Digitization of points of sale: explanations!

New sales and communication channels, changes in consumer habits and concerns, more complex offers and competition on the market… There are many issues facing construction materials traders. And the health crisis has certainly pushed the sector to realize the importance of the digital transition to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

What does digital transformation mean? What are the advantages of digitizing points of sale? What aids and tools should you rely on? Find out everything you need to know in this article.

1. What is the digital transformation of a company?

The digital transformation of a company is the development and acquisition of digital tools, with a view to facilitating the tasks of employees and limiting human management. We are here on a global vision of the company with the human being at its center. The objective of this transformation is to accelerate the means of production of the activity and to develop the performance of the teams, by focusing on tools for automating tasks and taking advantage of all the potential of the company. Exploitation of data, employee efficiency, unification of processes, etc. are all levers of competitiveness that encompass the sales chain and on which traders can act.

The digitization of companies and points of sale actually corresponds to the digitization of work tools, made necessary by the evolution of market modes and uses. The rise of social networks, democratization of smartphones and dematerialized means of communication… Companies have no choice but to digitize to be in tune with new consumer habits. Driven by the health crisis, these expectations are:

  • Efficiency and fluidity in the customer journey. Store hours, queuing, payment at the counter… The consumer no longer wants to encounter friction in the purchase process, and expects more speed in the store and at the checkout.
  • Autonomy, from searching for information online to buying in-store or on an e-commerce platform.
  • The economic advantages, with a constant watch on good deals, opportunities as well as personalized offers, in connection with its purchase history.
  • The human and social link, with the search for real contact with the brand and its representatives, from the physical seller in the store to the informational online chatbot, not to mention social networks, emails, newsletters, etc.
  • A unique experience, thanks to the implementation of a truly differentiating phygital strategy and a unified customer journey.
  • Trust, with expectations in terms of purchasing and data security, after-sales service support, quality of product and service offerings, etc.

2. What are the stakes in trading?

The evolution of the BtoC and BtoB consumer, present on a number of channels and looking for a coherent offer, is not the only challenge for businesses. A recent report on changing professions in the construction materials trade emphasizes the next challenges awaiting the branch and its players:

  • The digitization of transactions and customer relations, with the development of websites and e-commerce, and marketplaces;
  • The evolution and increasing complexity of the product and service offering, with growing consumer appetite for topics such as home automation, circular economy, energy renovation, ecological performance, etc.;
  • The evolution of the organization of logistics activities, with real issues of performance and automation of supply chains in the face of the multiplication of sales channels;
  • The dematerialization and automation of the management of information flows, with the need to rely on digital solutions for all trading activities (purchases, orders, stocks, delivery, CRM and marketing data, etc.).

Beyond these challenges that impact the sales force, management and logistics professions, it is the market itself that must adapt to the new regulatory constraints. Dematerialization, waste management, the management of government aid for energy renovation… come to weigh in the balance of groups as well as traders in VSEs/SMEs.

3. What are the benefits of digitization?

The digitization of the point of sale makes it possible to meet the essential need of traders to increase the performance of the means of production and human resources. And it starts with the visibility of traders and their product and service offerings. With the emergence of multiple sales, distribution and communication channels, the opportunities abound. Advertising is digitized at the checkout or at the point of sale, via digitized panels, promotional screens. Click & collect and drive-through services accelerate customer decision-making and facilitate sales. Newsletters are now personalized. E-commerce platforms are no longer just simple showcase sites, but a real channel that collects data and cultivates it to its advantage. Finally, social networks provide real-time information on a promotional operation and maintain constant contact with customers.

These exchanges and this constant support are at the service of loyalty and improving the customer experience. The point of sale must be reinvented to save time: time-consuming tasks are simplified, limit the action of the employee and allow him to focus on tasks with greater added value. For your sales force, the focus can be on advice and expertise, relying on digital media integrating all the information it needs (technical information, associated products, prices, promotions, stock, availability, etc.). ).
The digitization of the point of sale thus makes it possible to stand out from the competition and to maximize its turnover.

Last advantage and not least: a simple, effective management and in the direction of the development of the trade. Thanks to rigorous monitoring of activity data, business management is facilitated, for more efficient and more profitable teams. Digital tools and the digitization of points of sale allow teams to focus on their core business, automate low value-added tasks, monitor day-to-day strategic results and make the right decisions.

Find out more: Digitization of the point of sale: what are the advantages?

4. What are the financial aids?

The digital transformation of companies is the subject of a number offinancial help. Whether they come from a national plan or from communities, know that small businesses are strongly supported in this process. This support for digitization takes different forms: assistance in obtaining a loan from banking organisations, free digital training, support in transformation, guaranteed loans for VSEs and SMEs, etc.

5. What are the point of sale digitalization tools?

Starting a digital transformation also means relying on the right technical solutions. The proliferation of sales and communication channels requires being present on various platforms and managing them on a daily basis. Website (showcase, e-commerce, etc.), web or intranet application, point-of-sale terminals and cash registers, social networks, commercial mobility tools, interactive kiosks in stores, electronic labeling in warehouses, etc. All of these tools are becoming essential for improving the business management, optimize the purchasing process and improve the customer experience offered.

This is why the ERP stands out as a real asset in the business management. A central trading information system, the heart of your business processes and your data flows, ERP brings together a modular set and key features which allows you to manage all the activities of the company. Supplier purchasing, orders, CRM, stock and supply chain management, logistics and delivery, accounting, omnichannel sales… All your business facets are brought together in a single software solution.*

6. How to choose the right ERP?

The implementation of an ERP in your building materials trade is decisive for the growth of your activity. This is why, from the initial definition of your needs and objectives to the production of the software, you must follow 10 key steps for the success of your project.

Indeed, the proper deployment of a company’s management software depends on important factors:

  • The complete inventory of the existing information system and its users, before choose the ERP that corresponds to your objectives and your teams;
  • The framing and strict monitoring of the implementation of the software, by following the steps in order and by customizing the configuration to the needs of the company;
  • Recurring tests before final deployment, for all users, trained as they go along on their favorite subjects;
  • Support from A to Z by a professional partner and expert in your business, close to your challenges and able to encourage your employees to buy into your digital transformation.

More than a market trend, digital transformation is the essential response to new consumer expectations, to increase the performance of its business in the face of competition. Understanding the stakes of the digitalization of points of sale, its impact on the trades and the tools to be mobilized is decisive for the success of traders. This is why you must bet on an expert partner in your market, who will be able to support you in your development and meet the challenges you will have to face.

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