Mobile technology has revolutionized the way modern society does business and permanently changed the retail landscape. This innovative tech has made retailers’ lives easier in a myriad different ways. It’s freed them from having to constantly be in the store, allowed them to save time by automating tasks that were once entirely manual, and given them easier access to performance data that enables them to grow faster and increase success.
But even though tech and mobile devices are inseparable from our contemporary way of life, it can still be difficult to know how to fully take advantage of everything they have to offer when it comes to your operations. The whole point of using mobile devices to run your retail business is to make your life easier — to allow you a better work-life balance and to foster adaptability and flexibility within your professional operations.
In this post, we’ll share 5 ways you can do just that. Read on to learn new tips to increase efficiency, streamline your tasks, and set yourself up for retail success!
Do business in the cloud.
For retailers, the cloud is a complete game-changer. When it comes to running your business, the cloud has 4 huge advantages:
- Flexibility. Most cloud-based tools and apps allow you to access them from your mobile device, offering unprecedented flexibility and portability. Instead of confining you to the counter or to one spot within your store (or to your store at all, for that matter), they free you to move around and bring a better experience to your customers.
- Streamlining. The cloud unifies your operations by allowing you to manage everything from one platform. It saves you tons of time and allows you to run on the same level as other modern retailers.
- Remote capabilities. One of the biggest advantages of running a retail business in this day and age is the ability to work remotely when you need to. By doing business in the cloud, you’re giving yourself the option to run things from wherever you are — be it seaside or at the breakfast table.
- Fewer errors. The cloud lets you host every piece of business data in one place and manage all your systems from one location, cutting down on double-entry and minimizing the potential for human error. This in turn increases your efficiency as an organization.
Integrate different applications to reduce double-entry.
If you really want to take full advantage of using your mobile device to run your retail business, you should look into integrating the different applications you use (employee scheduling, accounting, POS, etc.). It’s important that your various tools “talk” to each other, as this ensures the smoothest and most comprehensive business functioning and prevents you from constantly syncing information across apps.
But how specifically do integrations help you run things?
- Less manual work. When your apps are talking, you have to do less work to get across all the different aspects of your business, and the need for double-entry evaporates — saving you time and making you more efficient.
- Cleaner operations. In the same way that doing business in the cloud streamlines your business, integrating your applications results in cleaner operations across the board.
- Simplicity. App integrations simplify the number of moving parts you’ve got going on in your business. And anything that’s simpler makes your life easier!
Empower your team with apps that make their jobs easier.
Help your team by empowering them with apps that enable them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Scanner by Vend is a perfect example. Scanner is Vend’s free mobile inventory barcode scanner app, designed to take the pain out of inventory management by eliminating manual data entry.
Scanner functions as a complete mobile counting solution, and you can use it on its own or integrated with Vend. It allows you and your employees to perform inventory counts (full and partial) — all straight from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
Other app types to consider? The ones for whatever tools you use for accounting, loyalty, and scheduling.
Use mobile-friendly reports and dashboards.
Another area where your mobile device can help you run your retail business? Reporting.
Many cloud-based tools offer intuitive, easy-to-use mobile dashboards, as well as mobile-friendly reports so you can check on your business from wherever you are. This portability is another way of allowing you to choose how much time you spend in-store and letting you foster a better work-life balance.
Cut the cord: opt for mobile-friendly hardware.
The main advantage of mobile-friendly hardware (think portable printers, barcode scanners, iPads)? A better customer experience.
When your hardware can go wherever you go, you can actually bring the shopping and checkout experiences to the customer rather than standing fairly uselessly behind a counter. This allows for better conversation and engagement, faster purchases, easier data gathering, and less overall friction.
All that nets you stronger relationships with your customers, which in turn leads to increased loyalty, greater brand awareness, and higher profits.
Here are the 5 tips we’ve just delved into that can help you run your retail business from your mobile device.
Do business in the cloud. This gives you more flexibility; streamlines your operations; lets you work remotely when needed; and minimizes the potential for oversights and human error.
Integrate different applications to reduce double-entry. This results in less manual work and makes your job easier by virtue of simplification.
Empower your team with apps that make their jobs easier. Help your employees help you by providing them with effective tools, such as Vend’s free mobile inventory barcode scanner app: Scanner by Vend.
Use mobile-friendly reports and dashboards. This enables you to check on your business from wherever you are, increasing your flexibility and adaptability.
Cut the cord: opt for mobile-friendly hardware. Create a better experience for your customers by bringing the checkout to them.
Do you currently use your mobile device to help you run your retail business on a daily basis? If you do, let us know in the comments — and leave your tips so your fellow retailers can benefit from them!
About Nikki Michaels
Nikki is Vend's content and copy wizard. American-born and Auckland-based, she's into reading (a lot), writing (obviously), and travelling (always).