Online retail often relies upon razor-thin profit margins to survive—and thus many retailers keep a careful eye out for any retail business solutions which might widen those margins and improve the bottom line. Today, we’ll discuss five such solutions no business should skip.
Software designed to automate, organize, and centralize the myriad processes involved in effective workforce management. Online retail may not involve quite as many staff members as a brick and mortar retail of similar size, but efficient and effective utilization of your workforce still plays a critical role in determining profit margins and growth potential. To help maximize the utility of each member of your team, you really can’t skimp on a workforce management suite.
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is software which offers your online retail business insight into its relationship with its customers. This encompasses any number of factors, from helping sales and marketing team members keep track of prior contact with a given customer, to automated follow ups or scheduling of follow ups, to assistance in shaping the sales funnel so that a low-value prospect becomes a satisfied customer—and stays that way.
Good use of CRM will not only improve sales and follow up sales numbers, it will help improve your word of mouth and generate new customers. It can cut customer support calls, returns, and complaints, improve product reviews across the board, and generally improve the perception of your company.
Marketing automation software encompasses a wide array of tools and suites designed to streamline marketing, improve the collection and application of marketing data, and minimize the effort required to generate good leads. In many ways, this makes marketing automation overlap with CRM—many software suites combine the two into a single form of software, in fact. But marketing automation focuses more on generating and nurturing leads, while CRM focuses on keeping customers satisfied and aware.
What type of marketing automation retail business solutions you need depends largely on your overall marketing strategy and state of growth. Some marketing automation focuses on broad outreach, emailing or calling as many leads as your database can provide. Others emphasize personalization and high success rates, by determining market segments and guiding prospects through custom-tailored sales pitches.
No matter the specifics of your supply chains, warehousing, and shipping, there’s almost always room for improvement as an online retailer. That’s why logistics management software suites have become one of the first retail business solutions with near-universal adoption—because they can help you figure out the absolute optimal way to streamline and manage the process of putting products in your customers’ hands. Logistics management software can be highly focused, set to improve a single aspect of your logistics chain such as warehousing or shipping, or broad, changing large factors as it sculpts the ‘big picture’ of your logistics.
Analytics have become increasingly important to the bottom line of companies across all business models and industries—and none have seen the growth of that importance more than online retail. Retail analytics software digs deep into logistics, demand, sales, marketing, and other areas of raw data to provide retail business solutions surpassing anything available in previous years.
While earlier models worked to provide actionable breakdowns of complex data, so-called descriptive analytics, or predict what comes next according to the trend, so-called predictive analytics, newer retail analytics suites have gone a step further. So-called prescriptive analytics look at past and present data and tell you what you should do, to make that data continue along preferred trends.