How can my business possibly get ahead of the competition when the retail industry is constantly changing? It is the question we hear often, and surprisingly the short answer is – Retail automation.
The retail business is under pressure. The business margins are stressed, there are ever-rising costs, rising demands from the suppliers to pass on more raw materials, high investment to stand ahead in the competition. With the cost pressure ever on the rise, retailers have turned towards automation to bolster and support their margin pressures.
Looking for retail automation meaning? Auto piloting your business, to explain in layman terms, it is the process of using an integrated software system, tools, and technology that automate your entire business/stores. This practice proves to be more efficient, leading to enhanced customer experience and reduced cost to the retailers.
Retail Automation and the realities and reasons
A recent survey from Mckinsey Global suggested that half of the retail activities will be now processed using a retail automation system. The automation in turn helps in addressing the margin loopholes, meeting customer expectations, and fill in the supplier-retailer gaps.
Automation in retail stores is shifting the way businesses used to operate. There is tough to compete with the ever-evolving market using traditional retail business methods when there is:
- Increased retail margin pressure
- Do not have expert resources
- Demands high investment
- Lack of specialists
Retail consumer managers/ professionals are expecting that automated retail solutions can boost annual revenue growth by 15% a few of them have started implementing the practices in their stores.
The reason for implementing automation in the retail market is a lack of capabilities, resources, money, and skills. Companies globally have witnessed a dip in their annual capital from those of the previous years. Businesses are finding it hard to compete especially with a tight budget and rising overhead expenditures.
Retail automation can help you fight competitors
Let us take an example of Amazon. Amazon automated its entire retail stores with planning to expand by 3000 more stores in 2021. Amazon is not the only example, global companies like Bingo Box, Nordstrom, Sephora, Nike have already started investing in retail outlet automation system for their employees and customers.
Retailers get more time on strategic activities
Planning is the key. Retail automation let vendor spend more time on strategic activities, providing analytics, and helping develop the scenarios. Automation in retail not only saves time because of key reasons:
- It is always on, around the clock business operations happening
- Even if there is not physically to handle, the employee has called out sick, automation can help run a business successfully
- It overall reduces the amount of time between the tasks not waiting around for a human to authorize it.
- Automation will streamline the workflow, eliminating the gaps and hurdles along with
Retail automation transforms the way of working
Automation is not about integrating it with the system and be done with it. Companies adopt automation mainly for 2 reasons – to improve efficiency and to survive the competitive market. By implementing the technology, they create a bank of hours with high-qualified employees. And workers can distribute some of these hours to more valuable tasks.
No matter, how much company ahead in terms of implementing technologies – people have always remained the driving force.
So, let us talk about the future workforce here:
Retail automation in the market brings in new opportunities to the businesses and with that new employee responsibilities come in. Automation streamlines processes, saving time, and cost in various ways. First and foremost, those tasks that once required daily attention, like work order management, from retail facilities managers’ plates. By automating the process, the day-to-day tasks are turned into an efficient workflow so that managers can focus on those duties and responsibilities that need attention. Hence, this directly impacts the operational effectiveness of the team.
Retail automation software
Implementing retail software development the process of listing, removing, checking, and processing new orders and payments are automatically streamlined. The primary features include searching options, product list, shopping cart, orders and payment processing, as well as inventory management.
So, this way with every retail process, automation can be implemented that includes inventory, payment processing, customer relationship, ERP.
Retail automation supports retail managers by helping to increase their productivity and reducing overhead costs and boosting customer experience.
When customers are happy and enjoy improved experiences at retail stores, your brand is surely going to have a loyal fan base, increased brand awareness as your customers will be sharing their experience within their network.