How your CRM System can boost Sales and Increase Profits

 

 

 

In today’s super competitive age, it is really difficult to run a business without a systematic approach. And I call that approach as CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Any business must follow the 3C model. Company, Customer and CRM.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an indispensable feature of any business strategy. It aims at increasing the efficiency of any business by creating an unparalleled relationship with the customers. A CRM system is an all-in-one storage, sales communication tool, and organizer of the information of the customers. 

How do CRM systems work?

With advancements in technology, CRM has become very important. It allows connecting different departments of a business under one place.

  • CRM software uses data analytical methods to connect departments such as sales, marketing, customer service, notes, and appointments. This is an upgrade from the regular Bookkeeping system.
  • It also acts as an opportunity manager by studying the customers to establish growth trends and sales projections.
  • The data is stored onto cloud storage. This is to ensure that the data would stay safe and accessible all the time. The same can be achieved through a retail software solution.

CRM serves different functions. These functions lead to the development of function-focused software. Including-

  • Strategic – Based on establishing customer-client development.
  • Operational – This helps in establishing a dashboard for different departments. It facilitates the automation of sales, marketing department and customer service provision.

Sales are based on the trends observed from the initial stage to the latest customer purchases by the retail POS software. The use of CRM software signifies the importance of a client and help to modify the amount of interaction required to keep the customer in the loop to drive sales through various marketing strategies.

The marketing department then can automate its strategies by involving and executing tasks such as marketing emails on other social media-driven platforms.

The service department through CRM helps to establish a service technician with the customers. These include feedback, phone calls, FAQs, etc.

Using methods of correlation, pattern recognition, and data mining on the different sources or information of the customers. These help to find loopholes in the strategies used and amend them with a customer-centric approach.

 

Benefits of A CRM System

A CRM system resolves multiple problems by integrating data from various offline and online platforms. These include –

  • A CRM system enhances the relationship observed with a customer. It helps to analyze the current, past and would-be statuses of this interaction.
  • It also helps to serve the customers better. The data collected is studied to see the demands of the customers. The analysts then can strategize to serve customers effectively.

The Essentials of a Good Point of Sales System

 

 

The Point of Sale is the cornerstone of any retail business. From recording customer data to analyzing sales, the use cases for Point of Sales machines are growing year on year.

 

Today we take a look at the most important features of a Point of Sales Software System

  • Multiple Payment Method

 Payment methods presented at checkout will impact how the customer feels about the purchasing experience. POS systems that accept multiple payment methods are hence a vital tool in providing customers with a better experience

  • Integratable with Omni-channel

 

An omni-channel experience empowers users to personalize their own experience. The customer has the control to access the products, services, and support options on demand. It is thus integral that your POS System is integratable with omni-channel

Omni-channel POS systems allow for the integration of customer loyalty programs which Improves profits and increase sales

  • Customer History Attached to each Profile

Point of Sales systems must be able to manage large databases. This helps in creating a sales strategy and also while launching a loyalty program

  • Retail Mobility Solutions

Mobile POS systems can enable in-store mobility. This can be a major advantage to retailers and provide customers with a seamless shopping experience

Retailers must adopt a Point of Sale System that manages all aspects of the business, integrating online and offline sales while providing the user with a seamless shopping experience. 

 

Singles’ Day- The Biggest Day for Retailers World Wide

 

 

Celebrated on the 11th of November 2019, Singles Day is a Chinese commercial holiday. It was initiated by a group of internationally recognized dating experts in order to help singles either embrace their single status or do something about it. 

Singles Day rapidly evolved into an enjoyable unofficial holiday in which single people spoil themselves by overindulging in delicacies they would usually refrain from. Singles Day has gone on to become the single most lucrative online shopping holiday in the world, easily surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. In 2017 sales reached over  $25 billion on this day in China.

Credit must, however, go to Alibaba and Jack Ma for transforming  the de facto holiday from an ‘anti-Valentine’s Day’ for Chinese singletons to a global shopping festival back in 2009 

Singles Day sales have been on a tear over the last few years growing by over 50% year on year. As a result, retail brands are posting large sales numbers on this day. As can be seen above, total sales on SinglesDay was nearly sixteen times the sales made on both Cyber Monday and Black Friday in 2017. 

 

Discounts

As a result of the large increase in sales, retailers tend to offer large discounts on products on this day. Retailers are trying to carve out a larger percentage of the market sales on this day and offer buyers an incentive to buy their brand. 

