TechsPlace | When the COVID-19 outbreak hits worldwide last December 2019, many businesses were affected due to the sudden downturn shift of the economy. As no one is prepared to witness this silent war, many companies and employees struggle to survive.
Most businesses shut down their operations while some employees were lay-off, stood down, or reduced their working hours. Despite this domino effect, the owners find the situation as an opportunity to become innovative, resilient, and resourceful to their operations.
Some companies have started venturing into various online platforms to keep their relationship with their customers intact and meet their expectations. With the right inputs and technology put into place, it will help your business thrive and endure the effects of the pandemic.
What are the different technology options applicable for your retail business?
1. The Cloud-based Platforms
A cloud-based platform refers to an operating system wherein the software and hardware functionalities co-exist remotely. It also serves as a database to keep track of the confidential information and records of the company, employees, lenders, customers, and suppliers.
You can access it anywhere, anytime, and across various devices. The users and in-house ITs usually handle the server infrastructure, data integrity, backups, and security. Some of the best examples are Slack, Google Cloud, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, etc.
2. Hosted Software Solutions
If you prefer to launch your goods and services via hosted service, you may also choose this platform. The SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS retail software solutions are under the umbrella of cloud-based applications. However, it has a different privacy, multi-tenancy, security, data integrity, and server location compared with the latter.
The best examples for this type are MailChimp, Zendesk, HubSpot, Salesforce, etc. Furthermore, the host-based software platforms have subcategories, namely SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS.
Host-based Software Solutions Subcategories
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – The most popular type of host-based solution is the SaaS. This service uses the internet to provide applications to the users such as Go to Meeting, Google, Dropbox, SalesForce, etc.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – This software solution helps the users manage the specific roles and functions on their work, such as Windows Azure, Apache Stratos, Beanstalk, etc.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Lastly, the IaaS is the highest and most expensive hosted service among the three because it focuses on AI applications. Some people call it a self-service platform because it knows how to execute the commands. Some examples are Linode, Amazon Web, Cisco Metapod, etc.
3. Social Media Services
Social media also played a vital role in helping businesses to manage their operations globally aside from providing advertising and marketing solutions. Nowadays, social media platforms have a marketplace section to welcome buyers and sellers worldwide. For example, they used Facebook and Instagram to promote and sell their products and services.
As customer behavior changes from time to time, businesses need to adopt marketplace development services to meet their customers’ demands.
Since most people spend their time scrolling on their devices daily, it is much easier to convince and attract potential customers to buy. For example, Facebook Messenger can now use automated bots to reply to customers. It helps in keeping the customer entertained and interested in your products or services.
How can the retail and e-commerce software solutions save your business?
As most people stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, it is reasonable for some people to work using practical online tools. In this way, it will keep their enterprise alive and not be affected by the COVID-19. Here are some of the benefits of online management solutions to keep your business going:
- E-commerce software solutions help businesses keep in touch with their customers and empower the owners to create websites to manage their operations in the comfort of their homes.
- You can enlist your products, track the shipments, and respond to customer queries 24/7. You can design your website and social media platforms to lure more customers in buying goods and services. You can perform updates, store backups, and keep a database virtually.
- By investing in online platforms, it can help you reach your customers easily. They do not need to visit your physical store, wear their face mask, and follow social distancing protocols. They do not need to worry about the hassle and discomfort while queuing to make an order.
As an owner, it provides you a sense of security because you can continue the work if you have devices and an internet connection. It also helps you save utility and employment costs because the e-commerce software solutions can provide you with jack-of-all-trade services from inventory management, distribution, procurement, sales, and even customer support.
If you want to join the online marketplace bandwagon, you should start planning and searching about the retail and e-commerce software solutions suitable for your business.