Achieving Superior Customer Service With Better Inventory Management
Today’s business landscape requires retailers to exercise more efficient inventory management than ever before, and industry best practices are achieved through data integration via strong retail management software.
Instant gratification and the expectation to be able to buy almost anything at any time are the norm in today’s dynamic retail space. Online shopping options are all but expected for competitive mid-market retailers, and between brick-and-mortar sales and the numerous channels consumers now have for online purchasing, an enormous volume of data flows through your hands every day.
The data collected by both your point of sale (POS) software and your enterprise resource management (ERP) system allow you to leverage that wealth of information to your advantage, but doing this is much more effective if the data are all integrated and available in real time.
Not only does seamless data integration create a level of data visibility that provides sales opportunities, prevents loss and predicts future sales, it also presents the opportunity to improve your customer relationships.
It’s no secret that people who like doing business with you are more likely to become loyal customers. All things being equal, today’s consumers are happiest when they’re able to access information that makes their shopping experience more enjoyable.
For example, a customer who doesn’t see their shoe size in a particular style on the sales floor expects you to know whether there are any in the back storeroom. Consumers also expect you to be able to access the inventory data of your other store locations to determine whether the item they’re looking for is available elsewhere, and to have the logistic capabilities to get that item in their hands as soon as possible.
Inventory data that you once would keep to yourself are now sought after by consumers. Your retail management software lets you know your product availability, and consumers want access to that data too.
If someone is on your website browsing and sees a pair of shoes they love, and a pop-up message informs them that only two pairs in their size are in stock, that information could help encourage them to make the purchase.
Improve your inventory management and satisfy your customers by also offering a variety of shipping options that benefit your overhead costs. For instance, if you’re selling backyard waterslides, consider offering customers in your showroom the option of having one delivered for free within a matter of days. The customer doesn’t have to transport the slide, and offering to ship the item from your warehouse places less demand on your store-by-store inventory, which lowers your operating costs. In this scenario, both you and the customer win.
Meeting customer needs is essential for business, and as you’re integrating your retail sales software and retail management software to optimize inventory management, it’s important to keep customers in the picture, even when you’re making back-end business decisions that don’t seem to impact them much at first glance.
The core of inventory management is knowing what you have, how much of it is there and where it’s located. But to get the most out of this information, it has to be available as a set of seamless, integrated, real-time data. The more you know about your inventory, the more you’re able to better serve your customers and their varied retail needs, which keeps them happy and helps to boost your business.
Learn more about optimizing your inventory management by scheduling a free operational assessment with ArcherPoint.
Author: Wm. Matthew Street, Solutions Consultant/Retail Product Lead at ArcherPoint