Discounts offered are so high that they are now on par with the famously lucrative big sales days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday

 

Conclusion

Retailers must include these large discount days while chalking out their sales strategy for the year. During days of heavy sales it is important that their Point Of Sales system being used at the store is efficient in order to maximize customer satisfaction

Best Days to Shop in 2019

 

From Cyber Monday to Black Friday, shoppers all around the world have a plethora of “Big Discount Days” to choose from. Today we take a look at when the best day of the year is to go all out, without breaking the bank.

What’s on the list

  • Amazon Prime Day
  • Cyber Monday
  •  Black Friday
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Eve 
  • Singles Day

However, it is Singles Day which is regarded as the largest shopping day in the world. Also known as Guanggun Jie, it was started in China and is popular among young Chinese people. 

Celebrated on the 11th of November, the date was chosen because the number “1” represents a singular person or someone alone. Although not celebrated as an official public holiday, Singles Day has become the single largest offline and online shopping day in the world. 

Alibaba recorded sales of over US $15 Billion in 2018 as per Wikipedia. 

Since its inception, the popularity of Singles Day has spread all across the world and is no longer restricted to China, particularly in South East Asia. In the UK however, Singles Day is celebrated on the 11th of March.  

 

So how does Singles Day compared to the other Big Discount Days of the world?

 A survey found that the average consumer planned to spend 2,361 yuan (£181) during Singles Day in 2018  while on Black Friday the average spend in 2017 was 699 yuan. 

The volume of sales forecasted by retailers on singles day is higher than any other day. Although singles day is primarily celebrated in China, it is gaining significant traction in the west as well. 

Has GST really helped Indian Retail Businesses the way it was supposed to?

 

“One nation, one market, one tax”- was the notion on which GST was formed. GST which came into effect on July 1st, 2017 was the biggest tax reform in Indian history

3 years on, we have to ask ourselves, has GST had a positive impact on the Indian Economy?

What is GST?

Goods and Service Tax is an indirect tax imposed in India on the supply of goods and services. GST subsumes Service Tax Law, Central Excise Law, VAT, entry tax and Octroi. 

The Bad

GST was supposed to impact the unorganized sector. However three years after the launch of GST there is no study to show the impact of GST on the unorganized sector

  • Lack of Central Registration. Earlier service providers could register their business in all the states centrally. However, this is no longer possible as service providers now have to pay CGST. So they have to register separately
  • Taxation of Free Services. Now even if a company is providing its service for free they will be taxed. Under the earlier tax system, if your service was not for consideration then you wouldn’t be taxed

 

The Good

GST has removed the cascading effect on the sale of goods and services. This has reduced the price of goods since GST has removed  tax on tax. GST is also simpler to file as it is just a form online. 

GST increases efficiency in logistics as there is lesser compliance.

Now that multiple taxations is abolished the cost of inputs will go down. Paying VAT and excise duty will no longer be an issue.

Small to Medium scale enterprises whose contribution eluded most have now come under the scanner and their contribution to the economy is accounted for

 

Our Verdict

While GST is far from the perfect type of Indirect tax, it has encouraged the production of goods and services. Hence on a macro level, the tax has done more good for the economy as a whole than bad.

GST also attempts to bring a transparent and administration free tax system that is consumer and business-friendly. This will make the Indian market more stable and empower Indian companies to compete with foreign companies. 

Impact of Blockchain on Supply Chain Management

The age of Digital Technology and it’s security is transforming Supply Chain Management

The scope for the use of Blockchain is ever-expanding but one of the biggest use cases is its application in supply chain management. 

Blockchain is already being used in the financial sector with several financial institutions beginning it’s implementation however the implementation in Supply Chain has not fully been put into action yet,  this is surely going to change in the coming months ahead.

What is BlockChain?

Blockchain is nothing but a distributed ledger, which essentially means the data is spread across the network amongst its peers.

Simply put blockchain is a record of entries, anybody can add to these entries however once an entry is made it cannot be altered. 

Problems in Supply Chain Management

Counterfeiting is a 1.2 trillion dollar industry worldwide. Logistic companies often have to trust that their peers are handling their products honestly. Many times a product that reaches the final destination is a counterfeit of the original product sent out.

