Specialty retail stores have many hoops to jump through in order to stay ahead of the competition—in-store cafés and restaurants, omnichannel operations, a great social media presences—all are important parts of an overall retail strategy to stay competitive and increase profits.
Pulling this strategy off successfully is easier in theory than in practice however. To achieve the results you want, you need to have the right tools to help you. Here are a few software features that can help specialty retail stores get ahead:
Seamless Inventory Management
Nowadays, it’s not enough for specialty retail stores to run an omnichannel operation—they have to do it better than the competition. This is why your inventory management software must be omnichannel-capable, offering full, real-time visibility into your inventory and order fulfillment. Not just with your retail inventory, but your café or lifestyle space as well.
You need to be able to easily transfer inventory from one location to another, and know the inventory count of your products at the source location and at the destination location. You also need to have an in-depth view of profitability, recipe tracking, and the capability to be alerted when thresholds have been reached.
Effective Labor Management
Beyond your inventory, labor is one of the biggest expenses for specialty retail stores. In order to effectively manage it, you need software that can help you optimize your scheduling and forecast your needs.
By identifying periods of heavy and light traffic, such as seasonal influxes around the holidays, and slow hours due to weather conditions or certain times of the day, you can plan the number of staff on-hand more accurately. This prevents you from losing money from overstaffing, while still ensuring you have the right amount of coverage.
Effortless Vendor Management
You likely get your inventory from a variety of vendors. Keeping track of vendor orders—open, closed, and partial—through unreliable manual processes can take up your valuable time and lead to errors. Your POS system should be able to easily track orders and alert you when thresholds reach critical levels. It should make it easy to know when you need to reorder stock, and effortless to send those orders. It can also help you plan effectively for vendor deliveries.
Comprehensive Customer Engagement Tools
Customer loyalty is more important than ever. It is absolutely essential that specialty retail stores offer a loyalty and rewards program that incentivizes shoppers to return time and time again. Not only is this critical for fostering better customer relationships, but it provides the data you need to run more effective promotions and tailor your marketing to your customers.
This data helps you understand what your customers are looking for, what types of communications are most effective, and what steps you should take to boost customer engagement.
As digital technology continues to evolve and the internet provides customers with more and more conveniences, it only becomes harder to meet shifting customer expectations and drive loyalty. Though technology advancements have been a burden to retailers, they have also been a blessing.
Retail technology has kept up with these growing demands, and specialty retail stores can leverage these innovative software solutions to not only keep up, but get ahead.
SalesVu offers a number of free and low-cost apps designed specifically to meet the needs of specialty retail stores and their customers. Interested in learning more? Contact SalesVu today!