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Optimising Retail Operations with a Retail Management System

It’s a challenging time to be in retail. Stores offer more services than ever before such as click and collect, exchanges, and returns, providing loyalty programmes alongside delivering a fantastic customer experience. Add compliance audits, stock checks, and health and safety documentation and it’s hardly surprising employees are feeling frazzled. Fortunately, retail software can ease this burden to streamline store operations and productivity. That’s why leading retailers are turning to retail management system .

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Why Retail Management Systems are essential

Many poor-performing store estates are still running on manual or paper-based systems. Alongside this communication takes place over email or via WhatsApp. All of this leads to fragmented messaging and added complexity with employees trying to work out which channel they saw that important recall notice on.

The best retail management software revolutionises store operations by replacing manual checks with digitised efficiency. This includes task management, compliance audits, upholding visual merchandising standards, checklists for health and safety, employee engagement and so much more.

Having all tasks in one place increases the productivity of staff as they know where to look but it can also streamline the workload of area managers. Take visual merchandising as an example. If stores must follow a visual best practice guide and submit their photos via a retail management system, area managers can prioritise visits to the stores that need more support.

Features and benefits of a modern retail management system

When looking for the best retail management system, it can be confusing to decide between all the retail software solutions out there. However, there are some features and benefits that retailers should look for if they want the best retail management system software.

This includes choosing retail software used by other retailers. Rather than having something that needs lots of customisation to make it fit for purpose, if other retailers are using it, it’s likely to offer what you need straight away. But equally, with each store having its own procedures, having some customisation ability is useful so that processes can be standardised.

Ultimately, retailers should look for software that can support sales training, optimise inventory, and order management, align labour forecasting with task management workflow, support clear and targeted operational comms and coordinate retail activities across the business. Leading task management platforms such as Cegid Retail Store Excellence do all this. It additionally boasts superior reporting capabilities and a user experience that replicates social media style feeds to create an easy and engaging experience.

Choosing the Right Retail Management Solution

Another often overlooked factor when choosing retail management software is whether it can scale with the business. On paper, a smaller startup offering software might seem like the more cost-effective option, however, it can cost retailers in the long term when technology evolves but the start-up doesn’t have the scale and size to reinvest in its own solution to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

Similarly, another roadblock we’ve seen from other retailers is their previous provider couldn’t support their stores in other countries. Cegid currently supports more than 85,000 stores in over 75 countries, including popular growth areas such as China and the UAE. With complex compliance and fiscal rules for countries such as Italy often catching out retailers, having a provider that doesn’t operate on the ground could prove costly.

Retailers should also ask whether their preferred solution is fully interoperable with their other systems and the ease of implementation.

Case Studies: Successful Implementation of Retail Management Systems

Benetton Group was looking for a solution that could support its goal to increase the digital and omnichannel services it provided customers and ensure a consistent shopping experience. Having started with an IT pilot in four stores in 2019, it expanded the project to 29 stores in 2020. The take up of the omnichannel solution from both staff and customers led it to adopt Cegid Retail across its international store network at a pace of 100 stores per month.

Another success story is leading international sportswear group Boardriders. As IT Director for Boardriders in Europe Philippe Gaigé noted “We needed a solution capable of supporting us internationally and already adapted to the different laws and requirements in each country. And once we deployed Cegid Retail in the United States, we wanted to standardise all our POS systems.” Boardriders can now monitor stocks and sales across its network of stores and use Cegid Retail’s real-time data and store management tools to make informed decisions quickly.

For other success stories from retailers who have implemented retail management systems, check out our case studies.

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