Supply Chain Management is an age-old industry and the problem of robbery/ counterfeiting has always existed. But blockchain promises to eliminate this problem

The Application

Reported recently by the JP Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI, the Global manufacturing industry stands at 12 trillion dollars. The Industrial Internet of Things is a growing industry and its global value stands at 4 trillion dollars. As we stand at the doorstep of the 4th Industrial Revolution few would disagree that technology and manufacturing are going to lead the charge going into 2020

Benefits

  • Global Distributed Ledger –This  creates a security opportunity by decentralization of information thus replacing the firewall dependence. NDAs, licensing and technology transfer agreements and much more are improved with the help of smart contracts and the blockchain.
  • Trust Free Smart Contracts: Currently, organizations invest in relationship-based trust networks. However, with the blockchain, you have a network that can self manage contracts. This network is free of broker fees and increases the speed of executing contracts
  • Ledger of Things- This effectively replaces the need for a Cloud Enterprise Management systems as it allows true transparency in the supply chain.

The Supply Chain is  very complex and highly inefficient but Blockchain goes a long way towards solving this

As Peter Drucker, author of Next Generation Manufacturing  once said “The way to predict the future is to create it” 

 

5 ways AI will Change Retail

AI’s customer applications are expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. AI is accomplished by studying how the human brain learns, decides and works while trying to solve a problem. In the coming years, people will partner with AI to optimize worker and business performance.

In this article, we will showcase the potential AI has in retail and how it will mold the future of the Industry. AI will help Retailers in 6 major ways. 

1) Help Understand Customer Sentiment

 Multiple fashion-based start-ups have started using AI to fetch data from their client’s Pinterest account to understand their client’s choices. AI enables sellers to not only understand their client’s tastes but also to predict it thus positioning them in a far stronger place in the market than their predecessors.

2) Help Customers find products easily

AI enables market makers to advertise only relevant products to a certain consumer, cased on his or her tastes. This is called target marketing and AI enables more accurate micro marketing.

Jewelry Brands, Home Furnishing Companies, Health and Beauty Retail business’ and a lot of other Industry Parallels using the same concept to help understand and predict customer sentiment.

3) Prediction Analysis

AI can help retailers in prediction analysis on what might sell and what might not sell and use combinations of discounts and markdowns to get rid of unsold inventory

4) Voice Ordering

Alexa and Google Home will be able to order items for you. Not only that they can actually charge your credit card, and send it to your preferred address since they have all the information that you have. 

5)  Better Shelf Intelligence

Retail manufacturers pay large amounts of money for prime shelf space to boost their brand visibility.  A slew of Tech starts have started developing metrics for a share-shelf space to help optimize the distribution of prime shelf space

The way Omni-channel systems work is going to evolve and retail shopping will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 1000 years. AI has the potential to transform the retail industry in the 22nd century.

The Evolution of the POS System from Cash Registers to Cloud

“The Incorruptible Cashier” invented in 1879, was considered a landmark invention in the retail industry. Since then the evolution in the POS software has come on leaps and bounds, from the old, bulky cash registers to an elegant cloud-based software that’s compatible with your smartphone. Today we walk you through this 200-year-old transformation.

Back when the first Point of Sales system came out, it served as nothing more than a cash register which could record transactions. 

How it all began

So the story goes that a man named James Witty, a salon owner whilst on aboard a steamboat to Europe got intrigued by a machine which counted the number of times the ship’s propeller went round. 

He realized that the same concept could be used to count the cash at his salon. James and his brother John, a mechanic, made it their goal to design such a device and three prototypes later they had a working model. 

A few years later James sold his company and the patent of the cash register to “NRC” (National Cash Register) a company that still exists till today as NRC Corporation.

Welcoming the Millennium

Following “NRC”s take over, several progressive changes were made to the cash register. As a result in the early 1900’s several businesses started using it. The cash register solved a genuine problem for enterprises and made managing capital along with recording transactions effortless. Business owners would get cheated less because of the cash register and by the middle of the 1900s, every medium to large scale business had a cash register.

Cybernated

By the end of the 20th century, the retail industry saw the rise of electronic registers which were computerized. Along with bar codes and credit card terminals, these innovations kick-started a new era in the “Point of Sales” industry. 

mPos

“The Future of Mobile is the Future of Everything.”  Eventually, most software systems move to the phone and this move is considered the last step in the evolution of a product. 

The original cash register has made this step already. 

Today Point of Sales systems are integrable with a smartphone and this step in the evolution is integral as it preserves hardware costs.

It’s not just the hardware that has evolved over the years. Point of Sales Systems has moved from being simple cash registers to full-fledged retail management solutions. Modern Software Management Systems offer inventory reporting and customer management that save data on an external cloud. 

