How ERP Could Supercharge Your Retail Sales

Well-executed ERP solutions have the potential to create significant return on investment and exponential sales growth for retail businesses. Here’s how.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, when properly implemented and maintained, has the potential to revolutionise commercial operations across all sectors and industries – especially retail. By optimising everything from the customer experience to the productivity of workforces, ERP software can help retail businesses across the globe see incredible growth in their most crucial metric: sales.

Maximising sales growth has never been so important for the retail sector. Not so long ago the industry has been hit particularly hard, with brick and mortar stores facing big difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also played a significant role in changing consumer behaviours. Perhaps most notable is the shift from shopping in-store to online, which saw certain eCommerce businesses doing remarkably well during that period.

How could enterprise resource planning help your retail business recover from a dip in profits and future-proof its growth against the threat of potential new obstacles? Here, we consider how successful ERP implementations can benefit retailers and supercharge your sales.

The Fundamentals of Sales Success for Retail Businesses

The landscape of retail is ever-evolving, but one element will always remain the same: sales are key to sustainable growth. Without a steady stream of sales, ensuring long-term profitability is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Before we look more closely at how retail businesses can harness the power of ERP software, let’s consider the three vital components that every brick and mortar or eCommerce shop must focus on for sales success. These are the products or services you are selling, the people you are selling to, and the people who make your sales happen.

  • The product or service: Whether you provide a material product or a service, it’s vitally important that you meet consumer demand by offering what your target audience wants, when it wants and how it wants.
  • The customer: Your customers are integral to your commercial growth, but generating meaningful growth doesn’t just mean identifying your target audience and responding to their needs. You also need to proactively forecast the future of your consumer base and their requirements to stay competitive!
  • The sales team: Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, so neglecting to consider their experience – alongside your customer experience – is a missed opportunity to supercharge your sales.

With everything from project management software modules to financial tracking functionalities, comprehensive ERP systems can be harnessed to suit a wide range of commercial objectives – including increased sales performance.

Here, we look more closely at some of the key ways that retail businesses, in particular, can use ERP software strategically to tap into every sales opportunity and maximise profit.

Six Crucial Ways to Supercharge Your Sales With Enterprise Resource Planning Software

Cater to Fluctuations in Customer Demand With Real-time Data Analysis

The more you know about your customers, the better you can cater to their requirements by offering the products or services they are willing to pay for! Ultimately, you can increase your retail business’ sales by making sure you offer what your target audience wants, when they want it.

ERP software can take the guesswork out of this process by presenting you with the metrics you need to make profitable business decisions. For instance, ERP software allows you to monitor inventory levels to make data-backed decisions about which products to promote or discontinue. It can also track seasonal fluctuations in product demand to help you predict exactly when to update your supply chain to see the most return on investment.

The struggles faced by the retail sector over the past year have greatly highlighted the importance of responding to trends quickly and efficiently, so we can expect to see more retail businesses using ERP software to capitalise on changing consumer needs and preferences.

Create Profitable, Customer-centric Marketing Campaigns

Customised ERP solutions could take your marketing efforts to new heights. Integrated software allows you to analyse customer profiles to figure out exactly who is purchasing from you, making it possible to tailor commercial advertising campaigns to your target audiences and promote products and discounts strategically.

We often talk about the benefits of using ERP software to track your consumer base as a whole, but delving deeper into the purchasing behaviour of individual customers can also reap profitable results – especially when it comes to creating successful marketing campaigns.

For instance, by tracking your customers’ buying patterns with ERP software, you can collect data about the motivations behind the purchase of particular products and estimate what customers might want to buy from you next. Put these products in front of them via social media adverts or personalised emails and you could boost your sales significantly.

Encourage Customers to Keep Spending With Recognition-based Rewards

Never underestimate the spending power of repeat customers! Encouraging new shoppers to explore your business is vital, but satisfying the people who have made your business their go-to for a particular product or service can help to secure long-term sales. Fortunately, creating a customer-centric approach to honour your repeat buyers is made much simpler with ERP software.

Combining the power of your ERP system with omni-channel solutions for retailers (for example, Microsoft offers Dynamics 365 Commerce that can easily be integrated with its Dynamics 365 ERP products) will allow you to track consumer behaviours closely and make it possible to automate rewards for repeat customers, such as ‘thank you’ discounts and loyalty card-style promotions. Offering loyal customers a financial incentive to keep purchasing from you could be the difference between high levels of shopping cart abandonment and repeat sales!

Make Data-driven Predictions to Protect the Future of Your Business

Looking forward is essential to making profitable business decisions and avoiding cost-consuming pitfalls, especially for the retail sector. Again, enterprise resourcing planning can help! With intelligent forecasting functionalities, ERP solutions can put useful data in front of you to ensure informed decision-making and protect the future of your sales growth.

For example, if you manage a brick and mortar shop, you might use financial ERP modules to forecast whether opening a new branch would increase or decrease your profit margins. If you own an eCommerce business, you might use competitor analysis to determine the most lucrative way to extend your product line over the next year.

From analysing the pros and cons of adjusting your pricing to keeping your finger on the pulse of potential new markets, utilising ERP software could help your business predict its sales growth and take tangible steps to achieve its long-term scalability objectives.

Improve Communication and Reduce Inefficiencies In Your Supply Chain

An agile supply chain is key to increasing your retail company’s revenue, as it directly affects your customer experience. Even minor chain inefficiencies can have costly consequences, with vendor miscommunication and late deliveries being two major examples of how poor management could negatively impact your sales.

In addition to streamlining the communication between manufacturers, third-party vendors, warehouse staff and delivery personnel, ERP software can also augment your sales figures with efficient inventory management. With a comprehensive ERP system, your team will be able to identify and replace diminishing stock levels quickly and ensure timely deliveries to prevent customers from missing out on their favourite products – all from one centralised database.

To learn more about how an enterprise resource planning implementation could enhance crucial supply chain processes, check out our blog: Why Your Warehouse Needs an ERP System.

Maximise Employee Productivity and Minimise Disruptive Downtime

No matter the end goal, maximising employee productivity and preventing costly downtime is crucial to increasing commercial revenue and exceeding your targets. In retail environments, where your financial success relies directly on the quality of the product or service you provide to paying customers, employee downtime could be especially damaging.

This is where integrated ERP software comes into play. With a range of intelligent functionalities, ERP systems allow you to automate manual tasks, prevent communication breakdowns and foster positive relations between branches, vendors and delivery teams. Taking care of everything from customer relationship management to stock-take ensures a simplified workflow, giving your employees the time and energy to focus on less laborious tasks.

Promoting an efficient supply chain isn’t just about being an altruistic employer! Ultimately, improved employee satisfaction and productivity rates will inevitably translate into a better customer experience and advance your bottom line.

For Industry-leading Enterprise Resource Management Services for the Retail Sector, Choose ICS

For the best possible chance of boosting your sales and protecting your retail business against future obstacles, allow us at ICS to bring our first-hand experience and thorough understanding of enterprise resource planning success to your ERP implementation. We specialise in implementing customised MS Dynamics 365FO/AX solutions with a team of Microsoft-certified developers and highly-skilled ERP consulting experts on-hand to make your commercial objectives a reality.

To learn more about ICS and how we could help your business thrive, contact our team today. We look forward to sharing our expertise with your ERP project.