In 2015, even the smallest businesses will branch out and find customers in new ways.
Brick and mortar, ecommerce, events, Amazon and other marketplaces, trade shows. Get used to this word: “omnichannel”.
If you just used one of these last year, use two this year. If you used two, now’s the time to try numbers three and four.
Business owners need to make sure that the new tools they start using in 2015 can take them in the right direction for years to come.
At first this sounds like old news. “Find new customers in new ways” isn’t exactly a business revolution.
So why is this year different? The tools are just that much better. It looks like software companies did a lot of building in 2014 and it’s easier than ever for businesses to grow new sales channels.
Certain business wishes used to be impossible (or impossibly expensive), but are now accessible to small growing businesses:
- I want to sell in person and online. With one inventory.
- I want to manage my in-store inventory and my online sales in one place, but I have complicated retail needs.
- I want to stay in touch with my customers, no matter how they found me.
- I want to send my team to events far away, but I want to know exactly who sold what at what time.
The list goes on and we hope to cover this trend in much greater detail throughout the next few months.
The main takeaway for a new or growing business is this:
Your software may not be with you forever, but it should be with you for at least a couple of years. And the next couple of years are going to be huge for innovative retail software.
So don’t just focus on the features you need today.
Make sure that any software you buy in 2015 is part of a growing ecosystem — that it at least links to one other piece of software. And preferably, that it is part of a greater ecosystem that will help your business for years to come.