Top 6 Benefits of System Integration for Retailers
Modern-day technology is all about convenience and accessibility. You can take a work call while accessing your company data and play a mobile game all at the same time. But can this kind of convenience apply to retailers that often rely on legacy systems?
Upgrading your systems and processes doesn’t have to mean tearing out and replacing everything. System integration involves designing a custom architecture or application that unites all your existing systems. Some retailers are integrating new systems piece by piece based on what’s necessary.
Here are six system integration benefits you can expect to see when you make the leap.
1. Automate Processes
Business integration solutions are all about improving and connecting your current processes. One way it improves your operations is with automation.
Automation involves using artificial intelligence and data to have a system or computer perform tasks without the human component. It’s most commonly used for customer service purposes.
For example, you can have the system set up to process a service ticket and decide the next step. That may involve fulfilling a simple request, following up with a pre-written email, or forwarding it to someone who can help.
On its own, automation brings a lot of benefits to your company. You can expect faster feedback, improved quality assurance, and lower risk.
However, none of this would be possible if you’re stuck with legacy systems that don’t communicate with one another. You’ll need everything connected in some way for the AI to have complete access to your system’s data and operations.
2. Easier Data Access
Another benefit of integrated retail systems is that it allows for easier data accessibility. A big part of the systems integration process is storing data from multiple different areas in a single location. A common type of location is a cloud network or platform offered by a service provider.
Since everything is connected either through the intranet or the internet, you can access data instantly. Changes made in one subsystem are synced automatically across all other systems.
Not only does this improve efficiency, but it also helps eliminate any errors. You won’t have to worry about the potential of working with outdated data or notifying other workers that changes were made.
One way to apply this is with inventory management and control. You can see when something runs out of stock as soon as it happens. Other employees will then know if new shipments have been ordered.
3. Performance Insights
Business system integration allows more than shared data. It also allows you to get performance insights related to every aspect of your business.
Retail data analytics means using the data collected by your various systems to optimize your business’s various processes and decisions. The platform you use should come with some kind of data visualization feature that can help you view various patterns, trends, or associations.
The data gathered offers a greater understanding of how your customers shop. You can use that data to update your pricing, make changes to your supply chain, and improve customer service. Better understand customer complaints and requests.
For example, there may be a certain product that has seen a noticeable amount of returns in recent weeks. You can gather and review data on the product, such as how quickly customers returned the product and their most common problems.
4. More Sales and Cost Efficiency
When you’re able to properly analyze customer behavior, you can use that information to better serve their needs. This can involve something like reorganizing your floor layout to prioritize certain products or eliminating products that aren’t selling. It may also involve changing up sales and marketing strategies for your more popular items.
One example is promoting items that are popular with buyers but don’t have a lot of reach. You can also try cross-selling by pairing certain types of items together or offering them as a package deal.
In addition, your business will save money by eliminating redundancies and menial tasks. Integrated systems allow you to automate tasks that may require two or more different databases. The employees previously in charge of that set of tasks can then benefit from a lightened load or be assigned a different role.
Legacy systems are applications or systems that are outdated. They’re what was used before the newer, better options came into existence.
A big problem with legacy systems is that they weren’t made to integrate with newer architecture. As such, transferring all of the relevant data and replacing systems is usually done piecemeal to save on time and costs. Once those systems are updated and integrated, it becomes much easier to connect to newer systems in the future.
One of the reasons for this is due to the cloud. With cloud networking, all of your important data is uploaded onto a dedicated server that all of your integrated systems connect to. If any of those systems are replaced, then the relevant data remains.
6. Better Security
System integration involves connecting all of your systems under the same umbrella. Normally, you may think that this puts all of your systems at risk in the event of a cyber threat. The reality is that it can improve how well you respond to attacks.
Isolated systems can only get attacked one at a time. However, managing security for multiple different systems is a lot of extra work.
Most integrated system frameworks come with extra security by default. They use more powerful security tools and algorithms to provide a more robust defense.
Improve Your Business With System Integration
System integration may sound like a big, scary word for retailers, but it’s how you’re going to excel in the industry. Compress the time it takes for a business function to execute in your stores. Make the job easier for your employees and save money at the same time.
RedIron Technologies can improve your infrastructure and innovate the customer experience with our retail solutions. Give your customers the control that they desire, whether they’re in-store or at home. Contact us to learn more and discuss your project goals.