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The Best Low-Cost IT Solutions for Retail
If your retail store does not have the latest and greatest IT solutions in place, you may be losing out on sales without even realizing it. There are tons of different solutions out there for retail, but how do you sift through which ones are worth the money? Not just that, but how do you decide which ones you really even need in your store? Here are the 4 best low-cost solutions that you should consider implementing in your retail business today.
Point of Sale (POS) System
Your POS system may be one of the most important pieces of technology that you buy for your store. Gone are the days of simply ringing up a transaction on the cash register and handing some money over the counter. In today’s world, your POS system must be capable of so much more! It must be capable of the very simple things you would expect such as payments and checkouts. However, it should also be able to handle inventory tracking, sales, customer analytics, and customer insights. If your POS cannot do these things, then it may be time for an upgrade!
Pricing of POS systems can vary widely based on your application, but one thing is for certain. Whichever system you choose, you will likely be paying a per-transaction fee somewhere in the neighborhood of 3% of the transaction. This may not seem like much, but it can really start to add up if you are doing a lot of business.
Time and Attendance Software
Scheduling…one of the most dreaded words for any manager in retail. But what if we told you that it did not have to be that bad? By using time and attendance software, the manual creation of weekly schedules can become a thing of the past. Let the software do the work for you while you focus on more important tasks! Not only will time software automatically create schedules for you, but it can also perform many other valuable tasks. For example, it can help employees track time off, alert you of chronic tardiness or absenteeism, and make payroll processing much faster. It creates a win-win for everyone in the retail environment.
You might be wondering what you can expect to pay for software that is robust enough to handle everything mentioned above. The truth is that it is not that expensive. A time and attendance software package can range in cost from $200 to $2,000 per month depending on how many employees you have. However, when you calculate how much money it can save you, it almost always pays for itself and then some.
You do have a way for your customers to place orders online, right? If not, then you are missing a huge opportunity for business. With fewer customers wanting (or able) to leave the house and travel to a physical store, the need for an e-commerce solution is no longer just nice to have but a necessity. A full platform available for online ordering will include a website, payment processor, and shipping, as well as the option for customers to pick up their orders in stores or drop off locations (some people still prefer to shop in-person). Having a system like this in place makes your retail store much more accessible and convenient for potential customers and you — much more likely to hit your sales targets. Don’t forget to ensure that your online store is mobile-friendly on both Android and iOS devices, something many shop owners overlook.
Maybe you have an e-commerce system already set up, but are you losing money on it? Some systems cost you more than you make on them, and that is a real problem. E-commerce website design and payment processors can often carry a hefty price tag. It is common for a digital marketing company to charge upwards of $10,000 for a basic e-commerce site for your business.
On the other end of the spectrum are DIY online stores you can set up through Shopify, WordPress, and other providers. This can be an easy path if you are relatively tech-savvy but can easily become overwhelming if technology is not your forte. Whichever path you choose, make sure you do your homework to justify the return on that expense.
Managed Services Provider (MSP)
An MSP may just be the best overall option for your retail business with the best ROI. Instead of managing each of your IT solutions separately and on your own, an MSP is a one-stop-shop for all your IT needs. What we listed above is just the tip of the e-commerce iceberg: you will also need to keep tabs on your inventory, ensure your customers’ sensitive information is securely protected, streamline your customer support, set up backups, monitor and protect against viruses and cyberattacks, maintain servers and so much more.
Having one provider for your IT services can really help bring those costs down too! You have a full team of experts on-call 24/7 375 days a year while you pay for less than one in-house IT specialist. An MSP can handle all your IT needs from web design to POS deployments to time and attendance software and security. An even bigger benefit may be the fact that you can utilize their expertise in these products to make sure that things are done right.
Hiring an MSP might be cheaper than you think. The benefits that you will see from hiring an MSP typically greatly outweigh the costs. Take a look at your overall IT landscape today and see if bringing in the right MSP makes sense for your company. Get in touch with 3nom to get started today!
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