Automation in Retail Industry: How It Improves Your Business
COVID-19 brought a lot of disruptions and problems into the retail industry. E-commerce giants, like Amazon, have been ripping off sales from brick-to-mortar shops. The costs of supply chain management are higher than pre-pandemic ones. In the intense competition for survival, it is hard to keep margins on a decent level. If the business is not already implementing automation in retail, it is falling behind.
Business process automation in retail
Automation in retail is a general term for any process that you can automate in your business through BPA software. This can be anything, from order and inventory management to HR and marketing.
There are many repetitive manual tasks in the retail process that eat the time of employees. Implementing business process automation removes the need to manually process information, thus reducing operational costs and data errors, and speeding up all processes.
These are some advantages of automation in retail:
- Costs minimization;
- Higher profit margins;
- Elimination of human errors;
- Clear real-time data;
- Better quality control;
- Simpler inventory management;
- Efficient workflows;
- Automatic notifications.
How automation in retail can improve your business
As we’ve mentioned, the retail business process is full of manual tasks and human interactions. When your staff is overwhelmed with the number of tasks, it is time to look at automation in retail.
Automation can be used in any HR and management process, like creating work schedules, invoices, payrolls, and tracking employee performance. Business process automation in retail also digitalizes document flow, for example, sales and stock reports, pick lists, etc.
Overall, automating your workflow reduces the time spent on the day-to-day tasks, thus streamlining the processes and freeing the staff for other important tasks.
When choosing where to shop, brand trust is a deal-breaking factor for the customer, so customer satisfaction is very important. Retail process automation can help in several ways here.
24/7 support is vital for the company in any market. It is also important for it to be consistent and not depend on the human operator. Implementing automated chatbots helps to professionally answer customers’ questions and collect feedback.
Automated notifications about the customer’s order keep them updated and relieve worries about the order status.
Personalized product recommendations based on customer’s preferences help them find new interesting products, which in turn increases sales.
Many retail decisions depend on analytical data: decreasing churn rate, introducing new products, promotions.
Automation in retail can provide real-time data about user preferences based on different categories, sales rates in various locations, and factors that impact sales. This gives you valuable information which can be used to cater to customers’ needs and, as a result, to increase sales numbers.
Automation of retail process also provides predictive analytics, which eliminates overstocking the products that are not selling well.
Another way to analyze sales is to review the work of consultants and sales representatives. The quality of their work affects whether or not a customer decides to make a purchase. This is the reason why Coreteka team has developed Quality Control System. It controls how precisely sales managers and consultants follow the scripts, analyze the scripts’ efficiency and therefore work towards increasing the number of successful sales.
You can learn more about our Quality Control System in the case study by the link.
Managing inventory in retail usually involves lots of manual work: a human worker checking the inventory with spreadsheets. Automation in retail reduces the number of manual work and thus there will be fewer human errors, which also means more accurate data.
Speaking of data, with automation you don’t have the access to real-time data about your inventory. When tracking the inventory with automatic solutions, you can sync all your sales channels within one system and set up automated restocking.
Supply and demand planning
Demand and supply planning plays a crucial role in the retail business process. Over- and understocking are the problems that lead to money losses and unsatisfied customers. Also read about software development life cycle.
Usually, a supply plan is created manually based on the demand for the particular product. It is done by gathering data and standardizing it, then running simulations to pick the best supply decision.
Automation in retail makes this process more quick and accurate, especially considering that sales analytics data is already gathered.
Logistics and supply chain management
Logistics and supply chain are important for business success, as they are one of the major parts of the product cost. Automation streamlines the processes and lessens the need for human work, which cuts logistics costs and thus heightens the product margin.
There are many parts of the supply chain involved in delivering the products to the end customer. Automation in retail improves communication between distributors and suppliers, making the process more clear and efficient.
Shipment tracking allows you to know exactly where your products are, so that if problems or delays arise, you can track the reasons. Tracking also helps to notify the customers about their order status.
Automation in retail can improve your business in many ways and keeps you competitive. Implementing BPA software will boost your business and lead you to success.
Learn more about traceability trends in supply chain.
Coreteka has years of experience in the retail industry. Our products are already helping our clients to automate their businesses. If automation is what you need for your business, contact us!