Diversity is drilled into our heads from an early age. Diverse investment portfolios minimize risk, diverse workforces boost idea generation, and diversity in your diet is healthier. In most situations, diversity is the way to go. Retail management software is a powerful exception to that rule.
Yet we see disparate retail software platforms all the time, where a legacy point-of-sale platform manages brick-and-mortar sales, a different platform runs e-commerce and yet another database houses customer information. Many retailers feel more leveraged when they use multiple systems from different vendors, like they don’t have all of their eggs in one basket. This logic, however, prevents them from realizing the aggregate value of the software because it can’t talk to each other, or doesn’t do so very well.
That hurdle is growing because the disparity is becoming increasingly visible to end users, and modern consumers do not tolerate it. They expect to be able to return purchases made online to brick-and-mortar locations, buy online and pick up in-store, and enjoy a full experience on their mobile devices.
Retail software platform integration drives customer engagement and fulfills rigid expectations for consistency at every touchpoint. That consistency is getting more difficult to manage manually, even for retailers that only have a single physical location and website. Because shoppers frequently cross channels, it’s also vital to keep all customer information in a single CRM to better understand their behaviors.
Retailers that rely on disparate retail management platforms face the following inhibitors to success that are easily remedied by an integrated system.