As a retailer you are likely to want to expand your business at some point, but you’re not too sure where the best location is, if there is a demand for your products and services elsewhere or if you have the budget to open a new store? Then you have a light bulb moment – Franchise and concessions.
Cloud technology is at the heart of streamlining multi-channel retail as Neal’s Yard Remedies have experienced. Since implementing a Cloud EPoS system they have executed the hosted platform across their owned and around 20 franchise stores. Jason Cook, Head of IT at Neal’s Yard Remedies explains;
“It has helped us see what franchises are doing from a sales perspective, we are able to support them better and they are now able to take part in larger systems and solutions we have as a company”
7 ways cloud technology can benefit your franchise and concessions:
1. Single platform
Often franchises are run on smaller, individual systems that are not integrated with the main company information systems, creating a lack of flexibility and providing a barrier to the customers experience. Implementing a single Cloud platform can combat this fragmentation by streamlining the retail systems, integrating them across the whole business. Crucially this gives you visibility of sales without having to rely upon each individual shop providing the data.
2. Real-time stock control
Wouldnt it be great if you could remove inventory complications and warehousing issues that cause confusion and problems between your sales channels? Well there is a simpler way to automate your stock management system, with a Cloud retail system that gives you full, up to date visibility of your stock levels across all channels, whether online, mail order or in-store, including franchises and concessions.
Imagine having access to real time customisable reporting and supplier integration, along with maximum stock reduction and replenishment in your franchised stores. A strategic Cloud platform can give you this and more making sure you have products in the right location, ensuring you never miss out on a sale.
3. Unified gift card function
Imagine your customers frustration when they are told they can’t use a gift card in a franchised store. It’s not something retailers or customers want. Implementing a hosted retail solution allows you to unify your gift card function, gaining new customers and increasing footfall in-store and online . Approximately £5bn worth of gift cards are purchased in the UK each year and on average, shoppers spend 40% more than the value of the card on purchases – are you missing out?
4. Improved loyalty program
Remove shop by shop loyalty schemes that restrict customers to collecting points only in certain stores and form long term engaging relationships with your valued customers. It would be great if you could customise your loyalty schemes to suit you and your customers, whilst maximising spend and retention wouldn’t it? If your system can’t keep up with the demands of cross-channel loyalty then it’s time to rethink your retail platform to get the most out of your loyalty program.
5. Click and reserve/collect
Click and collect is now used by 72% of UK shoppers and is proving to be a major boost to multi-channel sales conversions, with this in mind it should be at the forefront of your delivery and collection strategy. Customers are expecting to be able to order a product online and collect from a store of their choice, not providing franchise stores with this option means you could be losing out on vital sales. Cloud based EPoS and retail management systems that streamline the click and collect/reserve function are leading the way in providing the customer with the convenience they desire from every retailer today.
6. Restrict sensitive information
Your current system houses data that you don’t really need or want your franchise stores to see, it could potentially be damaging if sensitive information was easily accessible. Restricting individual locations from carrying out certain tasks or having visibility of cost prices and margin on goods will avoid problems that may occur, creating harmony between your owned and franchised stores and concessions.
7. Greater customer experience
Perhaps the most important benefit to Cloud retail platform is creating a better more streamlined multi-channel customer experience. Customer demands are crucial to the drastic changes in the retail landscape, if your IT systems can’t keep up with these demands then it is time to re-consider what platform is best suited to help your franchises and concessions succeed.
Rachel is passionate about retail and the ever-changing retail technology environment, with a keen eye for upcoming retail trends that are set to shake up the sector.