The retail sector has seen an enormous improvement in organization, standardization and consolidation over the last several decades. The new buzz word in this sector is enterprise mobility. While a new and sophisticated technology such as this can offer a variety of benefits to this sector it can also be a deterrent if inappropriate. Retail sector, in particular, poses different kinds of challenges, this sector faces heavy competition, the goods are perishable or can be easily outdated, involves a huge number of transactions every second and it is customer intensive: quick turnaround is the lifeline of retail sector. Handling these challenges is imperative for a retail organization that wants to go mobile.
Retail enterprise mobility solutions need to combine solutions for inventory, accounting, sales and delivery management along with state of the art, scalable technology. A set of solutions that can work seamlessly between the handheld devices and the desktop system, one which is intuitive and user friendly, one which offer simple yet exceptional functionalities and one which is scalable is the need of the hour.
Some of the areas that can be quickly mobile enabled are simple day to day functionalities such as creating, modifying invoices, entering customer info, route planning, tracking deliveries, handling returns and orders, accessing order history, inventory and product varieties, handling account adjustments, accessing product pricing, promotion, discounts, special offers and other related details., as well as printing receipts. A variety of internal functions can also be automated fairly easily. Some of these areas are security and access control, time and attendance, alerts and workflows, data inquiry, reports, dashboards, scorecards, KPI and BI analytics.
Marketing, product placement and promotion are some of the activities that will get a big boost with enterprise mobility. Mobile enabling solutions allow location based services such as geotargeting. Coupons, discounts and promotional offers can be targeted to individual buyer groups which is likely to provide better sales to marketing cost ratio.
Implementation of such a state of the art technology is not devoid of challenges especially the financial outlay. However it is important to note that the investments can be made in a phased manner based on feasibility. The benefits are multifold when compared with the cost of enterprise mobility deployment. what more with an efficient mobile device management in place, a retail enterprise can encourage their employees to use their personal devices (BYOD) thereby saving costs involved in the deployment of handheld devices.
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