3 Ways Brands Can Save Time & Maximize Resources With Retail Automation

Supply chain issues, rising labor costs, shifting consumer expectations — commercial businesses face a mountain of challenges in today’s volatile retail environment. But business owners can minimize the impact these issues have on their operations while maximizing their own resources with retail automation. From customer service requests to back-office tasks and inventory management, it’s all about streamlining daily processes to save time, improve productivity, increase cost efficiency, and facilitate business growth. 

If your retail operations are in need of a boost, here are three processes you should consider automating at once.

1. Retail Automation for Customer Support

With so many retail channels now available to consumers, it can be nearly impossible for small- and medium-sized business to track and respond to all their requests and queries. But providing proper support is essential — according to a recent survey of more than 700 U.S. consumers, 77 percent of shoppers say that good customer service is fundamental to earning their business, and nearly half (44 percent) say waiting for a response is a major source of frustration.
Fortunately, retail automation can help businesses manage messages from multiple communication platforms and provide fast and helpful support. With chatbot software, for example, online stores can respond instantly to common customer questions and escalate issues that require a human service rep.

78% of U.S. consumers have backed out of an intended purchase due to poor customer service. Zippia

There are also AI-driven chatbots that can help improve customer experience in real time by providing personalized recommendations to shoppers based on user preference and intent. This is a great way to boost engagement and sales, as shoppers are 7.2 times more likely to make a purchase when they receive personalized messages during their buying journey.

2. Retail Automation for Inventory & Supply Chain Management

Inventory management is a critical process for retailers. But it’s also one of the most time-consuming and complex when done manually. Tracking products across multiple software programs or spreadsheets increases the risk of human error, which can lead to inaccurate stock information and other inventory discrepancies. It’s also more likely that data silos will form, which ups the odds that incorrect info will be sent to vendors and suppliers.

63% of inventory or fulfillment issues are caused by human error from manual process management. -CSA 

One of the biggest benefits of using an automated inventory management system is that it reduces human error. At the same time, it turns arduous, time-consuming inventory tasks like stock checks and SKU creation over to a computer, freeing employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
Automating your inventory system also helps break down data silos by managing information all in one place and enabling visibility between departments. When sales, inventory, and shipping data

3. Retail Automation for Invoice Processing

Processing invoices is a crucial part of a retail operations workflow. But like inventory management, it’s time-consuming and complicated, and it sometimes requires the work of multiple employees. Fortunately, using retail automation to manage your invoices is one of the best ways to introduce automation into your retail business — and it can reap big benefits.

Companies using manual methods take about 45 days to process an invoice, while companies with automated workflows take just five days — an improvement of nearly 90%. -Frevvo

With an automated invoice processing system, retail managers don’t have to make decisions about payment reminder notices or watch out for follow-ups — it’s all done automatically. Even better, invoice automation software can provide highly detailed analytic reports in real-time, giving managers the ability to track and analyze key business elements such as invoice status and volume, as well as identify bottlenecks in invoice processing. If you choose to automate your entire order-to-cash process, you’ll gain even more visibility into your business’s workflows.

Retail Automation Is the Future

Automation is no longer a nice-to-have tool for business owners. As more retailers lean on automation to help run their operations, the trend is quickly becoming a competitive imperative. In fact, Statista estimates that by 2027, the global retail automation market will be worth more than $23 billion. To ensure your business doesn’t get left behind, work with an experienced automation solutions provider to help you streamline your operations, save time and money, and boost your bottom line.

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