Selecting A Pos Retail System

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I think it has got to be good idea for you to check out some reliable suppliers and also get epos system that suits well to your business really needs. Along with the mentioned benefits, you may get much more from quite in relation to payments an internet-based shopping. May truly complete solution to one’s business now being offered different trusted online stores.

The Future Of Retail Industry Is In Cloud Computing

The retail industry exemplifies the maxim, change is constant. Still, the approach of the industry towards emerging technology of cloud computing is somewhat baffling. Cloud computing, a paradigm shift after the client-server model break-through of the eighties, is starting to show up in every other business. Curious, retailing industry is clearly lagging behind. It happens when the practical applications of the technology can do wonders to the industry. The word ‘cloud’ in cloud computing is actually a metaphor used for internet. Using internet would have robbed the concept of its novelty.

Although everyone is familiar with information sharing through internet and worldwide web, performing all the operations of computing through the internet is not so familiar. Cloud computing exactly does the same. It shares information, software-applications and operating system-and infrastructure-hardware like servers and storage units – using internet. A revolutionary cloud computing model can avail high power computing to the customers who need to have only typical input/output infrastructure.

Software industry giants have already started providing their services on cloud. CRM of salesforce.com, office applications from Microsoft and Google and IBM enterprise solutions have already become popular. Sadly, retailing – one of the largest sectors of the economy – has not yet begun its experiences with cloud computing.

In the context of retail industry, cloud computing is particularly efficient in collection and analyses of huge volumes of sales data and in real time inventory management.

In retailing, points of sales generate large amounts of data each day. The sales data can be obtained through loyalty cards and discount coupons also. Most low and medium level retailers do not have the necessary resources to capture or utilize such enormous amounts of data. Cloud provider in retail can collect such data from sophisticated server networks connected to the supply chain to independent cash registers at family owned small stores and store it for the retailer. Such stored data may be accessed from anywhere, provided internet is accessible. A cloud computing provider can track performance of products in comparison to previous time periods. The cloud provider can identify the trend and seasonality component of each product, brand or category and identify and monitor the performance. Then it can provide analytical results to the retailers. The provider of the service can serve many retailers at the same time, without making each retailer do it individually for themselves.

The sales data collected from the point of sales is currently under-utilized. It is more due the incompatibility between volume of data and the processing power of the system. Such time consuming analyses fail to provide any useful insight in to customer behavior or trends in sales. The cloud provider can utilize high power computing resources and statistical models to analyse data in much shorter time. This is more so with to real-time analysis. Real-time analyses require huge capital expenditure and it incurs significant operating cost, often unaffordable to retailers.

A good cloud provider can easily help the retailer in understanding patterns and trends within large databases. It can be further utilized for creating analytical models, and to provide an edge to decision making. Thus retailers can increase their ability to forecast their customer’s behavior and plan accordingly. Retailers can then develop customer programs, marketing, merchandising and pricing strategies to attract more business. The cloud provider themselves design and provide such retailer specific plans.

Another important area of cloud application will be inventory management. Real time data and cloud architecture will largely reduce the problems like stock outs and overages. As well known, online retailers do not have inventory managed by themselves. Instead, it is done by the manufactures. Cloud computing can provide an efficient utilization of logistics, which will keep losses to the minimum in inventory management. What the online commerce does can be extended to whole of retail sector. Besides, as the cloud provider will be serving numerous retailers, they can very well manage difficult situations like stock unavailability. Cloud providers can provide valuable advises to retailers regarding product availability and back-up stock from forecasts. They can get realistic forecasts by analyzing huge amounts of data from numerous retailers. Thus retailers can develop a supply chain where the right product arrives at the right time.

Tier one retailers can save lot of expenditure in IT management, if they switch to cloud computing solutions. The complexity of keeping and managing individual systems can be avoided. Today large retailers struggle to keep tens of thousands of computers across hundreds of locations. The management of such a complex system causes enormous expenses for them. Such operations often cause poor decision making in their field of competency – retailing. Large expenses of management and administration of IT and networks can be reduced by simply switching over to a trusted cloud provider.

