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As the online world expands globally, companies that wish to stay in business and profit will need to move with them. One way to accomplish this is to get involved in the world of electronic commerce, commonly shortened to e-commerce. E-commerce makes the buying experience easier on customers by allowing access to products and services at any time of the day or night, as well as cutting out annoying crowds and busy line-ups, and easier on businesses by connecting all aspects of the business over a network.The Importance of Integrated Retail Systems
An integrated retail system allows all aspects of your business to 'talk' to each other over the network, which makes all your processes run efficiently and effectively. Not only this, but an integrated retail system eliminates excess paperwork, allows management control and flexibility over all stores from Head Office, and gives you easy electronic access to every part of your system. The system reduces the time you need to spend in bringing each section together, which translates to more time available to attract and engage customers.Engaging the Shopper at the POS
With the expansion of and easy access to computers and the internet in today's world, shoppers are becoming more and more savvy with technology. Engaging the shopper at the POS becomes especially important in e-commerce, which is focused on being quick and easy. A great way to engage the shopper at your POS is to optimize your website for mobile phones, an area that businesses are only slowly beginning to take advantage of. Mobile point of sale systems can be used inside a store as well, reducing customer complaints by reducing line-ups, crowds, and the number of abandoned shopping carts left lying in the way.Effective Loyalty Systems
You want your customers to remain loyal to you; not only will they continue to buy your product or service, but a satisfied customer will recommend you to family and friends. In order to retain loyal customers, your business should have an effective loyalty system that will bring customers back to you over and over again. One popular and effective way of doing this is by offering discounts and coupons to shoppers who buy online, rewarding them for continuing to buy from you while at the same time boosting your e-commerce footprint. Loyalty Management programs will enable you to track customer behaviours and engage with them at all levels in an easy-to-use and almost error-proof way.Retailing Through Multiple Channels
By using multichannel retailing, your business will reach out to the customer not only in many different ways, but in a way that allows the customer to take control of the transaction. Multichannel retailing means that your product or service is offered through multiple options, such as:
Connecting all your systems will give you a single point from which to offer these options to the customer, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and building loyalty.New Innovations in the Retail Sector
Technology is constantly growing and improving, allowing you new and easier ways to run your business. One new and exciting innovation is mobile gift cards, which can be purchased and redeemed solely from your Smartphone or tablet. Although this technology is so new that only 15% of retailers in the United States are currently set up for it, Time's Business and Money section reports that 61% of retailers have plans to implement the mobile gift card in the future.
By using an integrated retail system, you and your business can take advantage of a single package that offers everything needed to run a successful modern business.