Retail Software

From a technology perspective, there’s never been a better time to be a retailer. From point of sales (POS) and inventory management to sophisticated reporting features, retail software has evolved rapidly. More and more ecommerce retailers are using retail technology to automate tedious back-office tasks like purchase order creation – leaving them free to concentrate on growing their business. Many retailers are also using retail software to gain meaningful insights that can be used to boost their bottom line. 

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What software is used by retailers?

Whether you run a combination of bricks and mortar and ecommerce stores or operate almost solely online, you need software that’s built with you in mind. Brightpearl retail technology is currently helping thousands of on and offline merchants to grow their retail businesses. 

Brightpearl has been specifically designed for omnichannel merchants who want to exceed their customers’ expectations and respond rapidly to changing market conditions. 

Brightpearl solutions include the infrastructure to centralize and automate:

  1. Inventory
  2. Order management
  3. Warehousing
  4. Fulfillment
  5. Shipping
  6. Purchasing
  7. Accounting
  8. Supplier management
  9. POS
  10. CRM
  11. Retail business intelligence

Once all your core operations are optimized (with the help of Brightpearl), you’ll become more agile and efficient – and be able to stay competitive amidst the most testing of market conditions.

Key features you’ll need for your retail software stack

Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, you may not require all the features offered by a full retail management system. However, there are some basic features you should always look for. These include POS, inventory management, and a CRM solution. Let’s start with a quick overview of these key retail software features.

1. POS retail software

If you have physical stores, Point of Sale automation can assign pricing to items at checkout and process payments. This can help to mitigate human error and streamline operations. Amongst many other functionalities, POS technology is capable of adjusting inventory levels in real-time with each purchase. 

2. Retail inventory management

Retail inventory management is the process of making sure the merchandise that shoppers want is available – with neither too much or too little in stock at any time. With more efficient inventory control, retailers are better able to meet customer demand without running out of stock or holding on to excess (expensive) supplies.

3. Retail CRM (Customer Relationship Management system)

Many retailers keep their customers’ details, interactions, and order history within their CRM system, making it easier to provide customers with a truly personalized experience at every stage of the customer journey.

Brightpearl’s advanced features that can grow your business

From POS and inventory management to CRM and reporting features, Brightpearl’s integrated features can help you improve operational efficiency. Let’s look at some of Brightpearl’s key functionalities in more detail: 

1. Integrated POS 

Brightpearl’s Point of Sales system enables you to sync inventory, orders, and customer information between both on and offline sales channels. That way, you’ll avoid the risk of overselling. And when items aren’t in store, you can check their availability – as well as fulfilling items from another site if possible. Or mark them as unavailable (or perhaps mark them for back order – saving those precious sales to be fulfilled later). 

Brightpearl’s POS software solution enables you to elevate your customers’ experience, too. For example, you can provide customers with a range of in-store services, instantly, such as issuing gift cards, refunds, or sales credits – as well as creating automated email receipts. You can also check stock availability at other locations while customers are waiting in-store. 

Brightpearl’s Point of Sale solution is fully integrated, and offers real-time synchronization with sales, inventory, and customer data, as well as integrating with other Point of Sale systems, too. 

Key benefits of Brightpearl’s Point of Sale software

  • Brightpearl’s POS software is available as an iPad app that works with a range of iOS devices and synchronizes with back offices. This allows you to take orders on the go. It’s also operational offline, so you can take orders when you have no internet (like at a trade show), and sync when connection re-establishes. 
  • The POS system integrates with your CRM and order history, for a truly omnichannel experience.
  • Having instant access to data in the POS means you can complete all customer journeys in-store.
  • Advanced fulfillment means you can ship bulky items later or place them on back order.
  • Take advantage of “Buy Online Pick-up In Store (BOPIS)” and “Click & Collect”.
  • See stock levels across all locations and tap into inventory control.
  • Gain real-time insights into a store’s performance with integrated accounting software.

To illustrate how useful POS software is, here’s a recent user-case example. 

Jewelry designer Alex Munroe keeps up with customer expectations using Brightpearl’s POS

Jewelry designer Alex Monroe has been in business for over 30 years making unique, nature-inspired handmade pieces in the UK.

They said goodbye to manually entering details into spreadsheets to track items, and turned to Brightpearl to help them identify live stock items. Being able to quickly see what’s being sold –  and who is buying – in real-time, has helped boost efficiencies in terms of fulfillment and dispatch. 

Without Brightpearl’s retail POS software “ it would be much more difficult for us to report on the performance of the store, which would make decision-making more difficult”- according to Ecommerce Manager, Tom Graham. 

Taking manual processes out of the equation has also freed up precious time – time that can be spent on customer service. By being able to spend less time looking at their screens, sales staff can spend more time on useful conversations, and give more jewelry demonstrations. Thereby getting customers more involved in the brand. 

Now let’s move on to another essential retail software that’s helping ecommerce businesses achieve success: inventory management.

