While “digital” may bring to mind a whole alphabet soup of acronyms—SEO, SEM, CTR, PPC and more, retailers often overlook two other acronyms that truly make a difference with margins: ERP and CRM.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software are the behind-the-scenes drivers for today’s retailers. While having strong SEO and SEM strategies can be great for bringing in customers, it’s actually ERP and CRM that enables a company to efficiently scale operations.  That’s because they smooth out thorny processes that are hard to handle manually, such as:

  • Tracking inventory and sales
  • Managing warehouses
  • Providing instant reports
  • Predicting demand for key products
  • Creating customer engagement opportunities
  • Improving customer service
  • Measuring worker productivity for balanced staffing
  • Launching customer loyalty programs
  • Detecting customer preferences to market products more effectively
  • And much more!

Here’s a quick breakdown of each software type.

CRM

CRM gives you a standardized repository for digitally collecting, recording, and cataloguing any/all customer-related information and interactions with your retail corporation, making it easy for everyone within your organization to improve customer relations, brand loyalty and profits. As an executive, you can also use an integrated CRM software solution to create sales projections for the upcoming retail seasons, quarters, or year, depending on your needs.

ERP

While a CRM system is focused on the customer, ERP focuses on reducing overhead and cutting costs in your retail business by improving the efficiency of business processes. By incorporating an ERP software solution into your digital retail business, you are able to quickly share real-time, enterprise-wide, standardized information throughout all departments. IT specialists in retail companies can implement and manage the CRM software to help provide support to internal customers so that they can, in their individual departments and divisions, more effectively do their part to provide exceptional customer service in the whole retail process. As a result, an ERP software solution enables your retail business to focus on the data and provide a digital method for streamlining processes.

Drilling Down to Digital Details

By handling all of the key details of running the business, CRM and ERP systems free up time you’d normally spend interrogating data to make decisions, assuming you even have the time to do so. Instead, you have the data right there, presented in a way that makes sense so your decisions aren’t hunches or guesses – they’re supported by the data. Overall, this makes for smoother day-to-day operations, whether it involves scheduling, purchasing, inventory or other key areas of your business.