How To Use Retail Software Solutions For Customer Segmentation
In any business, the last thing you want to do is waste money marketing to the wrong people. Retail software solutions, when well-designed and strategically implemented, helps you to target your marketing and increase sales through customer segmentation.
Essentially, the goal is to put a system in place that allows you to create a list of who your customers are, their purchasing habits and what they like so that you’re able to market to them effectively. For example, if you’re a high-end wine retailer and plan to run a special on cabernet, it wouldn’t make much sense to advertise that special to a segment of customers who tend to only buy chardonnay.
And that’s where a well-thought-out configuration of your retail software solution becomes important, including tools for the point of sale (POS), customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Managing your inventory and accounting is too complex — and too important — to run from a spreadsheet. The same goes for your customer relationships and marketing campaigns.
These software systems link together, forming an information chain. When a customer makes a purchase, that transaction takes place in the retail POS software. The data collected then flows into the ERP system, where it may be used for inventory planning and business analytics. It also flows into the CRM system, which compiles the customer information and uses it to automate your customer segmentation and targeted marketing.
To work well, this information needs to flow smoothly, with integrated software solutions that are able to coordinate tasks and share information. Moving data manually between systems is inefficient and tends to introduce errors. A good retail software solution not only gathers data, but also keeps it safe and shares it efficiently with other areas of the business.
For example, if your retail POS system and CRM system are linked, that makes it easy for a cashier or sales associate to pull up a customer’s relevant data while assisting with the sale. If the cashier is able to see who the customer is, when they last visited and what they usually buy, the cashier knows what to talk to the customer about and what offers or products to present to them.
When you’re getting ready to set up your system and start segmenting your customer information, think about what data would be most helpful to collect, such as phone numbers or email addresses. You need to prioritize this information, because your cashiers have limited time to collect it. No one wants to stand in line and wait for the person in front of them go through an elaborate sign-up process, nor does that person want to recite a lot of personal data out loud for others to hear. The data capture has to be fast and easy, yet provide enough information to be useful in the future.
A retail software solution is critical to managing your inventory and accounting, customer relationships and marketing. But you still need to start simple. A common mistake with implementing customer segmentation is to begin with an overly complex process.
If you know you want to implement POS, CRM and ERP for your business, give yourself time to plan and implement these tools gradually, training staff along the way. If you try to rush it, you’ll never get your system implemented properly, and never tap its true potential. Instead, focus on laying the foundation and making sure you know how to use the simpler tools and strategies before you start adding more.
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