Over the last few years, online businesses, also known as eCommerce, has become an integral component of shoppers’ lives. In 2019 alone, the US eCommerce market made up $602-billion dollars, compared to total retail store sales of $3,763-billion. These numbers are ever growing—with US ecommerce sales growing 14.9% in 2019.
If your retail store does not currently have a digital storefront, then you’re seriously missing out on a huge opportunity. It’s a slice of pie that other retailers are getting that you aren’t.
The benefits of running a retail store online
Making the switch to an online store from a retail store can be intimidating. We get it. Those who aren’t familiar with the technical aspects of setting up a digital storefront or those who have limited resources to invest in software and equipment may struggle with the idea of establishing one.
Regardless, building an online presence can drive numerous benefits, including:
- Business continuity in an increasingly digital retail environment
- Taking orders from existing or new customers from virtually anywhere
- The ability to shoulder global crisis, like the pandemic
- Servicing both locally and globally
To help retailers like you, here are some effective digital tools (and software) that can greatly improve your sales this year and beyond.
eCommerce software helps set up a digital storefront for your retail store business. Not only that, it helps manage the online retail day-to-day operations. Typically, it offers features for business owners such as website and UX/UI designs, product listing, shopping cart, catalogue management, inventory management, order management, and order fulfillment.
As the pandemic pushes on, online sales have dramatically increased, growing 76% in June 2020. Adopting eCommerce software is key to any retail store business who don’t want to fall behind and shut down its doors.
Don’t worry though: for retailers that can’t afford to invest in software right now, there are also multiple free and open-source eCommerce tools available at your disposal.
KEY TAKEAWAY: With the rise of online sales, the retail market is heavily impacted. Products can now be digitally delivered instead of having to visit the retail store and collect the products physically. The fact that you can get the products and services at your doorstep is a huge bonus for shoppers everywhere. To successfully run a retail store in today’s day and age, you must adapt and leverage technology to run your business.
A way of thinking about accounting software is to imagine it as the digital and automated version of the sales ledger or general ledger. Accounting software helps a retail store track billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, etc.
There are so many aspects to running a retail store. If your accounting is still completed manually, then you’ve got a problem. Consider getting off the excel spreadsheets and adopt software that helps automate any administrative redundancy. This can be manually logging receipts, calculating sales income, inputting/calculating taxes, and even matching receipts and invoices during reconciliation.
Over time, these tasks can take away from the limited time you have in a day, causing you to do much more admin work than you’d like.
Kashoo’s simple-to-use, efficient, and affordable accounting software does a great job of automating these redundancies listed above. Using intuitive user design, an understanding of what small business owners (including retailers need), and the use of machine learning, Kashoo can truly help any retail store become more efficient.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Tracking billing, accounts receivables, and payables, etc. are administrative tasks that can take up the bulk of your day if mismanaged. If you’re considering running your retail store online, adopting simple and affordable accounting software is a must if you haven’t already started using one.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps retail store owners better manage customer interactions and streamline communication across multiple channels. This includes emails, messages, social media, and calls.
CRM software can also offer various other features such as contact management, interaction tracking, lead management, calendar, and document storage. It’s a fantastic tool for retailers to manage and analyze their own interactions with their past, current, and potential future customers.
Here’s a list of some of the best CRM software this year.
Field service management (FSM) software allows retailers to effectively manage a mobile workforce out in the field. For example, if a retail store mainly operates locally, they can use such tools to both manage order fulfillment and ensure delivery agents can find customer addresses quickly. FSM tools typically offer features like work order management, dispatching, and payment collection.
It’s time to go digital
As the numbers of sales continue to grow in the digital storefront space, many retail stores are heading into two routes: risk closing down or switching their stores online. Luckily, there are a plethora of digital tools available for retail businesses to take advantage of. Some key ones include those mentioned above, like eCommerce, accounting, CRM, and FSM software. Although not exhaustive, it is highly recommended that all retailers start running their retail stores online to join in on the fast-growing online market.