Impact of Information Technology on the Retail Sector in PakistanZainab Khan
Information technology has transformed almost every sector and it is creating the same waves in the retail sector worldwide as well. The world is moving from retail to e-tail and this has led to overlooking the traditional retail sector. If the focus is laid on Pakistan’s retail sector, a huge gap has emerged in the form of the situation where leading hyper stores and departmental stores and transforming their systems with the changing information technology dynamics.
Pakistan has almost 2.2million retail outlets and most of them are following the old retail practices because they do not have enough resources to upgrade their retail management system.
From cash management to inventory management, information technology has become an integral part of the retail sector. It offers efficiency and enhanced productivity because the retailer does not have to spend time on making the list and calculating it on the calculator. Certainly, it is essential to adopt advanced technological tools in order to generate more revenue and provide great services to consumers. Gone are the days when the retailers had to set the money in different drawers and keep a record of all the sales. Now, with POS and cash management systems, all a retailer has to do it scan the code and manage the money. Things have changed with the advancement in information technology and they will further transform each sector and it is important for the retailers to get this technology in order to have a more impactful business strategy. Where a number of stores are moving towards QR codes and online payments, there are a number of general and kiryana stores that are still following the old techniques of cash management due to lack of resources.
The concept of plastic money is more prevalent than ever and consumers prefer paying from their debit and credit cards instead of carrying money.
However, there are many retailers who cannot afford debit/credit card machines. Every business depends on the facilities being provided to the consumers and this is the reason why it is essential to keep your retail business updated. Moreover, companies need to understand that retailer is also an integral part of their sales and distribution system and they cannot accomplish their sales target without them. Companies must take initiatives to inform and educate the local retailers about the upcoming IT devices that can make their system more efficient and productive.
If a consumer has to spend 15-20 minutes in the line waiting for his bill, he might not show up again.
Such retailers can get electronic cash registers because they are inexpensive as compared to other technological devices. However, this does not help in customer tracking, a sales record, automated purchasing, etc. Advanced POS systems are playing a decisive role in the retail sector as they allow the retailer to have a check on out-of-stock products and available inventory. In addition to it, a retailer can track customer history and sales records. Fast checkouts and time-saving systems can enhance the level of service delivery as well. Customer loyalty programs have become possible due to information technology and an advanced POS system can help you in narrowing down the consumer names for your loyalty programs.
Information technology is paving way for unique and creative ideas. New innovative ideas are creating possibilities linked to business expansion. Moreover, IT has made tracking inventory, enhanced reports and multi-channel integration possible. The retail management systems have upgraded many businesses and it is continuing to make positive impacts in the retail sector. IT has paved the way for integrated retail business and it can play a pivotal role in establishing a communication channel between the company and the retailer.
The introduction of a new app could help establish a direct communication mechanism between the retailers and companies which will enhance the productivity of the entire sector and will resolve the issues faced by the retailers.