What is the difference between cloud computing and traditional model? Cloud computing has a number of advantages over the traditional software business in which retailers get licensed software installed in their systems. Here the retailers need not spend huge money on software licensing. They need not buy high end servers with high computing powers. There is no requirement of sophisticated storage units. The administration and networking of computers can be avoided. The pain of providing fire-wall and antivirus protection is avoided. Thus a there can be a significant reduction in investment as well as in operating costs.

One significant benefit for the cloud provider will be that of scale. Affordable solutions can be provided, considering the huge number of retailers in the industry. Most of the tasks to be performed by the provider will be of repetitive nature. Administration and management of databases can be easy due to centralization. The robustness of the whole system can also be ensured. Security and other reliability threats can be minimized due to the salient features of cloud architecture

The future of the cloud in retail starts with small retailers. Small retailers can effectively implement cloud solutions faster. Such solutions offer them significant cost reductions also. Any new venture in retail will also look for quick and easy implementation. An established cloud provider with a successful cloud model can provide quick and cheap solutions. The giants in retail industry may hesitate to adopt the cloud solution, considering the current maturity of the technology. With improvements in cloud applications as well as in internet technology, they will find it cost-effective to switch over. It is significant to note that innovations in most of the fields are taking place in the cloud computing model, not on traditional software business.

Retail cannot shy away from the emerging and powerful trend in the world of computing. With lots of cost-saving and time-saving measures, it will be inevitable that retail will adopt cloud computing once there evolve competent solutions.

Retail Brokerage

In a 2001 report published by Celent, a firm that is concentrated on the implementation of information technology in the world pecuniary assistance sector, it showed that retail brokerage in North America may be down but definitely not pass.

The said company has two primary offerings namely research and consulting. Research takes place when then provide their clients with constant dose of information while consulting is when they work hand- in- hand with their clients on particular pressing issues. Established in 1999 by senior financial analysts, Celent is an autonomous and profitable corporation that is dedicated into supplying objective data as well as beneficial advice.

Retail brokerage was described like agonizing with a ferocious mammal market who keeps on shunning them away from potential opportunities. The sad thing was, the pain was not equally distributed. Not all of the agents were one with the sentiment because others were still enjoying the fruits of their labors. An analyst, Alenka Grealish, made a comparison on the performance of four types of firms such as full- service, regional full- service, pure- play online establishments and clicks- in- bricks establishments. All of which have a mixture of widespread branch network that bears a very important presence.

It was also looking into the factors that drive retail brokerage into a dramatic inflation in residential equity holdings. The pressing issues were being discussed in relation to the previous behavior of individual investors. The sample model for the full- service type has been suggesting resilience in the trades as it registered the smallest alteration in the pre- taxation profit margins. It began since the downturn and provision of asset diversification matters. In the other hand, the clicks- in- bricks establishments have already ascertained the blend of an extensive section system and a leading virtual existence. It already reached to a margin of nearly 25% which were more pregnable to decreasing trading influx.

Another retail brokerage type, pure- play online establishments were endangered species. Alenka Grealish projected that the virtual connection will unceasingly mushroom that forms a novel niche for contenders in the profession thus, promoting further disintermediation or division of the once frenzied situation. She added that it can supply tools for investors as well as recommendations that will seemingly appear a near- term victory. Between the months of September to October, distinct shareholders did not tender for the egress. There was only a single adjustment in September which presently sits moderately rigid, she stated.

Alenkae Grealish also noted that it was difficult to view through nimbus clouds. She explained that it was like there was recession generating to a fierce war. There were past experiences that showed the enthusiasm was entirely gone. However, she left a challenge rendering that it was the period for building customer loyalty.

How To Succeed In Retail

How To Succeed In Retail Business

When last have you heard of trusted employees who betrayed their employers trust? Here are three of the more common instances.