2. Advanced inventory management

Brightpearl’s retail inventory management software gives you a centralized view so you can manage inventory, orders, warehouses, accounting, fulfillment, and shipping. So no more manual errors or lost data.

Brightpearl’s inventory management software enables users to make real-time adjustments as products are purchased, and alert retailers when stock levels fall to predetermined levels. 

This allows for a more detailed and efficient organization of inventory. It’s also possible to draw up inventory reports to give you an overview of what’s trending.Then, you can put money into the most profitable products and replenish the right quantities of inventory at the right time. 

With Brightpearl’s Automation engine, you can also set up customized rules enabling you to route products automatically to warehouses, replenish items via the low inventory report, fulfill items, and select the appropriate shipping providers. 

Main benefits of Brightpearl’s retail inventory management system

  • Multichannel inventory management: Instant updates across all your ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and physical retail stores.
  • Barcode inventory: Brightpearl’s integrated warehouse order management system allows you to scan barcodes on items and update inventory levels automatically
  • Multi-location control of inventory: Levels of inventory at all locations are updated based on sales, warehouse-to-warehouse transfers, returns and restocks, etc.
  • Demand planning: Insights into seasonality, best sellers, historic data, and out of stock periods – all to help with replenishment forecasting
  • Amazon FBA reconciliation: Inventory reconciliation right in Brightpearl.
  • Accurate accounting: Use Brightpearl’s functionality or integrate with existing systems. Make First-in/First Out valuations, cost calculations, and landed-cost reporting.
  • Integrated shipping and order fulfillment: Manage carriers in one place – partially fulfill, dropship, and manage back orders.
  • Product analytics: Key product metrics and SKUs at category level. Identify best and worst sellers by segment, channel, and geography.

To illustrate the power of inventory management, here’s a user-case of how Brightpearl’s software helped another company.

Luxury bathroom brand Balineum saw 50% a revenue increase with Brightpearl’s inventory management system

Bespoke bathroom retailer, Balineum, saw a big spike in demand during 2019. Brightpearl helped them cope easily with the increased volume of transactions with the ability to check in at all stages of the order. 

Brightpearl’s automated inventory management ensured Balinieum had enough stock at the right locations to meet demand. The reporting feature was also invaluable when it came to making purchasing decisions on different stock lines. 

The ability to customize Brightpearl’s fields enabled Balineum to include imagery on client quotes – something the company acknowledges as having increased customer conversions. This small tweak also led to a reduction in incorrect deliveries – making it easier for supply chain quality control and shipping “to check and receive these deliveries”. (Sarah Watson, founder, business owner, Balineum)

Another important retail software is your CRM setup – an essential system that helps you keep tabs on and improve customer relationships.

3. Retail CRM

Brightpearl’s CRM enables you to track, tag, email, and update data quickly, streamlining the  sales process and boosting lead generation efforts. With a 360 degree timeline of all your contacts’ activity at your disposal, it’s ideal for customer service agents when they need to address queries quickly. 

By having CRM and accounting integrated in one single system , it’s possible to see how much a customer has outstanding on their account before processing further sales. There’s the option to keep a tight rein on finances by setting credit limits and creating debtor and creditor reports. 

Brightpearl can be easily integrated with your marketing automation tools, so you can run personalized marketing campaigns based on your customer data stored in Brightpearl. 

Main benefits of Brightpearl’s CRM system

  • Create personalized customer experiences: Use accurate, up-to-date information to tailor each customer’s individual journey.
  • Perfect your target marketing: Integrates with most marketing platforms so you can segment customers and create targeted offers.
  • Build strong relationships with wholesalers: Access audit trails and order history, and work more effectively with wholesale clients.

Here’s how Brightpearl helped artisan skincare retailer, Evolve Beauty, get closer to their customers.

Brightpearl helped Evolve Beauty streamline their sales and better communicate with their customers 

Using Brightpearl’s CRM, Evolve Beauty was able to perform tasks in batches, saving precious time previously spent identifying and emailing customers with targeted messages. Customers could now be “tracked, tagged, emailed, and updated” in next to no time. 

With help from their CRM, Evolve Beauty was not only able to keep in touch with current and potential customers, but their suppliers as well. The ability to set reminders via the CRM helped improve efficiencies when it came to sending out timely, targeted sales and PR messages. 

Frequently asked questions

What is a retail system?

A retail management system (RMS) is an all-in-one platform that combines several useful tools together – tools that are designed to help in the running of a retail business. These tools generally include, at the very least, an inventory management system, point of sale (POS) tool, and a customer relationship management (CRM) system. 

Retail Digital Operations Platforms help boost business management efficiencies by providing a centralized place for managing multiple services. They help to streamline everyday back office tasks including managing and buying inventory, keeping tabs on customers, and overseeing finances.

The benefit of retail management software is that information can be shared seamlessly across the platform. If you include an analytics feature, data can easily sync across the entire system – so you can pull up useful reports that will help you to improve your business. 

What are the 4 types of inventory?

