Retail business owners have a lot on their plates – and it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed when managing multiple areas of operations. Couple this with the fact that many retailers are both online and offline, then it can create some real headaches. Fortunately, technology can streamline things considerably and not only simplify tasks, but save time and money. Here are four types of tools/technology that are perfect for retail business owners.
1) Shopify POS
The popular ecommerce software Shopify also has a platform designed specifically for brick and mortar stores. Shopify POS makes it simple for business owners to accept multiple forms of payment on iPhone or iPad and instantly print or email a receipt to customers. Whether it’s cash, credit, debit, or even a check, this software serves as a comprehensive cash register and payment acceptance system. Even if it’s during a trade show, it’s easy to take payments and essentially brings the point of sale to consumers.
It also allows retailers to manage orders, track cash flow, and produce in-depth business reports for monitoring progress. The best part is that Shopify POS can sync both physical retail stores and online stores for maximum convenience.
At the heart of nearly any successful retail business is a solid marketing campaign. And with the bulk of many campaigns being web-based these days, it’s important to use online channels such as social media and email. Boutique Window was designed as a way for independent retailers to showcase their products on networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as through email with the professionalism of a major retailer.
Business owners can use it to design their own custom graphics displaying products and post them across multiple platforms with ease. It also comes with a library of pre-designed images and captions for those who are less adept at design. There is even a content calendar to schedule posts in advance to simplify the publishing process. All the while, a campaign can be managed via iPhone, iPad, or the web.
Accounting and handling financials is another critical component of running a retail business – and that’s where Xero comes in. This cloud-based software helps business owners stay on top of everything from invoicing and expensing to managing payroll and monitoring cash flow in real time. One great feature in particular is the option to snap a photo of a receipt with a smartphone and instantly save it to the cloud.
And with comprehensive reporting from a centralized dashboard, it’s easy to track a business’s progress and make better decisions for the future. Xero also integrates with over 400 apps such as Shopify, Square, and PayPal for a highly customized experience.
For online retailers selling across multiple channels, Vendio can be a real lifesaver. The concept is simple – manage sales channels such as Amazon, eBay, an online store, and Facebook from a single dashboard. Vendio allows business owners to publish products on several online channels and keep tabs on the entire sales cycle without having to constantly bounce around from site to site.
It’s also easy to stay on top of inventory, manage orders, and track shipping from a secure interface. In turn, business owners can give their customers the optimal shopping experience, stay organized, and save time.
These four tools make it easier than ever to run a retail business and manage nearly facet of operations. As a result, it puts retail business owners at a huge advantage when compared to companies in the past. The great thing is that all of these tools offer plenty of flexibility and will conform to a business’s unique needs.