(One) A former Marks & Spencer department Section Manager based at the Trafford Centre, received an eight month suspended sentence and 240 hours of community service for stealing 6,700 from the stores POS terminals between July and August 2009.

(Two) In September 2009 a Tesco checkout assistant in line for promotion as the face of Tesco, turned out to be an illegal immigrant.
A major high street retailer in Manchester contacted police in connection with a warehouse worker who was suspected of stealing DVDs. A subsequent Police search of the employees residence exposed what was described as another warehouse full of goods. This was a trusted employee with over four years continuous service.

So what do these cases have in common? They highlight the fact that these retailers had failed to establish or follow standard operating procedures.
In this article I will attempt to outline the main factors that are responsible for the demise of a majority of retail organizations. I will also offer a number of best practice strategies that can be utilised by any organization.
Our research has identified four root causes of the demise of any retail venture,
The lack of robust policies
Employee error
Fraud
Policies compliance.
The creation of good policies and ensuring their compliance is vital for the success of all retail businesses, and especially large national & international retail brands. The flip side of this is that when there are strong operational standards and best practices built in success comes that little bit closer. However, having a good policy on its own does not automatically guarantee success. What is required? A simple answer is nothing short of robust checks and balances that are aimed at ensuring compliance.
There are numerous factors responsible for the success of a retail organization. Here are the three I have singled out as most relevant:
(a) Smart buying
(b) Strong sales
(c) Shrinkage reduction.

However, the implementation of these strategies is sometimes dependent on external circumstance. For example, smart buying is dependent on suppliers, the availability of merchandise, the supply chain, currency exchange and to an extent the mood of the Chinese leadership. Like smart buying, strong sales/turnover depends on the economy, fashion trends and so on. Shrinkage is the only factor that is within the control of the retailer.

Every retailer in the UK loses on average 2.5% of their turnover to shrinkage, which is a considerable amount in an industry particularly when margins are sliding.

Shrinkage occurrence can take many forms: shoplifting being the most prominent. However, internal activities in retail organizations, themselves cause more shrinkage than shoplifting. Cashier theft or error, accounts for 32% of retail shrinkage, general employees 24%, receiving 10%, errors and damage 13% while shoplifting accounts for only 21%.

I recently asked a number of retail employees if they have received shrinkage awareness training. The response that I received from all of them was shrinkage, “what is shrinkage?” Given the importance of shrinkage to the success or failure of any retail organization, one would expect it to be a buzzword in retail circles.

For the benefit of those and others like them, shrinkage is simply the difference between the value of goods received and the amount received for those same goods at the point of sale. Now the question of how does merchandise lose value from the time of delivery to the time of sale is at the heart of the success or failure of many retail organizations; it all boils down to good operational standards and best practices.

The employment of an illegal immigrant would have cost Tesco 5,000. Marks and Spencer nearly lost 7,000 though it managed to recover a bulk of it from the offender, it will take time to recover the legal fees and the damage the incident caused to its reputation, considering the fact that this individual had already been cautioned for dishonesty by another retail employer will not help.

Poor adherence to recruitment and selection procedures allowed this individual to gain employment. Had accurate reference checks been carried out, a trail might have taken them back to the previous employer. What retail jargon views as unnecessary expenditure is in truth and in fact, a factor in what is considered shrinkage. I should also note here that the other big retailer might not recover a single penny from the warehouse employee. So then it behooves each retailer to ask the question”what will an additional 2.5% of profit do for my organisations balance sheet”?

To succeed, in addition to smart buying and increasing sales retailers must focus on shrinkage management and reduction. This is a truly controllable cost. Robust policies & measurable operational standards will also ensure success.

How to Close a Retail Store

So, how DO you close a retail store? That seems to be a common question among retailers these days with the economy in a tailspin, but the more important question is this: “How do you close a retail store PROFITABLY?”

And that is a question that doesn’t seem to get one good answer. Well, for most independent retailers, if the economy has really beaten you down and you haven’t been able to establish any sort of marketing plan to accommodate for the economy, then closing your business is definitely the best answer to your woes.

