Retail technology allows SMBs to challenge larger rivals by automating workflows, and real-time financial reporting for competitive advantage.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and BRISTOL, UK – June 15, 2016: New research highlights how real-time technology allows independent retailers to focus better on multichannel sales, while simultaneously boosting weekly order volume by over 50 percent and revenue by 30 percent, and cutting nearly two months of work annually.
Brightpearl, retail management solution of choice for high-growth multichannel merchants, in its latest survey of over 200 independent merchants evaluated their use of the latest industry-specific management solutions that until recently was available only to their larger, better-known competitors.
- Improve order management- orders increased 53 percent while missed orders fell 70 percent
- Boost revenue - monthly revenue increased 30 percent
- Improve efficiency - automation of tasks including updating stock, order processing, and updating financials saved 57.5 days annually in labour
- Boost multichannel sales - 84 percent viewed technology as ‘essential’ to their growth. Those selling on one channel enjoyed 8 percent growth versus 33 percent for those selling across multiple channels
In the U.S., Forrester Research projects online retail sales to reach $523bn by 2020. “Online sales in the UK are set to reach £119.7bn this year and technology continues to level the playing field for independent retailers and wholesalers focused on hyper-growth by allowing them to punch above their weight,” said Derek O’Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of Brightpearl. “Correctly using the industry’s best software solutions like Brightpearl presents them with the opportunity to increase sales significantly – especially across multiple channels – while simultaneously boosting efficiency by eliminating labour-intensive tasks through automation."
Popular Sales Channels and Metrics of Success
The most commonly used method for order processing was via phone calls. Other commonly used sales channels were merchants’ own website (75 percent), Amazon (68 percent), eBay (58 percent), physical store (48 percent), trade shows (39 percent), multiple own websites (37 percent), and social platforms (20 percent).
Natural Baby Shower, a specialty multichannel retailer offering organic and eco-friendly clothes, bedding, toys, and toiletries for babies and expecting moms, has used the latest real-time, retail technology to increase revenue six fold over the past three years.
“Since implementing Brightpearl we’ve processed 50 percent more orders and increased our average order value significantly,” said Clifton Vaughan, Co-founder & Director, Natural Baby Shower. “Integrating accounts has allowed us to see profit and loss on a daily basis for better business decision making.”
Retailer Perspectives on Growth and Expansion
Improving operational efficiency and having access to real-time cash flow data have merged to form the key to success. Nearly all (96 percent) respondents view technology, especially integrated retail management solutions, as essential elements that will support plans for growth. Access to real-time financial reporting was top of the list for 94 percent of participants.
Pawstruck.com, a provider of natural dog treats and food that operates entirely online, is rapidly expanding, growing 400 percent in two years. “My goal is to continue to grow the business at the same rate while remaining lean. That’s the beauty of automation and being cloud based, you can employ remote workers, keep overhead low, and prices affordable,” said Kyle Goguen, President and Founder Pawstruck.
Commanding just over a third of the region’s total online sales, the UK remains Europe’s biggest online market. The National Retail Federation projects U.S. retail industry sales to grow 3.1 percent in 2016, higher than the 10-year average of 2.7 percent, while non-store sales will grow between six and nine percent. However, modern day merchants still face significant hurdles.
Asked to name the challenges they will face over the next 12 months, the most common answer was simply growing their business. Other hurdles include:
- Maintaining efficient and effective management of suppliers, orders and inventory (22 percent) and marketing, sales, and customer service (22 percent)
- Accessing real-time insight to accounting and cash flow across all sales channels (15 percent)
- Attracting new customers and building brand loyalty by developing new marketing, sales, and offerings. Respondents (92 percent) noted the importance of using email for marketing and a way to generate repeat business. This is almost twice as common as pay-per-click (55 percent), display advertising (45 percent), leaflets (34 percent), coupons (33 percent), and loyalty programs (28 percent).
Brightpearl is powerful-yet-simple retail and inventory management software that helps small- and medium-size retailers and wholesalers expand and compete with larger rivals by streamlining sales and supply chain functions across multiple online and offline channels. Brightpearl’s cloud-based software and services enable multichannel merchants to manage the heart of their business by combining purchasing, inventory management, CRM, order processing, accounting, fulfillment, and reporting into a single reliable platform. Founded in 2007 with offices in the U.S. and UK, Brightpearl is used by more than 1,400 merchants around the world. For more information, visit www.brightpearl.com or @BrightpearlHQ.
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