There are four main types of inventory: 

  • Raw materials 
  • Unfinished products
  • In-transit inventory
  • Cycle inventory

Importantly, a robust inventory management software system helps retailers distinguish between the items on shelves meant for customers and the materials allocated for business use. 

What are inventory management techniques?

Traditional inventory management techniques involve lots of counting and reconciliation to make sure physical stock matches what’s in the books. Keeping track of stocked goods minimizes the risk of holding excess (expensive) inventory and alerts retailers when it’s time to replenish or buy more items. Also known as inventory control, inventory management is much easier with a centralized system like Brightpearl. Inventory management techniques provided for by Brightpearl software include: 

  • First in, first out (FIFO)
  • Manage relationships
  • Auditing
  • Accurate forecasting
  • Just-in-time (JIT)
  • Reorder point

And more. Brightpearl can help you avoid dead stock, save on storage costs and enjoy better cash flow management.

What are the other features we need in retail software?

In order for your ecommerce business to operate at maximum efficiency, it’s worth considering investing in a comprehensive retail management system. From accounting software to warehouse management, all can all work together as part of a complete retail management ecosystem. This takes the guesswork out of the equation, reduces manual errors, and gives you a competitive advantage. 

As part of your retail software stack, the following features could prove invaluable for your business:

1. Retail accounting software

Retail accounting software affords you real-time insights into sales performance across your entire business. There are often two types of accounting softwares available on the market:

    1. Standalone accounting softwares like Xero, QuickBooks that can be integrated to your retail tech stack.
    2. Integrated accounting softwares that comes along with a complete retail operations platform, like Brightpearl’s integrated accounting.

From inventory and orders to warehousing and purchasing management, accounting software synchronizes data automatically in a centralized place – giving you a holistic view of your finances. 

2. Warehouse management software

Warehouse management software can help you eliminate those all too easy to make – yet expensive – warehousing errors. Barcode scanner and automated pick, pack, and ship workflows are effective in helping retailers reduce mispicks and mispacks. The added bonus of this is the resulting increase in faster deliveries leading to positive customer reviews.

Brightpearl’s Warehouse management software takes away the burden of manual inventory counts, enabling partial counts by zone, location, item value, and other product attributes. With sales channels updated automatically it’s easy to stay in control of inventory and avoid forgotten, misplaced, or missing merchandise.

3. Workflow automation

The ability to automate repeatable post-purchase processes allows you to focus on core business operations – and identify and rectify the problems holding your business back. With Brghtpearl automation you can process more orders in less time, with fulfillment, shipping, inventory allocation, and invoicing all covered. This means you can concentrate on your exceptional orders and suppliers or the customers that demand your attention most.

With fewer errors creeping in, the customer experience is improved – so customers will be happy to shop with you again. With Brightpearl’s reliable workflow automation features in place, high order volumes and multichannel order fulfillment won’t ever overwhelm you again, since you can configure automatic workflows for orders and inventory automatically. 

4. Retail business intelligence systems

Robust analytics can help you make smarter decisions and drive company growth. With valuable product and customer insights, and detailed financial reporting features in place, you can better plan demand and make more accurate forecasts. 

Brightpearl’s retail reporting and business intelligence system is geared towards retailers – with the ability to implement customized configurations to suit a particular business. 

Brightpearl’s software integrates with existing third party software, too. The ability to combine real-time sales, margins, performance data, and inventory levels with feeds from existing marketing solutions and ad campaigns means it’s possible to achieve a 360 degree view of how your business is operating.

It also reduces handling time, with batching, scanning, optimized pick routes, and automatic fulfillment on pre-defined rules. This results in faster delivery times with orders shipped rapidly to satisfied customers. Plus, the refunds and returns process is streamlined, with customers able to simply package and send items back directly to you. 

Business intelligence software ensures all your employees from the warehouse team, finance department and customer service reps, to sales and marketing have the metrics they need to drive better decision making. 

Brightpearl: A comprehensive retail software solution

Brightpearl is purely designed for retail and wholesale.  It bolsters merchants’ operational efficiency with a robust workflow automation engine and purpose-built ecommerce integrations, ensuring you’re prepared for spikes in demand and ambitious growth plans. Whether you operate a national or global chain of stores, or are moving the majority of your assets online, Brightpearl’s flexible software can help you grow. 

  1. With the integrated Point Of Sale (POS), you can streamline your online and offline orders,, keep abreast of product replenishments, suppliers, and customers via a centralized system that can be accessed anywhere.
  2. Selling across multiple channels is easy, too, thanks to its pre-built high performance ecommerce integrations. And since sales and buyer data is synced in real time: No more double entries or errors.
  3. Retail-tailored software means you’ll have all the core functionality you need to efficiently run your business, avoiding the extra time and money spent on customized integrations.

Brightpearl’s retail SaaS (software as a service) options can help you:

  • Unify operational efficiency
  • Automate workflows
  • Access actionable insightsBecome more agile so you can scale

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See the benefits of Brightpearl's Retail Operating System in action