Technological advancement shows no sign of slowing down – if anything it’s progressing at an ever increasing rate. Two decades ago, the internet was still in its infancy, mobile phones were bricks and we listened to music on silver discs called CDs. In business, technology’s changed too – but some sectors lag behind in adopting it.

New technology is an investment for businesses. While some investments will see a tenfold return, others won’t break even. This uncertainty often dissuades businesses from implementing new software and other technologies.

Here at Integrity Software, we hope to show retailers and builders’ merchants that upgrading retail management software doesn’t have to be daunting – and if you find the right software for your business, it can bring many benefits. Unsure if it’s time to make the leap to retail software? See if you’re still using any of these outdated retail practices…

#1 No (or limited) barcodes

The majority of builders’ merchants have moved on from the days of tapping in item prices manually at the till, but some companies still haven’t upgraded to using barcodes on all (or most) of their products. Switching to barcodes saves significant amounts of time at the point of sale and, with many retail management software packages containing a barcoding module, it’s cheap and easy to print your own barcodes for non-coded items.

#2 Manual stock control

Stock management has never been the most exciting part of retail, which is why many merchants have switched from manual stock control to automated stock management. Retail software lets you set threshold levels for every product you sell. At the end of every working day (or week), the software automatically generates a list of items that have fallen below the threshold. With just a couple of clicks, purchase orders are generated that are filled out with the item quantities that were previously set. Next, they can be edited, authorised and sent off electronically. This approach means you won’t accidentally miss low stock items, preventing many empty shelves.

#3 Using Windows XP/2000

You might have a PC in your store, but is its operating system and software up to date? It’s particularly worth noting that Microsoft has dropped support for Windows 2000 and XP. That means if use those operating systems, there will be no support or security updates – leaving your data at risk.

Similarly, ensure you’re using up-to-date, supported software for word processing and retail management. Not only will you protect your files from viruses and malware, but you’ll also receive product updates to help you manage legislative changes.

#4 Manual discounts

Trying to memorise all the discounts you have on in-store when a customer makes it to the till (or relying on peeling discounts stickers) doesn’t just waste time – you could potentially lose customers if you forget to apply the discounts. Additionally, only using manual discounts may restrict the type of deals you can offer. For example, cheapest item free deals will be far more of a hassle if you have to re-check each product’s price in turn, before removing the relevant amount manually. With a digital discount system, scanned products with have discounts applied automatically.

Retail management software gives you more power and visibility over the details of your business, from automated purchase orders to barcoding and setting promotions. If you’d like to see it in action, contact the Trader sales team to arrange a free demo.