Rajiv Kumar, Founder & CEO, StoreHippo

Mr. Rajiv Kumar, a qualified Software Engineer, who has a 20+ years of experience, has offered his service to the Companies like Tata Infotech, ST Microelectronics, HCL Technologies, E-Trade Financial, Oracle, Waterfall Mobile, Tavant Technologies. With vast experience and deep knowledge of handling Technical Architecture and Technical Design Projects, he has started his own Operation of providing E-Commerce Solutions to the Small Medium Entrepreneurs and Individual Entrepreneurs.

 

Technology is fast evolving to become omnipresent across various industries. Given the pace of its development, it can be tricky for an entrepreneur, who isn’t tech-savvy, to keep up pace. No doubt, the recent technologies can aid even those businesses to become more efficient, leaner and highly profitable which aren’t yet tech-enabled yet. Implementation of the right technology at the right time and in the right place can help businesses reduce operational costs and grow simultaneously. 

The future of brick-and-mortar shops has been changing into a hybrid of traditional and digital, and the current health crisis is fast-tracking the digital experience. Addressing this need, many brick-and- mortar(B&M) companies are taking to SaaS (software-as-a-service) based platforms to boost their business functions. And these SaaS-enabled companies can clearly attest to the benefits brought about by cloud services, including flexibility, lower costs of implementation and improved speed. 

Businesses, both large and small, have come to gain a competitive edge through cloud adoption. And though this may initially appear to be a sizeable investment, adding cloud-based services can considerably enhance customers’ experience for businesses.  

How SaaS is Transforming B&M Companies

Saas-based infrastructure can significantly streamline and improve the internal operations of an enterprise in many ways. Everything from Big Data Analytics to clearly charted organizational roadmaps have the ability to increase company’s efficiency and bring about profitable results for the business.  

To stay ahead of the curve, retail businesses must constantly innovate, be agile and ensure accuracy wherever possible. Cloud computing helps them achieve all three by building the relevant capabilities. Retailers have realized that SaaS platforms are a cost-effective technique for providing a seamless experience and fulfilling the needs of the customers. In addition, retail businesses are also embracing retail cloud computing for improving their retail management systems. This way retailers are able to use cloud-based technologies to gain visibility and track inventory within the supply chain cycle. 

Traditionally, brick-and-mortar retailers have offered products and services to their customers face-to-face in their offline stores which tends to give them a unique advantage over online businesses. With a physical location, retailers can learn more about their customer’s preferences and enables them to focus on providing a stellar customer experience. The year 2020 was all about moving online and providing one’s customers an immersive digital experience that goes much beyond a mere online shopping cart.  While e-commerce system is a key component here, yet we need to move ahead of the cart and focus on the customer’s buying channels. 

SaaS-based platforms are offering battle-tested solutions to B&M companies and reducing the development cycle, effort and budget substantially. The main advantages of using SaaS for retailers are minimal initial costs of installation, negligible hardware expenses, is scalable and accessible, and easy to administer and maintain. Also, modern SaaS platforms offer a one-stop solution that includes marketing, shipping, and hyperlocal ecommerce for a better business presence and streamlined deliveries. 

SaaS platforms built on the premise of mobile-first principle can also help B&M Businesses tap the M-commerce potential and get better Omni-channel sales for their business. Hence, augmenting brick-and-mortar businesses with a SaaS platform can propel the company towards new opportunities. 

Brick and mortar businesses with negligible or no digital presence need to start building their digital branding without further delay. They can launch an advanced online store with the help of modern turnkey SaaS-based ecommerce platforms. Alongside, they must engage in branding activities on various social networks like Facebook, Instagram etc. to create a buzz around their business. Companies can also leverage mobile commerce and build mobile-ready stores and apps to attract and captivate more customers.

Indian retailers need to begin their online journey on a strong footing. They need turnkey ecommerce solutions designed to adapt to their requirements. Additionally, these solutions need to be easy to use by them and their staff (delivery boys, store staff etc.). On top of it the infrastructure should be at par with the latest technology trends so that these small-sized businesses aren’t left behind in any way in comparison to their bigger competitors. A levelled-playing field in terms of technology and ecommerce solutions within their budgets is all that these companies need to sell and grow online. 

With cloud, employees do not need to spend time managing data and related systems. As a result, they can focus on more strategic business goals such as product development, sales and competitive analysis.

Digitization can open up new markets for Indian retailers, be it the mom-&-pop store or established local businesses. With a store open 24×7, these retailers can easily reach customers round-the-clock and by using mobile commerce they can create a better sales channel for their business. Usually, small businesses cater to a few blocks in the neighbourhood. But by creating a digital presence, they can partner with similar stores and create their own online marketplace to sell to distant customers within the city. They can also go for targeted marketing using digital channels as that will allow them to understand the local buyer sentiments the best.

Retailers can use hyperlocal ecommerce to get better audience and sales. They can opt for multi-store ecommerce solution combined with hyperlocal ecommerce. This will enable them to have multiple storefronts wherein they can have their shops displayed as a unique store and still have a common central admin. With hyperlocal ecommerce they can ensure better customer satisfaction, faster delivery with their own delivery boys and better customer relationship through their online as well as offline stores.

Conclusion

The current pandemic gave a jolt to businesses of all sizes. But the smaller players had to bear the maximum brunt. The biggest concern right now is to survive and then revive businesses to pre-Covid levels. Since the customers are still sceptic about venturing out, going digital can help small businesses reach their customers without any constraints. With an online presence, small-sized companies can tide over the prevailing crisis, render their business cost-effective, and also open new sales channels for them. By making available big data analytics to the retailers, cloud services have removed the guesswork about what can sell and what might fail to capture buyer interest. 

 

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