Five everyday problems unique to building and plumbing merchants

Independant trade merchants aren’t like supermarkets or other retailers who can rely on regular, predictable trade, so what unique issues could you face this year, and could our retail software help?

17th September 2013

Independant retailers such as hardware stores, building and plumbing merchants and DIY outlets are essential cogs that help to keep the construction industry machine rolling on throughout the year. Whether you provide equipment and materials for larger-scale service providers or sell day-to-day DIY accessories to home enthusiasts, you’ll undoubtedly face problems unique to your industry. Often independant merchants aren’t like supermarkets or other retailers who can rely on regular, predictable trade, so what unique issues could you face this year, and could our retail merchant software solutions help?

Attracting passing trade

Many high street traders, stores and supermarkets make a large proportion of their sales through passing trade alone. Eye-catching window displays and racks of impulse-buy goods are often enough to convince idle browsers to part with their cash, but independant merchants cannot rely on the same. Often located in out-of-town business parks and on industrial estates, builders’ merchants and DIY suppliers aren’t the kind of retailers that can rely on impulse buys to bump up their takings. As a result, profit margins and pricing need to be much tighter if they are to remain competitive, which means having access to complete stock performance visibility.

Advertising promotions

Sadly, many merchants face a similar problem when it comes to advertising promotions. You can’t simply stick a ‘25% off’ sign in your window and hope that passersby will flock in to part with their cash. Instead, you’ll need to take other steps to inform your previous customers and other interested parties that a sale is taking place. Trade counter software and programs can provide an email marketing capability by capturing customer details at point of sale, allowing you to easily keep them informed on the latest offers and promotions at a minimal expense.

Controlling stock

Retailers that have a high turnover of stock won’t be too adversely affected by the presence of dead stock. If you supply petrol generators, masonry tools and other specialised equipment, however, you may have products in the stockroom that aren’t touched for months. What if you were to clear your stockroom of dead stock only for a customer to come in the next day and ask for a product you no longer have? Tight and efficient stock control is a cornerstone of any successful construction industry trader, and merchant and POS software can help you to practice it effectively.

Avoiding admin

Many hardware merchants must necessarily undertake far more detailed admin processes than their generic retail equivalents. For equipment, rental and lease agreements must be signed off and recorded, legislation often has to be taken into consideration and any sales will inevitably affect your stock levels too. It’s all too easy to be lost in a sea of paperwork and documentation, so automated retail software is essential if you are to streamline this time-consuming and error-strewn process.

Encouraging profitability

All of the above issues can act as a barrier to continued profitability. If your business is struggling to break even – let alone turn a profit – something needs to change. It can be more of a challenge for a construction industry trader to chase profits than for a generic retailer, but with the help of our retail management software solutions, you’ll be able to do so more effectively in future. Why not contact us today to find out more about how our software solutions can help?
 

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