Retail is changing faster than ever in the industry’s history. Strategies that used to guarantee success now cause leading retail giants to close locations across the country, lose customers at every turn, and to wonder how to get back in the game.
Small and nimble companies are successfully driving customers to their sites with better customer service, faster turnaround, and better selection than the retail giants of old can offer in-store. With a customer base that’s wholeheartedly adopted the online shopping experience, the only way to compete in the world of retail today is to have a streamlined system that moves orders from the customer to the warehouse and back to the customer almost instantly.
Retailers that know how the system works and have mastered their markets with highly targeted advertising, public relations, and SEO strategies, are finding that connecting orders with inventory “by hand” is messy and way too slow. The more often employees have to intervene in the flow from customer to product, the more opportunities there are for errors, delays, and customer complaints.
Hands-off management of this flow from customer to product to fulfillment is the new norm for retailers of all sizes. Whether a retailer is managing multiple warehouses and dozens of online outlets or a single, shared warehouse and a single online storefront, ERP is the difference between a huge mess and retail success.
The ability to track a product from manufacturing plant or original source to warehouse shelf to customer is key. But an ERP program will do a lot more than that for an ecommerce company. Integrating with a shopping cart application means that orders are instantly conveyed to warehouse pickers and your accounting team. Changes in order status are reflected both on your balance sheet and your online retail presence, which means customers will never think something is out of stock when it’s not and you’ll never make inventory ordering mistakes for lack of up-to-date information.
The future of retail is in streamlined information from an integrated system that encompasses every aspect of the flow of goods, which is why ERP is so essential for successful retail ventures.