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How a Cloud Retail ERP Use Can Give You a Competitive Advantage

Using a cloud retail enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is crucial for retailers to maintain their customer-base, track their products, and keep from falling behind competitors.

Here is a review of how ERP can be useful in retail, how it gives businesses a competitive advantage, and the areas of your business that can be positively impacted by it.

ERP Use in Retail

As more people look online for their shopping needs, they expect more the retailers they choose to do business with.

That means retailers can’t rely on old, outdated systems anymore to get the job done. Modern consumers expect stores to know their preferences and they expect a sleek, seamless sales order process.

Relying on legacy systems means losing customers. With a state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in place, your business can tend to your customer’s needs quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

ERP in retail has become more prevalent and necessary for a modern business. The global market for ERP is expected to be worth $47.9 billion by 2023.

More and more companies are relying on cloud-based ERP to help their business run and with e-commerce being the second more popular industry for ERP use, retailers are leading the charge.

Why Do Retailers Need ERP?

Without ERP, retailers struggle with common issues like inconsistent tracking and reporting, poor store interfaces, and unconnected pricing systems—all of which combine to create an unappealing buying process for consumers who will look elsewhere for their needs.

ERP has become a favorite of retailers because it brings a number of competitive advantages to businesses by creating a unified place for all an organization’s data.

This makes it a lot easier and more efficient to better use that data to improve customer satisfaction, monitor supply chain and inventory needs for product or service refinement, and more.

ERP makes a business more efficient because it makes it easier for decision makers to utilize resources in order to make informed, data-driven decisions, plans, and strategies.

Cloud retail ERP makes it even simpler by storing this information digitally so that it can be accessed remotely, removing the limits presented by rooting a business in place without sacrificing stability or security.

How ERP Benefits Retailers

For retailers, ERP comes with many advantages that can give you the edge over the competition within your industry. Here is a detailed look at some of the key areas that can be improved with ERP in the retail space.

Customer Relationship Management

It should be obvious that maintaining relationships with customers is a crucial part of a successful retail business.

39% of CEOs say that a good customer experience is the most effective way to establish an advantage over competitors.

In order to keep them coming back and gain that advantage, a modern customer relationship management solution with ERP is needed, especially as customers place a bigger emphasis on service after a purchase and how they’re communicating with brands.

Using ERP in customer relationship management means being able to quickly and effectively respond to customer inquiries and service requests and uses data to create targeted campaigns to help drive engagement, loyalty, and sales.

Because people’s trust in businesses is becoming a key competitive differentiator—81% of consumers say they need to trust brand they buy from—creating a positive overall experience for a customer is a way to gain a clear advantage over competitors.

Establishing a brand as a trusted business through clear communication, easy buying experiences, and high-level customer service can put an organization over the top and build solid word of mouth around the company and products.

Supply Chain and Inventory Management

An ERP system can help you gain valuable insight into your supply chain and inventory management processes as it is able to keep and update real-time data to always monitor demand and your stock.

ERP can also help you manage distribution, ordering, purchasing, and customer support within these systems.

Inventory management for retailers can be very volatile as demand ebbs and flows. Having a system that helps you track it all so you always know what you have, what you need now, and what you’ll need in the future with demand forecasts.

Omnichannel Management

A cloud retail ERP system should help you deliver a truly seamless experience to your customers across all of your channels—social media, websites, email, e-commerce, etc.

An ERP helps in this way by centralizing customer data to make informed decisions on campaigns that personally promote products that customers are likely to buy next.

An omnichannel ERP will help your business manage all its channels, including offline and online inventory, sales, and customers, all in one place.

Financial Management

Budgeting is always a big task for companies, but it’s especially difficult for retailers who may have multiple stores, managers, etc. An ERP platform can help centralize this information to track profits and costs alongside stock and inventory.

ERPs can automate sales and payment recording through integrated POS systems that automatically track transaction details.

This info can be used to help balance the books and monitor customer buying habits. These real-time updates allow you to immediately see business happenings from all your storefronts in one place.

A cloud retail ERP can also help you with pricing, discounts, sales, and coupons by offering you the ability to have a dynamic pricing system, something that would be very difficult to do manually. An ERP system can track pricing and automate the process of recording price changes and available discounts.

Bottom Line

Utilizing ERP in your retail business can give you a massive advantage over your competitors by streamlining and improving how you’re able to use your data to create a better customer experience and to manage your inventory, financials, and supply chain.

ERPs are an essential part of a modern business’ organizational structure and they help SMBs remain competitive. By leveraging the data insights and analytics capabilities provided by an ERP, companies can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and achieve better customer satisfaction.

To learn more about what an ERP can do for you, take a look at our offering here.