If you’re looking to improve workflow processes at your store, and you’ve done your research, you’ve inevitably discovered the power of retail management systems (RMS). The most powerful RMSes, especially for the retail sector, boost the customer experience by streamlining the acquisition of goods and services for your customers.
According to a 2020 poll, 44% of retailers struggled to plan and forecast their inventory needs effectively. You can sidestep that struggle with the right RMS.
For example, an RMS can help you deal with inventory management, human resources, managing vendors, customer relationship management (CRM), and reporting and analytics.
And you certainly have a choice in deployment: If you prefer always-on data access, cloud-based retail management systems are the choice for you. On-premise solutions keep data close at hand, but may be vulnerable if there is flooding or other disaster.
Enterprise-grade retail management systems, like iVend, also offer a hybrid deployment—offering the best in offline and online integration for a 360-degree view of your business operations and mixing several channels into one transaction (for example, buy online, pickup in store).
When you’re considering different RMSes, you should also ask yourself a few crucial questions to clarify what is the best fit for your store:
- How many stores are you integrating?
- What is the scope of your budget?
- What are your business goals?
As you write down the answers to these questions, let’s take a look at what else you need to consider before choosing retail management system software. In this article, you’ll learn what to consider before choosing an RMS, the value RMS adds to your business, and which one is the best for your business.
What to Consider Before Choosing a Retail Management System
When looking at the different retail management software options available, you first need to look at your stock control. Begin by evaluating the efficiency of your current systems: What are the results?
Your inventory management KPIs, such as how often (and if) you run out of inventory, should give you insight into how your business is performing.
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Second, learn what RMSes can offer your business in terms of support. For example, with a better handle on your inventory control, you’ll boost your relationships with customers—inventory tracking became that much easier, lightening the burden of your daily operations. Your RMS should be able to:
- Forecast future inventory need
- Customize product pricing
- Track and consolidate orders
Third, you need to consider cost. While some RMSes are available with a monthly subscription, you might find it more cost-effective to pay for the software package outright.
Different solutions are also bound to cost different amounts, especially when you’re looking for more in-depth solutions. The cheapest option almost certainly won’t give you all the functionality you need.
Fourth, ask yourself the following questions as you examine different retail management system software offerings:
- How many employees need access? Just you, or over 15?
- How large is your business? Just one store, or are you in charge of upwards of 6 store locations?
- Do you accept gift cards?
- Does your store have multiple locations and needs comprehensive promotions options?
- Do you sell across multiple channels (such as online, in-store, and over mobile and social)?
If the answers to most of these questions focus on the smaller end of business—running a single location, with a few employees—your inventory management needs are consistently growing. Though you might not need many features, you do need dependable software that saves you time and allows you to add on more features later.
For midsize businesses—with more resources, employees, and locations than the above answer—you’re looking for a software solution that will help your business get to the next level.
While you may not need the most advanced features, like cross-timezone capabilities, you know you need the right software to improve how you do business in your retail stores and online.
Finally, if most of your answers include a higher number of employees and store locations—think upwards of 15 employees—you’re likely running an established business.
Based on this information, you’re probably looking for an inventory management option that can help you establish promotions and pricing, along with more comprehensive and advanced features for promotions and sales.
How Retail Management System Software Adds Value to Your Business
The most sought-after RMSes both elevate your business through streamlining business operations and providing benefits such as:
- Customer information
- Improved efficiency at POS
- Improved inventory management
- Highly visible finance metrics
- Better security
- And more
With the support of a world-class RMS, your retail businesses are able to provide additional value through pre-selection—both editorial direction and editorial choice. With information about your customer base, you can stock specific goods at certain prices to maximize appeal.
Demand aggregation is another value-add of RMS. Customarily, you’d need to forecast what retail customers will be most interested in—for example, what women’s winter jackets will be most appealing this season—and buy inventory accordingly. With an RMS, you have the power of data to take the guesswork out of your forecasting.
You should also factor in how simple it becomes to move physical stock when you use an RMS. Allowing your customers to order online and pickup in-store, with real-time notifications of availability, is just one way to boost your relationships with your customers. Inventory alerts also notify the necessary parties when stock runs low.
When you choose an RMS like iVend, you benefit from:
- An integrated ERP and eCommerce solution: Your business operations remain uninterrupted with iVend’s retail management system, compatible with most ERP platforms and eCommerce options.
- Extensibility: Rising above most other RMS solutions, iVend’s Extensibility Framework allows you to fully customize your software. You’ll be able to create additional business rules that extend seamlessly into other users’ operations.
- Highly accessible software: Unlike a number of RMS competitors, iVend is available 24/7, accessible via the cloud. You can also download an app from the App Store for handheld devices and POS systems.
- One-stop RMS solution: If you run a multi-site business venture, iVend offers all the support you could need, from inventory management and POS to promotions management.
Elevate Your ROI With a World-Class, Cloud-Based RMS
As the go-to retail management system and POS for multi-site retailers, iVend offers round-the-clock support and a knowledge portal that provides you the solutions you need. With over 15 years in business, iVend has over 1,000 happy clients across a range of industries.
Learn why retailers choose iVend. Speak with a retail expert today.