With the question being simple in context, the answer is somewhat complex, but this is an area of consulting I’ve been doing for quite a while now, so I’ll lay it on the line with you.

First, do your research. I’ve never been one to candy coat anything for anyone. I tell it like it is.& So, go to Google, Yahoo, or your search engine of choice and search on any term(s) you can think of pertaining to this topic. There you will find plenty of companies and consultants that provide this service. This is where the fun begins.

Just like any other service provider you would seek out, you’re not going to hire the first one you contact regardless of what they say or how good they seem, which is why I always tell people that contact our offices, “Call all the other guys first, THEN get back with me”. This may seem pompous to some and maybe even stupid to others, but the reason I do this is because I know that, A.) I won’t work with everyone, and B.) No one else in the market place offers what we do. There, I said it.

So, back to the question at hand: How to close a retail store. It all centers around a solid marketing system. Well, unless you are wanting to close your business because of old age, retirement, divorce, death in the family, or any other reason NOT related to poor sales and slumping economy, then you may not know exactly what a solid marketing system means, otherwise, you probably would not be wanting to know how to close a retail store in the first place. Make sense?

Any and all successful businesses revolve around one simple, yet complex, principle: solid marketing systems or what I like to call the Retail Marketing Triangle: Marketing, Merchandising, and Salesmanship, all of which play a very important role in a solid marketing system for retailers.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to get started:

1. What kind of relationship do I have with my existing customers?

2. Do I have the contact information of all my existing customers?

3. Have I been staying in touch with my existing customers with direct mail, email, and phone calls?

4. Is my inventory good? Is my store full? If so, of what?

5. Have my sales been declining? If so, why?

6. Am I always actively seeking new customers?

There are literally dozens of other prevalent questions, but these are some of the main ones that help you determine where to start. By the way, closing a business is NOT something you want to do yourself UNLESS you have a system to follow. I’ve written a book about it, but I’ll provide a link for that at the end of the article. The book I wrote tells basically how we set up for and manage a successful retail liquidation Sale, beginning to end, and most times get a 90%-140% return on inventory cost for our clients. Does that happen every time? No.

Anyway, the reason you must ask yourself all these questions is that the answers will play an important role in how successful your Sale is. For example: if you have no customer database, then what we do is strategically build a database saturated for your close proximity area based upon who your ideal customer would be. Then we send out a very unique, custom sales letter about your store and your Sale, which is presented in an oversized invitation format. The key here is the copy of the sales letter. Writing copy is no easy task, but there are many books available on it should you be so inclined to write your own. The point: while this method will bring LOTS of people into your store to launch your Sale, if done properly, it will ALWAYS be better if you have an established list of regular customers to market to.

Next, your inventory. So many people contact me about doing a Sale for them, they send me pictures of their store, and the shelves and counters are half empty, and what they do have available is either old, outdated, or undesirable. I used to think this was common sense, but I’ve learned never to be surprised by things like this. Listen, if you want to close your business, if you want to do it profitably, then make sure you have a healthy, full inventory you’ll make a whole lot more money. Oh, and be sure to hire a professional. Oh, and when you hire a professional, be sure to ask them details about their marketing systems. You’ll be surprised at the different things you’ll hear. Let me just put it this way: there’s a lot of candy coating going on out there.

Now, you will have to make regular price reductions throughout the Sale, but you’ve got to be smart about it. Don’t start too high (most people not in the know start too high including many professionals), but also be sure to not mark down too soon. That could cost you money.

There’s so much more to tell, but I’ll leave it at this: If you’re going to be closing a retail store, then your Store Closing Sale must be well planned. If you already have a website, then be sure the company you use to help you actually builds or integrates a lead generation page or site for you to help you quickly establish a hyper-targeted list of customers that you can market to for free during your Sale, and secondly, make sure you have someone to help you that is truly qualified with a mind for CURRENT marketing methods.

You can’t afford not to. Learn more about how to close a business here.