The right technology can revolutionize your business. It sounds like a no brainer — I know. But sometimes ideas don't take hold until you experience them first hand. That's what I learned recently at a local chamber of commerce meeting when I got the pleasure to chat with a small business owner named Gabriel.
Gabriel is a restauranteur with a lovely wife, a son, and another child on the way. He shared with me the story of his first failed business and the importance of utilizing new technology in an ever-changing retail industry.
When he first started his business, things were going well. His family owned cafe saw steady growth for the first three years of business, but soon it became difficult for him to keep up.
He told me nightmare stories including late shipments, difficulties managing inventory, and manually tracking sales. Their customers started dwindling and inevitably, business started to slow.
With his wife pregnant with his first son, the pressure to get business going again began setting in. He tried multiple marketing campaigns but continued to lose money. Eventually, he felt he had no choice but to sell his restaurant.
It was a rough time for him and his family. But in that time he resolved to do his research and figure out what went wrong.
"I was behind the times and stubborn," Gabriel declared as he explained how his competitors made use of new technology and solutions that he thought he just didn't need.
"—because of that I couldn't keep up and the industry left me behind," it's an easy mistake for a small business owner to make. Gabriel thought he could manage everything on his own and ignored all the retail technology present to that could have assisted his business or out-right prevented its failure in the first place.
While Gabriel's story was unfortunate, it swayed us to talk about what software as a service program out today a retail business owner could use to prevent what happened to Gabrielle from happening to them.
Meet Business Goals Using Analytic Software
One of the more significant problems he shared with me was the undervalue of setting clear and actionable goals. He was trying marketing strategies without any data or analytics.
There is marketing software online that you can use to provide you with metrics designed to assist in achieving your business goals. Metrics including Key Performance Indicators (KPI) which can assist you in identifying your performance towards your goals and assure your return on investment.
Making use of analytic software services can help you revise gaps in your campaign strategy, increase business traffic, and identify further options for growth. When used properly, analytics as a service will help you create campaigns designed to turn prospects into customers.
Point Of Sales Software to Promote Sales
An efficient POS system is vital to the growth and survivability of your business, especially in the restaurant industry. With today's mobile consumer, it makes more and more sense to implement POS software over an old fashioned cash register.
A robust POS system can be downloaded on any mobile device or computer. Opening you and your customers to a new level of freedom.
Are customers upset about long cash register lines? POS software can allow your customers to pay from their phones.
Is there an upcoming festival that you want to host a booth at? Good thing your POS can be accessed from your phone or tablet, providing you with a convenient way to make secure sales.
These systems can also help you track inventory, store product information, and even keep expiration dates. These services could have helped Gabriel manage his inventory troubles, track reorders, and prevent him from wasting inventory.
Boost Customer Engagement with Customer Relationship Management Software
The final point my conversation with Gabriel touched on was customer retention. We both agree, and I'm confident you would too — the customer relationship is the lifeblood of your business.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software remain an invaluable tool in a business owner's utility belt. This software is designed to keep you and your customers engaged with each other while promoting customer retention.
It stores your customer information in one convenient database, so you always possess that information to manage at your fingertips. Allowing you to further satisfy your customers by being able to change your offers and services based on analytics.
The software additionally provides ways to increase customer contact. Digital loyalty programs are great for strategies like content offer campaigns.
Research shows it costs more money to gain new customers than to retain current ones. This is another place Gabriel says he slipped up.
Studies have shown that 83% of customers are more likely to do business with a company that has a loyalty program. Those aren't numbers you should ignore merely to be stubborn.
Loyalty programs offer your customers an incentive to stay up-to-date with your business and engaged in your offers. But be sure to do your research when choosing one as some can be more of a headache than they are worth.
Another significant way CRM software can assist is by providing you with a blogging platform. This will allow you to produce content for your customers or keep them informed on important business developments.
83% of customers say they will only shop with a business they trust. Maintaining a blogging platform where you can touch base and have open discussions with your customers can help you build that trust.
Don't Let Your Company Fall Behind
Gabriel's insights into his restaurant really helped put into perspective just how important having current retail technology is toward the longevity of a business.
How often technology changes in the retail industry can be daunting. You read stories about retail stores in foreign countries using biometric facial recognition for age verification. Or warehouses using drones to keep inventory and just think, "I don't need all that".
You're right, but there are many steps between pizza baking robots and Saas programs helping take some of the tedium out of running your business.
Do your research about software and technology in your industry, but most importantly — don't allow new technology intimidate you into losing your business. There are programs available online — right now, that can help you plan and track your business goals, manage your inventory, and even retain customers. If utilized properly, you are sure to witness longtime growth for your business.
Meta Title: Loyal | Retail Technology That Can Save Your Business
Meta Description: Loyal digital loyalty program shares a story about how retail technology and software as a service can help keep your restaurant growing.
Links with sources to legal to use images
- Feature Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/hpjSkU2UYSU
- Business Goals Subheading Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/aOYA7D3fse8
- CRM Subheading Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/I79Pgmhmy5M