The leaders of many retail businesses recognize that they need to implement new technologies that can increase efficiency and productivity.
However, they are often unable to know where to begin. In the case of an IT initiative, taking a little bit of trepidation can be beneficial. Instead of rushing to implement the most recent technologies that are making headlines on trade show floors, businesses must make sure that their solutions are in line with the needs of their customers and allow their employees to become more efficient. It’s not to suggest that retailers should put off their feet when making new IT investments.
Still, they must be cautious regarding such projects and mindful of linking diverse technologies in a way that maximizes gains.
Technology designed to increase employee productivity could be a major influence on the operation of retail stores providing managers with a quick glimpse of whether an initiative is achieving its goals. For instance, if the introduction of mobile devices for point-of-sale can increase sales, it’s an actual, tangible result that can be seen within a few weeks.
A well-designed digital transformation plan could be based on the principle that is “think big, act small, move fast.” That is to say, and retailers need to develop big plans. However, they should first implement solutions that can are low-hanging fruits before proceeding to larger-scale initiatives.
Technologies that can aid retailers to improve the performance of their employees include:
- Enterprise mobility management
When retailers use mobile devices, it’s vital that they properly control and monitor their deployments. Management of enterprise mobility (EMM) tools allows organizations to manage physical devices, mobile apps, and content. These tools help retailers understand where their devices are located at any time and the way they’re used. They also ensure that sensitive data (such as information about payment cards) is properly protected. Mobility management is essential to ensure that devices are used for specific purposes. It is crucial in a field that frequently has younger workers who are likely to utilize smartphones to send texts or games to their buddies.
- Mobile devices
The retailing software industry is arming its floor workers with smartphones, tablets, and custom-built mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices that connect employees with back-end information from local stores and the corporate data centres. Although employees at some stores have looked at inventory data from desktop computers, mobile devices and applications enable employees to remain close to shoppers on the floor of sales and improve customer service. Tablets are the primary device used by most retailers. Still, smartphones are growing larger and more powerful, and more retailers are starting to deploy smartphones as the main mobile device.
Its price drop for radio frequency (RFID) tags has led to an increasing amount of stores using this technology to help track their products. However, it isn’t able to be identified by the customer. In many instances, the sellers tag their products using RFID independently, which means that retailers do not need to install an RFID tracking system to benefit from RFID technology. Though loss prevention may be the most common scenario for RFID tags, this practice could also avoid difficult situations where the item is claimed as being in stock.
- IT infrastructure
To support mobile technology, you need powerful networking storage and processing systems. Some retailers offer edge computing solutions that are store-based, including microdata centres, which help support systems without connecting data to a central data centre. These self-contained options provide vital infrastructure and power, physical security, cooling, and remote management capabilities.
- Data analytics
Retailers are inundated with information, from sales data to customer loyalty and employee schedules. Retailers that make better use of this data than their competitors will greatly increase efficiency and productivity. Predictive analytics are crucial in managing inventory, and Omni channel fulfilment since smartly using data will ensure that items are available when consumers expect to see them.
In increasing numbers, retailers use mobile beacons to enhance customer interactions. For instance, they send out special deals to those lingering before a costly product but require an additional incentive to get them to purchase the item. Technology can also help retailers monitor the location of their employees working during their shifts, allowing managers to see that employees are in the areas they’re most needed.
Advika Apte is a serial entrepreneur at Techimply, with experience in the technology-driven field. She’s keen to share her knowledge on a few technology-related topics with readers that can assist any kind of business. Her passion for helping others keeps her motivated.
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