Both online and brick and mortar retailers strive to offer a seamless retail experience, in a challenging environment where customers now have access to a wealth of information. Customers can access information from traditional sources like manufacturers and media but also by asking friends and colleagues via social media. Product reviews by shoppers increasingly affect sales. So…the customer is in the driver’s seat. To survive and thrive, retailers must provide a pleasant and hassle-free shopping experience. They must also give their sales associates easy access to information at least as good and current as their customers have! And then there is the retailers’ pressure on costs and margins. Successful retailers have managed - by necessity - to combine brick-and mortar operations with their online presence. Studies show that customers are moving from “showrooming” (looking at goods in the store before buying online) to “webrooming” (looking at goods online before buying in the store). One 2014 report by the merchant services provider Merchant Warehouse showed that while some 60 percent of webroomeers have showroomed, nearly 90 percent of showroomers have webroomed. In a phrase, people prefer making purchases in-store. LS Nav is based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The latest release of Dynamics NAV (2015), combined with LS Nav, offers retailers an all-in-one solution based on the latest technology that helps retailers to provide shoppers a seamless experience.
Tablet App and Mobile Solutions - More FlexibilityWith Dynamics NAV 2015, a new tablet app was introduced. Using the app, the full functionality of the LS Nav system is accessible in a finger-friendly format on a tablet. A store manager using the app is no longer tied to his office, but has full access to necessary information and tools on the shop floor. For senior management, the tablet interface means that they have the relevant KPI’s from the business readily available wherever they are. The new app runs on all major platforms such as Windows 8.1, iOS and Android. In addition, LS Retails offers a suite of mobile solutions (LS Omni) that are seamlessly integrated with the LS Nav solution, including a mobile POS running on iOS based devices.
Cloud support - Even More Options
Dynamics NAV 2015 includes extensive support for cloud-based deployment and can be deployed both in public and private clouds. LS Nav is offered as a service. Retailers can subscribe to the solution and have a standardized solution up and running with limited up-front investment. Smaller retailers can even deploy the LS Nav POS in the cloud, thus having all main components of a retail solution running as a cloud-based solution.
Upgradeability – Simpler is BetterThe task of implementing and upgrading retail solutions can be both complex and costly. But Dynamics NAV 2015 includes many “under-the-hood” changes which simplify the process of upgrading retail software. These changes in NAV 2015 are part and parcel of a paradigm shift in the retail industry, where retailers can chose a solution that is updated on regular (even monthly) basis, without the organization experiencing a painful and costly upgrade process. Many retailers will want and expect their solutions (POS, back office, apps, e-commerce etc.) to be updated multiple times during the year.
Are Customers Ahead of Retailers? The Race is On!
More and more, retail customers are using the latest technology, including smart phones, social media and connected devices. Retailers are often slow to respond to changes in customer behavior, at their great peril, and older retail software solutions do not always support retailers in being responsive and agile. The new “under-the-hood” changes in Dynamics NAV 2015, combined with mobility, rapid implementation tools and a cloud-based solution, provide a platform that offers exciting new opportunities for retailers. Instead of being constrained by the cost and effort of updating the solutions, the retailer could take full advantage of a solution that is constantly up-to-date, giving almost instant access to latest technology and best practice. This would give retailers the opportunity to keep up with the pace at which their customers are running, and maybe even get a step or two ahead!
Written by Stefan Georgsson, Senior Consultant