More than 144 million people will make online purchases in South East Asia in 2019. This amount is projected to reach 50% by 2024.  The retail market is still at its infancy stage and Point of Sales systems are going to have to handle a large volume of transactions as the industry picks up.

 

Retail is all about the value and its perceptions

etp-blog-retail-value-and-perceptions

Customers are the king and queen in retail and they are valuable to the business. On the flip-side, customers are also seeking value in what is being offered to them. Retail brands across the globe are fiercely pegged against each other in this value game, and the one who offers the best value as perceived the customer will be the clear winner.

Let’s try to understand this better. In this day and age of technology driving the industry towards innovation and disruption, there is no ambiguity anymore in the current and future roadmap for retail businesses to survive and thrive. One thing is clear, the retail brands who standout on their customer experience expectations will taste success. However it is important to understand the customer experience paradigm.

Traditionally, retail was transactional and product focused, but that is no more the case. As the focus of the business pivots on the customer, the customer experience paradigm has undergone a significant shift since the early retail days. This shift has largely been the result of technology enabling customers equipping themselves with more information and decision making power, thus putting them in the driver’s seat who are now calling the shots. Fundamentally, the customer experience is all about the value the customer perceives in two ways – i) their interactions with the retail brands, and ii) the offerings they receive from those brands in terms of products/services. Thus, it all boils down to the value the customer receives from their relationship with the retail business.

For retail brands, the best part is that now they have multiple opportunities to provide perceivable value to their customers. As retail has moved from transaction focused to being more customer centric and other factors have influenced the sector big-time, the shopping journey has evolved. Here is where retail brands can seize their opportunities to establish their value offerings. For example, while the customer is researching, a retail company can provide the necessary information that the customer seeks, even though the customer is not seeking information with the intention of purchase. Another example is where a customer can be offered an additional discount while their product is replaced due to issues in the products they had initially purchased. These are some of the many instances of how retailers can offer value – either qualitative or quantitative. These valued offerings will cement the brand-customer relationships in the long-run and thus prove to be a mutual benefit for both the retail company and the customer.

The Omni-channel Transformation of Retail Businesses at ETP #Futuretail, Malaysia

ETP Group, Asia’s leading Omni-channel Retail Software company hosted senior representatives from Malaysia’s leading retail organizations to discuss future challenges and opportunities in an ever-changing retail landscape. The key discussion, “The Omni-channel Transformation of Retail Businesses in Malaysia”, was led by team ETP, including Mr. Naresh Ahuja, Chairman and CEO, Mr. Raj Jagasia, Executive Director, Mr. Pranay Pujara, Consulting Manager – Projects and Mr. Danny Foong, Business Development Manager.

The discussion was part of the ETP #Futuretail 2019 event held at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, recently. Mr. Danny Foong welcomed the ETP #Futuretail guests and Mr. Raj Jagasia shared an overview of ETP’s growing presence in Asia. Mr. Naresh Ahuja then shared insights on the growth of the Malaysian retail industry in the context of Asia Pacific and the transition of traditional retail to modern retail, e-commerce and omni-channel retail.

Mr. Raj Jagasia, Executive Director ETP

Mr. Raj Jagasia, Executive Director, ETP Group initiated the discussions with an introduction to ETP.

Mr. Naresh Ahuja, ETP Group,

Mr. Naresh Ahuja, Chairman & CEO, ETP Group then shared insights on the performance of retail, e-commerce and omni-channel in Southeast Asia.

Pranay Pujara, ETP Group

Mr. Pranay Pujara, Consulting Manager – Products, ETP Group presented a live demonstration of ETP’s Omni-channel Retail Solutions to establish how ETP can help retailers in Malaysia to overcome the challenges in omni-channel retailing.

Following the live demonstration a panel discussion was held with eminent industry experts. The panel shared their thoughts and opinions about the changes in the buying behavior of Malaysian consumers over the last 3 years, the value of the brand in the mind of the modern day consumers and whether the internet has commoditized brands. The panel exchanged their views on the future of malls and stores in the 3 to 5 years. They also discussed about the digital transformation of retail taking place in Asia in the next 2 to 3 years and whether it will leapfrog the US like the Asian mobile technology did. They highlighted the 3 priorities that retailers should focus on to handle the change in consumer behavior.

ETP will continue to drive the omni-channel transformation of retail businesses across Asia-Pacific, India and the Middle-East.