Retailers can now plan and improve customer service using a single business management platform

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Consumers hold all the power in today’s market and retailers need to make the most of every interaction if they want to maintain a competitive advantage. Modern retailers can now run their entire operation, from point of sale (POS), eCommerce and loyalty programmes through to inventory management, financial reporting and business intelligence, with a single, integrated businessmanagement solution.

SAP Business One Retail is an omnichannel business management solution developed to help retailers effectively manage every part of their operation. This unique retail system has the full backing of one of the world’s top Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and can integrate financial and inventory visibility to provide a seamless experience for their shoppers.

“Todays connected shoppers expect to interact with retailers through a variety of platforms and they demand the same level of service and rewards across all of these,” explains Craig Johnston, marketing manager of Bluekey Seidor, the leading SAP Business One partner in Africa. “That is why it makes sense to use a single solution to recognise and reward shoppers wherever they interact.”

Here are some of the features that contribute to retail businesses improving their customers’ experiences at various touch points:

• The fast, reliable point of sale (POS) system facilitates quick and seamless transactions, both on- or off-line.
• Stock visibility from the front-end allows store assistants to solve customer queries faster.
• Mobile POS makes it possible to take payment on the floor, removing the need for a fixed counter to reduce queueing time for customers. It can also be used remotely at pop-up stores, or events.
• Customer data is built into the front-end of both the standard and mobile POS systems, giving store assistants access to customer profiles, as well as customer specific coupons or rewards to enhance the customer experience.
• The comprehensive eCommerce platform integrates with the physical stores, as well as inventory holding in the warehouse and financial back-end. This helps avoid stock-outs as there is clear visibility throughout the supply chain. By integrating into the back-end system, administrative tasks, such as payment reconciliations, are automatically captured into the system – reducing the risks of human error and removing the need for manual inputs.

Retailers can also build brand loyalty with unique service delivery at all their touch points thanks to these five features of SAP Business One Retail:

• Built-in business intelligence on the eCommerce platform ensures that products and promotions are placed strategically to maximise purchasing. Promotions, loyalty programmes and rewards can be tailored for each shopper and outcomes can be analysed.
• Retailers can build and improve customer loyalty through tailored loyalty programmes configured around customer and product groups. Tiered levels of membership can be created to encourage repeat purchases through automatic promotions to customers using a determined set of rules.
• Consumers have complete control over their loyalty programme by accessing the online loyalty portal to review and redeem rewards and update their information to receive more targeted rewards.
• A loyalty system can be built into the mobile environment, enabling consumers to purchase, browse and redeem their loyalty points and use gift cards, coupons and discounts through their mobile phones. This integrates into the back-end system, meaning that all information is recorded in a single location, streamlining administrative tasks.
• Geo-fence technology can be used to send push notifications about discounts or special offers directly to consumers’ phones to encourage customers to enter physical stores.

“Smart retailers recognise that adopting the right technology and using an integrated business management system will greatly benefit both their businesses and their customers. Digital evolution is rapid and technology is changing daily, which means retailers need to keep up or risk being left behind,” concludes Johnston.

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Ludwick Mashatola is an Account Executive at CYG-Tech Creative Agency, where he leads on strategic marketing, communications, sales and content Manager for a wide range of cygtech advertisers/clients. Ludwick brings strong communication, sales and marketing skills to © Cyg Tech team. He previously served as a Purchasing and Marketing executive for Bamokgotsi Fruits & Veg, where he brought on board clients such as Spar, Fish & Chips, Boxer Super Store and Pick ‘n Pay.

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