Top Ways to Improve your Retail Business in 2022

The most important retail technology and strategy for 2022, and what retailers need to do in order to transform their business.

The need for retail technology and change is vital. But what exactly should you invest in? Celerant published this list of the most important retail technology and strategies for 2022. While not everything in this list will pertain to your business, we hope you find it useful, and encourage you to revisit as you consider new technology.

1. Focus on Digital Commerce GROWTH

Consumers are shopping on websites and mobile apps more than ever before. If your business is not online- eCommerce, 3rd-party marketplace (Amazon, Walmart, Facebook Market, etc.); or have a mobile app... what are you waiting for? If you already these, when was the last time you gave them a 'facelift'?

  • STORE HOURS: Update your hours and add a short message so customers know they are updated (i.e. updated Jan. 1. 2022, store hours adjusted for COVID).
  • COVID POLICY: Ensure your policy is helpful to customers- store cleanliness, face masks, return process, customer service methods, least busy times, etc.
  • STORE INVENTORY: Indicate what's in stock, preventing unnecessary back orders and customers traveling to your store just to find out the item isn't there.
  • CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Create balance between your online and in-store shopping experience with 360° images, well-organized aisles, chat, membership and loyalty reward access, virtual consultations and more.
  • MARKETING: Optimize and promote your digital channels through email marketing, social media and SEO.

TIP: Update your Google My Business profile if you have a physical store. This makes it easy for customers to get your store hours, phone number, reviews, directions and more when 'Googling' for you.


2. RUN ALL SALES CHANNELS AS ONE

It's not easy running a single store, nonetheless a store, website, mobile app, Amazon, etc. The key to multi-channel success is integration. Stop wasting time with multiple systems and run your entire business from a single 'source of truth'. One way it to integrate solutions from multiple vendors; however, it's way more advantageous to leverage a unified solution from ONE vendor! Here are some the benefits (and this is just scratching the surface):

  • Product data is reflected everywhere just by changing it once
  • Sales data from all sales channels can be easily retrieved
  • Stock levels are updated across all channels as you buy/sell inventory
  • Marketing messages can be sent to customers based on sales history, no matter where they shop
  • New channels- such as a mobile app- can be added with greater ease

3. Turn fulfillment into a competitive advantage

Order fulfilment significantly affects consumer behavior and provides opportunities to increase online sales. Many retailers optimize fulfillment when their average daily orders, or the cost to fulfill those orders, increases. By understanding the aspects of fulfillment that drive purchase and repurchase, you can implement fulfillment strategies to increase sales and customer loyalty. The following questions can be used to determine which fulfillment methods to implement, and which processes (within each method) to optimize:

  1. 1
    Is it important to see your products in-person or speak to a service rep?
  2. 2
    Do you sell products customers need immediately or 'last-minute' items?
  3. 3
    Are your orders large, fragile or heavy, or can customers carry their own packages?
  4. 4
    Do you sell locally or across a large geographical area? How long does it take to travel to your store?
  5. 5
    What percentage of a typical order do you stock?
  6. 6
    How convenient is it to buy the same products at a competitor?

Celerant's Fulfillment Methods: Celerant offers technology to support 'Buy Online, Pickup In-Store' (BOPIS), curbside pickup, local delivery and shipping, same day fulfillment and drop shipping. With often one opportunity to keep a customer's business, Celerant's fulfillment methods (built-in and customized) enable both the accuracy and speed that customers demand, ensuring orders contain the correct items and quantity, are sent to the right address with proper formatting; and delivered as fast and affordably as possible.

Curbside Pickup

Learn how to streamline curbside delivery & send SMS text messages to customers with Celerant's Curbside Pickup App


DID YOU KNOW: Branded shipping notifications have as much as 85% open rates? That's HUGE and a great opportunity to market and sell upsell items.


4. let customers 'Buy now, pay later'

Offering finance options to customers is a great way to help them get the products they need NOW, and increase revenue for your business NOW. While most customers use credit cards at retail stores, many prefer financing for big-ticket items. It's equally important your financing options are flexible, rewarding, and seamless for both the customer and your business. Celerant provides multiple options for retailers to offer integrated financing in-store and online:

  • Financing via eCommerce and in-store kiosks
  • Paperless application with eSignatures
  • Multiple financial options including 0% APR
  • 6, 12, 18, 24 and 36-month installments
  • No credit checks available
  • 4 bi-weekly payment splits
  • 30-day return policy without payment

"Easy last year, I financed all the hiking gear we needed from a single store, so my family and I can enjoy our hobby throughout the pandemic. I purchased boots, hiking sticks, a tent, sleeping bags, winter gear, safety equipment and more- all in one shot" - Robert Josefs, Marketing Manager, Celerant

5. BOOST SALES WITH TARGETED MARKETING

Retailers sure send a lot of emails, and the goal is simple... get more consumers to visit and purchase on your website and brick-and-mortar location(s). So why aren't retailers more successful with this? More importantly, what can be done to improve your marketing efforts?

It's really important to integrate digital marketing with your retail system(s). Since not all marketing platforms are created equal, we will focus solely on Celerant's digital marketing technologies. In addition to social media and SEO services, Celerant provides integrated email marketing, SMS text message marketing, and clienteling. All these systems tap directly into the retail software back office, where it can leverage real-time customer/sales data from all retail channels. By leveraging this data, our clients can automatically segment their customers, and send automated messages that are personalized for each segment. That way, they receive the right message at the right time, increasing the chances they will click and turn into a sale.

  • Post purchase thank you emails
  • Curbside pickup push notifications via mobile app
  • Product review invitation email to build consumer confidence and increase SEO
  • Abandoned cart recovery email to remind customers to complete purchases
  • Customer re-engagement email to bring customer back

6 Email Workflows

Download eBook about Celerant's integrated marketing tool and view 6 email workflows every retailer should consider.


TIP: Try A/B testing to experiment with changes to the subject line and email content. Then compare the difference and use the version that results in higher open/conversion rates.


6. SELL MORE WITH LESS EFFORT

With today's supply chain upside down, it's important to build better relationships with your vendors, and broaden your product line by adding new vendors with related products. By integrating your retail software with your vendors, you can automate processes for both in-store and online. Of course, this is dependent on the capabilities of both your vendors and retail software.

Which vendors does your retail software integrate with?Celerant partners with vendors across multiple industries- gift shops, bikes, ski/snowboard, books, outdoors, hobby, hardware and paint, pet supply, Army/Navy surplus, uniforms, pharmacy and more. Through our vendor integrations, you can sell more in-store and online with less effort.

  • CATLOG IMPORT: Access your vendor's catalog directly from the point of sale and import the products you want to carry in bulk. NO manual entry!
  • AUTOMATED ORDERING: Setup automated ordering for any item based on minimum/maximin stock levels to automatically reorder ‘just in time’ & reduce overstock
  • DATA FEEDS: Pull your vendors product feeds, and display their available stock online, through our eCommerce platform, and also via in-store kiosks
  • DROP SHIPPING: Automatically route orders to your vendors' warehouse so they can drop ship orders directly to your customers (with your branding), or ship to store for customer pickup. 

endless aisle

Learn how to leverage your vendors' live inventory and drop shipping services to offer an endless aisle in-store and online


TIP: Celerant integrates with multiple data exchange programs. Through these programs, retailers share sales data, anonymously, in exchange for analytics highlighting what's selling vs. not selling. Our clients leverage this data to know which products/brands to purchase, set pricing, and promo more strategically.


— Considering Changing your Point of Sale or eCommerce? —

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