IT Support for Retailers
It has been a wild few months for retail businesses. Some have benefited from these strange times, while others are fighting tool and nail to hold on. No matter which side of the spectrum your company lands on, you need to better optimize operations for the future. The path forward is found with IT support. Your brand must move from sole reliance on in-house tech to bring in an IT consultant to help you grow. Here’s why this is essential to success for the seasons ahead.
How the Retail Sector Can Evolve in 2021 (and beyond) Through Better IT Support
I. Enhance eComm Capabilities
Your retail business quickly found out that modifications had to be made to grow online sales last year. The landscape of shopping has forever changed, as all consumer segments have shifted their buying habits. From Millennial to Baby Boomer they are shopping (from pre-qualifying to final purchase) online in drastically greater numbers. FORBES reports that even with successful vaccinations that approximately 28% of shoppers are unlikely to return to visiting physical businesses in 2021. Your brand must adapt to streamline everything that connects your website/s to your shipping processes. Any effort to improve or outright overhaul your eCommerce capabilities begins with an audit of your existing IT infrastructure.
II. Enhance Customer Relationship Management
Beyond stores, the companies behind the brands being sold in a retail environment have also had to adjust in many ways. If you’re among them, you know how critical it is to be able to connect to your retail partners and vendors. Choosing the right software as a service (SaaS) is essential to customer relationship management, whether you are using cloud-based productivity tools such as Office 365 or dedicated CRMs. But it doesn’t just stop there. You need to be able to get the most from your software subscriptions, unlocking features that you and your in-house IT team may not even be aware of. The right integrations can also help improve shipping logistics to ensure retail stores receive their products on time, and so much more. Here’s some greater insight into how IT consulting can help you better leverage your CRM software.
III. Enhance Team Communications
Whether retail store, wholesale distributor, or head office your operations have had to adapt to account for the necessity of remote communications. While most retail organizations “got by” using basic applications such as Zoom you have realized that while team meetings and projects can function remotely, “getting by” isn’t good enough for growth. This is why you need IT support to integrate better (and more secure) collaborations and communications solutions. You need to be able to bring employees, vendors, clients and customers together in vary capacities on your communications platform. You must be able to improve productivity in your marketing department even when they can’t be in the same shop, office, city, or country. An IT consultant with expertise in industry-leading solutions will help you accomplish all of the above and more. Whether you’re accustomed to RingCentral, Cisco, or MS Teams, or are looking for a solution more appropriate to your needs, the right IT support firm will have the partners and expertise to make it happen.
IV. Take That Hacker Target Off Your Back
Retail businesses are major targets for cybercriminals. You hold sensitive financial data of customers, clients, and vendors and they want it. Hackers are using advanced malware and targeted phishing campaigns to compromise your digital operations. Antivirus and firewalls on their own have little power against advanced threats. As a supplement you require tools that employ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to keep up with the over 350,000 new malicious programs being generated every single day. But even with highly effective AI-driven security systems your business must also be prepared for anything, including attacks on retail store IoT (including POS systems, HVAC, etc.). The right IT support firm will provide you with access to better cybersecurity applications and also provide data backup and disaster recovery services, along with around the clock emergency response.
V. Optimize Your Brick & Mortars Too
Most everything above references cloud based solutions, but this does not exclude the IT needs of your retail stores – the brick and mortars that may be the bread and butter of your business. You may need to better optimize physical layouts for IT integrations (POS systems and other hardware installations) or you may be searching for potential locations and need assistance with evaluating your options. A lot goes into infrastructure planning, contractor/vendor management, and technical assistance as it applies to retail shops and offices. You want IT support from a firm that counts this as a part of their IT project services.
Contact SAV Technology today for more on how we can help your brand grow through better IT infrastructure.