence of technological advancements closing the businesses that can’t keep up. High-street store closures are commonplace, and it’s not just small businesses that are suffering, much-loved brands including Toys r Us, Maplin, House of Fraser and Debenhams have all felt the pressure or become casualties in this new world. In fact, according to the Guardian, a worrying 1 in 12 shops have closed in five years, revealing a concerning future for retail stores as consumer behaviour and more importantly spending shifts from the high street to their computers. So, how do retail businesses survive the high-street decline?
It’s widely accepted that an omnichannel strategy is critical to success. It means more retailers are having to diversify their offering, especially as Generation X, Y and Z’ers are ageing into the dominant shopping population. It poses serious challenges for some and turns the spotlight on the significant role technology has to play in the process of transformation.
With powerful technology at your fingertips, your retail business can thrive whether that’s in a physical store, an e-commerce site or both. Having a deep understanding of every aspect of your business is made easy with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Streamline store operations
Running a retail store is hard at the best of times, whether it’s balancing the needs of suppliers, staff and customers, not to mention keeping on top of stock, managing orders, controlling costs, maintaining quality and making the store an attractive and inviting place for customers. Not only that, but with fierce competitors emerging seemingly every day with unbelievable prices and mobile devices transforming the shopping experience, the retail landscape is becoming an increasingly difficult and overwhelming environment to survive in, let alone stand out. Therefore, it’s essential to have a system which gives you an overarching view of your retail operations as well as automation for laborious tasks to save valuable time. Business Central does exactly this, by allowing you to manage and oversee your entire order process with the help of add-on tools such as warehouse management system Tasklet, Business Central drives your business forward right from the very first step.
Automate stock management and replenishment
Mismanaging stock can mean the difference between a successful sale or a frustrated shopper taking their custom elsewhere. But manually keeping on top of stock, particularly for large stores or chains is time-consuming and prone to errors, meaning businesses often under or overprovision their stock. By dynamically staying in-tune with consumer buying patterns to forecast expected stock-outs, Business Central’s built-in intelligence predicts when and what items need to be replenished, creating an efficient plan to monitor and replenish when stock levels become low.
Run your business anywhere
Older ERP systems will have restricted your mobility, meaning that valuable details into your operation weren’t always available if you weren’t in the office. However, a mobile-first world requires retail technology that can keep up with consumer expectations for instant communication, which is why Business Central’s mobile version brings you one-touch closer to your customers by matching mobile technology with the dynamic needs of your retail business.
No more budget boredom
If you’re spending a considerable amount of your time manually managing budgets and reports in Excel spreadsheets, that’s precious time that could be spent driving your retail business forwards. Although Business Central contains powerful financial reporting and budgeting already, your business may require more than off-the-shelf functionalities. Financial solutions such as Jet Reports or Continia take away the burden of manual processing and automate laborious admin processes. Best of all, they integrate directly into your Business Central software for an even more seamless approach to your finances.
One platform for your entire retail business
Now more than ever, a powerful tool is needed to take back control and deliver results which puts your business at the top of the retail chain. From reducing time-consuming stock management and financial admin processes to delivering valuable insight into every part of your business. Business central provides a universal view of performance across your entire retail network, bringing clarity to pitfalls or potential improvements and opportunities. If you want to find out more about Business Central, simply get in touch to speak to one of our experts.