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How ERP can help retailers better understand their customers

by Media Xpose

Have you ever heard the saying: “Good customer service costs less than bad customer service”? This is particularly true today because modern customers aren’t afraid to share a negative experience and they have plenty of options when looking for places to do so. Here’s where the right ERP solution can help.

When retailers deploy an integrated ERP solution, they are able to gain a more holistic view of their customers and, as a result, can better understand their purchase patterns, preferences and behaviours. This information helps retailers improve customer experience by empowering them to make more data-driven decisions.

When retailers have a better understanding of their customers they can tap into their customers’ needs, their motivations and their likes and dislikes. For example, an integrated ERP solution is able to flag a customer’s preferred method of communication. If the retailer knows that a certain customer likes a more hands-on or hands-off approach, they can make sure that they only communicate with that particularly customer in this way. Something like this might seem small, but it goes a long way in terms of building customer loyalty and trust, says Stephen Howe, Director at Times 3 Technologies, a Sage Platinum Business Partner. 

When retailers effectively use the information they have to tailor offerings, create targeted campaigns and personalise customer interactions, the result is better customer experiences, improved customer satisfaction and greater brand loyalty. And by using the data collected and analysed through ERP systems to work more strategically and efficiently, retailers can ensure that they maximise the return on their investments.

But the value of ERP solutions goes beyond what the customer sees, says Howe. The right ERP solution makes it possible for retailers to optimise their inventory management so that they can forecast demand, for example, and then make sure that their inventory levels are adjusted accordingly. From a competitive advantage perspective, this more tailored and personalised approach also allows retailers to differentiate themselves from everyone else. According to Howe, the beauty of an integrated ERP solution is that they support iterative analysis and improvement. “As retailers gather more data and as they refine and redefine their goals based on these insights, business continues to gain value through a continuous process of adapting, improving and optimising their solution,” he adds.

As many businesses already know, it is not enough to just “have data”’ data; data only adds value if you can access it, use it and if you know what it means. ERP systems bring all of this customer data together into a centralised dashboard and can generate reports so that retailers can easily make sense of the information and pull out the most relevant insights. And many ERP systems seamlessly integrate with your CRM system to improve customer relationship management too.

Do you need to upgrade your ERP system right now? According to Howe, the best time to implement a new ERP system is during periods of change along your business journey. For example, if you’re launching various digital transformation initiatives, consider integrating an ERP solution at the same time. If you’re planning to expand and scale your operations, open new stores or enter new markets, you will have to handle increasing volumes of data so implementing an ERP system beforehand is a good idea. Or if you’d like to shake up your marketing efforts with fresh and creative campaigns, an ERP system will make it far easier to gather and analyse important customer data. 

The Sage X3 ERP system manages every aspect of your business in one place and is ideal for mid-sized companies who want to enjoy big business ERP functionality without the cost and complexity. Offering customers a wide range of features, Sage X3 is one of the most cost-effective ERP solutions on the market. And when combined with Times 3 Technologies (T3T) add-ons, businesses can enjoy a system that communicates, automates and updates Sage X3 in real-time.

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