There has been a significant shift towards digital for retailers meaning that the purpose of the more conventional store has changed, whereas before the goal was to drive sales of the product in store, the focus is now on being a brand and product show room that will drive revenues across all channels. Despite this change, the retailer should still strive to provide immaculate customer service no matter what the channel of engagement.
Digital evolution is changing behavior to the point where the customer wants to be able to pick up their smart phone and find their preferred retailer represented online; they expect some sort of social media presence, they want to be able to find that their preferred product is in stock, that they can purchase it and that they can get it delivered the next day.
The retailer therefore has to do 2 things to meet the evolving customer demands:
- to manage the customer relationship effectively
- manage stock levels so they can meet fluctuating demands
Looking to the future it would seem that the shift to online will become more significant, and this is where ERP solutions like Microsoft Dynamics AX comes in. Retailers will need to adopt a system where everything is brought together: customer service efforts, process streamlining and elimination of duplication. The ERP would provide an overall 360 degree view of the whole operation, thus giving visibility and resolving all of the issues mentioned.
In summary a well-functioning ERP can help retailers overcome issues that they may be facing with the shift to digital. Engagement retailers can put in place the functionality that is needed to continue to drive retail sales across multiple channels, provide greater business insight, exceed customer expectations, build customer loyalty and reduce time to ROI.