27 November 2019

By Steve HANRAHAN, Business Development Manager, AURES UK

Hot on the heels of Black Friday, retailers barely have time to breath before Cyber Monday hits – the Amazon-inspired, all-digital promotions event that puts the focus on your online offers.

In all likelihood, businesses will have already done all their eCommerce preparations ahead of Black Friday, given that these days it’s such a big online event, too. But the exclusive digital focus of Cyber Monday does perhaps throw into relief some important questions retailers should be asking about the relationship between their online and in-store operations.

For example, when that digital shopping basket is doing a roaring trade throughout Cyber Monday, what is going on in your store? Monday is traditionally a quiet day for footfall anyway, but is there anything you could be doing to piggy back onto the Cyber Monday buzz to get people through the door?

Could you, for example, be using your Cyber Monday marketing channels to flag up exclusive offers on top of the online discounts for anyone prepared to give one of your stores a visit? Or, instead of shipping everything bought online for home delivery, could you be using your stores to offer a Click-and-Collect option, allowing customers to get their items the same day – and creating opportunities to cross-sell in store?

Or what about all that data being generated as the online sales rack up? Are you using it to inform your digital commerce operations only – capturing customer details to drive future engagement, analysing stock/offers that perform best to provide intelligence on future merchandising – or is that information being made available to influence what happens in store as well?

Tying it all together

All of these questions boil down to how well integrated your bricks-and-mortar and digital operations are. If you are struggling with how to make them play nicely together, there’s one very good place to start – ERP.

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning software, is a type of back office management system that is designed to bring lots of different threads of your operations together in one place. A platform like Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV | 365 Business Central, for example – a cloud-based ERP solution designed for SME retailers – allows business owners to access and manage finance, sales, supply chain, inventory and merchandising data all in one place, and naturally integrates what is happening online with what is happening in store.

So with sales, for example, you can directly connect online payments to your in-store EPOS so financial and product data is logged in real time. It also means you get a full picture of every sale journey, making it easy to cross reference how many in-store sales have followed from customers looking up product details or seeing promotions on your website. This then allows you to delve into what works best and how digital and in-store can best support each other.

It also gives you a complete picture of engagement with customers across different touchpoints. When you ask for a customer’s email address at point of sale, what information are your sales staff actually able to see? With Dynamics NAV, they could quickly bring up the customer’s online purchasing or contact history on their AURES terminal touchscreen, opening up new opportunities to personalise and improve the level of service provided.

AURES is very pleased to be sponsoring The 365 People’s Annual Dynamics NAV | 365 Business Central User Day at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire on Thursday, 28th November. If you are in the area and would like an introduction to a 365 professional and to find out more about how Dynamics NAV and ERP can support your retail operations, at point of sale and beyond, please contact our Business Development Manager, Steve Hanrahan.

Email: steve.hanrahan@aures.comMobile: 07971 548049