As the modern business landscape continues to innovate technologies for a smooth, convenient buyer’s journey, learning how to build your retail software is crucial for your brand.
For one, retail software enables you to keep up with your competitors. According to Shopify, 39% of retailers are already investing in improving their employees’ tools and tech to make their day-to-day operations more efficient.
You, too, must remain competitive in the constantly evolving retail landscape, and this article will help you understand how to build your retail software.
5 Types of Retail Software
Before understanding how to build your retail software, it’s essential to know the different kinds of retail software in the market. While most retail software improves the customer experience, some can benefit your employees more, making internal processes run smoother and more efficient.
Below are five of the different retail software types.
1. Ecommerce Platform
Ecommerce platforms like Vessell continue to thrive in the post-pandemic world. The advantage of platforms that cater to eCommerce ventures is that they can expand the customer base beyond physical locations and keep stores open 24/7.
These platforms comprise many valuable features such as product catalogs, search bars, robust ordering systems, and inventory and customer management tools.
2. Payment Processing
Manually tracking transactions increases the potential for human errors and accounting mistakes. It’s why many businesses opt to use payment processing software. Payment processing software connects your stores to banks and established payment systems. These convenient solutions allow you to keep customer and transaction records easily.
It also works well with how more and more customers expect contactless payments in the pandemic era. Payment processing software includes credit card processing, customizable invoice creation, and recording of all transactions and their statuses.
3. Point-of-Sale Software
Point-of-sale (POS) software is installed on different devices at the physical store for specific purposes.
For example, POS software installed on company tablets and smartphones are great for mobile users, allowing customers to make payments on the go. On the other hand, desktop POS systems are more powerful, allowing cashiers to view inventories and accounting data.
These technologies make it easier for sales staff to manage customer invoices, reduce transaction processing time, automate recordkeeping, and track available stocks in brick-and-mortar stores.
4. Retail Inventory Management
This type of retail software may benefit your employees more than your customers. It gives your staff more control of your warehouse operations. At the same time, retail software is effective in automating various tasks that occur regularly, including syncing records of stocks, invoicing, and other administrative tasks.
If you work with perishable goods, retail inventory management software can also track the expiration date of those goods. It’s a convenient way to ensure that you only sell fresh and high-quality products to your customers.
5. Retail ERP
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software like Acumatica has modules specifically for retail businesses to help you grasp their different facets. It integrates data from different internal departments — sales, customer management, employee management, financial resources, supply chain, and product management — in an easy-to-navigate interface.
ERP software is highly flexible and can be customized to fit your business’s unique needs. It is a source of a single truth, which means that every member of your organization will be on the same page when situations arise and decisions have to be made. The software can also be used as a database to store important documents and pertinent customer information.
5 Steps to Build Your Retail Software
Once you understand the different types of retail software, the next step is to build one for your business. Consider these pointers.
1. Have a plan and budget
A clear goal can help you decide how to build your retail software. During the planning and budgeting phase, outline the key features you want in retail software.
You’ll also need to decide between cloud or on-premise systems. Having an on-premise system means installing the software on your local servers, which will require working with IT specialists to maintain it. Alternatively, cloud-based systems usually cost less and will be more accessible for users as long as their device is connected to the internet.
A solid plan doesn’t emerge overnight—businesses may take weeks or months to discuss and finalize their plan and budget for retail software projects. Maximize these planning sessions, as they will direct your steps moving forward.
2. Partner with the right software development company
Once you’ve finalized your budget and plan, you may tap a software development company to execute the job. Choosing the wrong company to work with could lead to higher costs and wasted time.
As such, it’s essential to partner with highly capable software developer companies, such as Yondu, as they are well-trusted and certified by leading organizations that understand how to build your retail software the way you want it to be built.
3. Monitor the software’s design and development
Integrating custom-built retail software will feel like a complete shift in your business process. So while your retail software is still in development, prepare your team for the change and brief them on new operating procedures.
It’s also helpful to work closely with your partner software development company to continuously guide the development team on how to build your retail software. This is to ensure that the project is on track while keeping its core functionalities in mind.
4. Have the product undergo QA testing
Quality assurance (QA) testing is crucial to the app development process. At this stage, you review the initial designs of the retail software, spotting any errors before it goes live. It’s also where you see how the backend, application programming interface (API), and frontend technology work together to create a cohesive customer experience.
Expect to encounter lots of bugs and glitches at first. It’s better to resolve these issues early than fix them post-launch. Here, expert software developers offer valuable assistance through a fresh set of eyes that spot these problems early on with diagnostic tools.
5. Launch and maintain
Once the software has been approved, it’s time for launch. You can submit your software on various app stores such as Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
However, the work doesn’t stop there. Once your software rolls out, you will need to continue monitoring it, ensuring it runs smoothly. Customers may even start using the software in a way you might not have expected. Thankfully, expert software development companies will continue to work closely with you, release patches and updates, and resolve user-reported issues.
Build the Retail Software That Suits Your Business
Retail software benefits your business in several ways. It can increase your retail brand’s time efficiency and reach while providing real-time visibility of your stocks and inventory. Your retail software must be as ever-evolving as the industry itself. By working with expert software developers, your app can remain relevant for years to come.
Yondu has over 20 years of experience and expertise in the IT industry, enabling businesses to scale with its tech solutions like custom software. If you’re interested in developing your retail software, get in touch with us now.