Bringing your retail business technology into the present can be a costly effort that might not seem worth the investment. But hanging on to old systems usually ends up costing even more. That’s because legacy systems often operate in silos and aren’t able to leverage the latest industry developments that your competitors are using to drive both operational efficiency and customer experience. So, yes, you might be saving money and avoiding the inconvenience of implementing and learning new systems, but the hidden costs – both in terms of labor, degraded customer service and missed sales – all add up to drag your profits even more.
Here are some ways your old tech can be a drag on your business:
#1: Inefficient Manual Processes
Everyone knows that labor is one of the biggest costs to any business. Systems that rely on manual processes eat into profits faster than you think. Duplicating entries, manually pushing data and other processes that require more steps than necessary all add up to extra hours of labor. Since many legacy retail systems operate in silos, they are not able to take advantage of automating tasks that can reduce labor costs and drive up the bottom line.
#2 Lack of a True Omnichannel experience
Today’s consumers expect a lot from their favorite retailers. And retailers using old technology and providing an outdated customer experience will find those missing features will result in lost customers. Since customers use multiple channels to shop they expect to be able to have the same experience wherever they interact with your brand. They take for granted that they will be able to do things like:
Buy Online/Pick Up In Store
Perform Omnichannel Returns
Use Omnichannel Gift Cards
Any retailer that doesn’t meet the expectations of the modern consumer does so at their own peril.
#3: Missing 360 Degree View Of Your Customers
With so many channels available to customers to make their purchasing decisions, you need to be able to identify, learn about, and engage them. This is impossible if you manage your stores and channels separately. With most legacy systems, you can’t take advantage of all the available data, resulting in duplicate, incomplete, or incorrect information and general lack of awareness of who your customers are and how they interact with your brand. And without that insight, it is impossible to create tailored programs and deliver personalized service and promotions that help drive customer engagement and sales.
#4 Missing Features That Are A Must For A Post Pandemic World
While COVID may seem to be in check, today’s retailers need to be prepared for the realities of an endemic Covid retail landscape. Those that don’t have their eCommerce and brick and mortar channels integrated will not be able to keep up with the requirements of a post pandemic world. Programs like Buy Online and Pick up In Store (aka BOPIS) as well as curbside pickup services are a must with customers. Both options are convenient, bridge the gap between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail, and most importantly, contactless. If that’s not reason enough to offer these services, note that click and collect has been shown to encourage upselling, as they lead to larger shopping baskets because customers add unplanned items when they pick up their purchases.
#5: No Real-Time Reports
If you are using outdated technology, then you are also probably running each of your locations and channels as separate entities. This means you likely do not have real-time visibility into your operations nor the ability to report on that data. In addition, that data is not going to be complete nor accurate—and it will be outdated before you finish running your report. The result is that you lose the ability to make informed, timely, decisions, and you’ll miss important sales and inventory liquidation opportunities.
Stop Wasting Money: Transform Your Retail Operations With A Unified Commerce Platform
Hanging on to old, outdated technology costs money on so many levels. It’s time to stop bleeding cash and digitally transform. Contact the retail experts at Harmony to discuss the benefits of a modern, unified commerce platform, where all aspects of your business—including all channels—are united to help you decrease labor costs, provide fantastic customer experiences and drive sales growth.
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