The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how vulnerable retailers are and why it’s so important to digitise their business.
During the lockdown, retailers that had established online presence and upgraded digitally managed to survive and even thrive during the time of crisis.
If you still feel that digitally upgrading is not a priority then just take a look at our local government.
On top of various existing grants such as Productivity Solution Grant and SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit, the government has introduced a new incentive called the Digital Resilience Bonus which rewards payouts of up to $10,000 for businesses that adopt digital solutions.
At this point, digitally upgrading your business can be considered necessary if you want to keep your business afloat.
But how do you upgrade digitally?
We list down four key digital upgrades you should make if you haven’t already done so.
We can’t stress how important it is to build an online presence.
As mentioned earlier, many retailers that have already established an ecommerce store have enjoyed its benefit during the lockdown.
Because It is also one of the largest growing industries in the market.
The number of people who shop online has been significantly increasing and this pandemic has basically given the ecommerce industry a significant boost.
The biggest advantage of ecommerce is that it allows customers to make purchases at any time of the day.
By not creating an ecommerce store you’re missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers.
You can read this article for a more in depth explanation of the importance of ecommerce.
Getting started with your ecommerce is easier than you think.
If you find it tough to create your own website and estore from scratch, there are multiple online platforms you can rely on instead.
Some popular examples in Singapore are Shopee, Lazada and Shopify.
Check out how easy it is to set up your own ecommerce store with our Shopify Set Up Guide.
By having more than a single sales channel, you increase the number of ways your customers reach out to you, which is never a bad thing.
2) Inventory Management Systems
Managing your inventory is vital because you do not want to be caught in an out-of-stock situation.
It is one of the main reasons your customer turns to your competitor for a similar product.
An automated inventory management system helps keep you on top of your stock count and reminds you when certain products get dangerously low on stock.
It also replaces the tedious and labour intensive process of stock counting.
Using an inventory management system lets you reassign your employees to more important tasks.
In addition, modern inventory management is able to use your inventory data and combine it with your sales data to do predictive analysis of your inventory demand.
3) Real Time Reports
Having real time data is a great way to gain vital insight and make swifter business decisions.
The standard procedure used to be collecting sales data manually when the shop closed for the day and tabulating the total sales and inventory amount weekly or monthly.
This method is labour intensive and prone to human error.
This also leads to significant changes being made only near the month’s end where serious error could already have occurred which could have lasting effects.
Real time reports are made possible through cloud based systems that sync sales and inventory data online.
Reports are automatically generated and business owners can access these reports through any web browser.
An example of how real time reports can be useful is when a particular product is selling quickly, it can be easily identified through the report and further analysis might also reveal the reason for the high demand.
This also allows the retailer to react quickly and restock the inventory to meet the increased demand.
4) Contactless Payment
Contactless payment has seen an increase in popularity in the past few years.
With the introduction of numerous new contactless payments methods, Singaporeans have been adopting a contactless payment approach to their everyday life.
Today there are a variety of ways Singapore citizens can pay, they can scan a QR code and transfer the amount or use their debit or credit card to tap and go.
One of the major benefits to contactless payment is the convenience and the significantly shorter transaction time at payment counters.
This also means that customers are becoming more accustomed to quicker transaction and queuing time.
Shops that have yet to implement any form of contactless payment may be met with customer irritation.
This makes it increasingly hard to ignore contactless payment.
The four digital upgrades mentioned above are key changes that you should make if you haven’t so.
But digital upgrades are often costly.
Which is why I recommend you do it in small steps.
Understand which digital upgrade should be your highest priority and start from there.
Furthermore, do proper research on which government grant your business can apply for to reduce the heavy cost of these digital solutions.
For a retailer, one of the most effective and instant ways to digitally upgrade is to invest in a modern POS System.
POS Systems such as EPOS covers almost all the digital upgrades mentioned above.
It’s inventory management system is designed to help manage the most intensive process in retail which lets you focus your attention on the more important things.
It is also a cloud based POS System which lets you access real time information from any web server.
And it’s ecommerce integration to Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCart, makes managing your online and physical store so much easier.