Dashboard OSMThis innovative cloud-based software solution is designed for small and medium-sized online retailers. Howard Hirsch and Mike Kulczyckyj, the founders of their company, started it as an online retailer selling on Amazon, EBay and their own site. Their company grew and they discovered that there weren’t any software programs available to fulfill all their needs as an independent online retailer. Kulczyckyj says that all of them are very expensive, difficult to use, and take a portion of your sales. We wanted a new program. “I have a background as a computer scientist, so I went for it.”
The program integrates seamlessly with Amazon, EBay and QuickBooks. You can manage all aspects of your business through one platform. It includes customer relationship management modules to address customer service issues, as well as employee management features that track hours, vacation time and productivity. To simplify the shipping and packing process, Dashboard stores all your orders in one place. Dashboard improves productivity by eliminating human error. It also decreases time and effort required to track inventory across all online stores. The software automatically calculates the best shipping option for each order. It is compatible with Amazon Fulfillment. Dashboard OSM also allows clients to provide feedback and create custom reports.
Dashboard OSM’s efficiency allows retailers to reduce their staffing requirements. Kulczyckyj says that the software reduces labor costs by up to 80%. One of our clients, who shipped hundreds of items daily, used to have six employees working on orders from listing through shipping. He can now run his business with just two employees thanks to this software. They saved at least $100,000 annually on the salaries of four to five employees.
Dashboard not only saves labor costs but also allows business owners to spend more time on the important things, such as growing their business and finding new products. We have found that once you use the software, you will never go back to anything else. It’s always available on the website.
Dashboard OSM now offers a 60-day free trial to qualified customers. Dashboard charges one monthly flat rate after the trial. Dashboard is a software package that does not charge a percentage of sales. Instead, it allows you to grow your business without additional fees.
Are small retailers winning the mobile game?
The retail industry was rocked by 2007’s events. Consumers began to use their smart mobile phones to find the best solutions to their lifestyle needs. The need was what defined “best”, whether it was the most convenient, least expensive, unique or any combination thereof. Consumers no longer have to limit themselves to the four walls of a store. They can access an entire world of options. Even if they were not planning to shop in the store, consumers could search the Web for the best products and read reviews. They could also get input from others via social media, compare prices, and find the best availability and price for their chosen product. “Omnichannel retailing” was created.
Retail Systems Research’s latest report sought to answer the following question: Are consumers and retailers aligned? What’s the value of mobile technology as a part of the shopping experience?
The majority of retailers now recognize that mobile devices are used by consumers before, during and after shopping. This includes while they’re roaming around the store. Although showrooming remains a problem for retailers, it is rare to hear them talk about “wrapping” the store with tin foil to block cellular and wide-area access to the Web. Many retailers are instead trying to make it easier to consumers to use theirwifi service, so they can engage with consumers while browsing in the digital area, or more likely, to gauge consumer demand.
Figure 1 below shows the increase in acceptance by retailers of mobile behavior from consumers over the past year (2015 to 2016).
It is not difficult to believe that smart mobile devices are used by consumers to search for the right products or services. Respondents to our survey overwhelmingly believed that mobile devices are being used by consumers to access valuable content both before and after they visit the store. Although showrooming remains a problem, click & collect is seen as a viable option.
Hard-goods merchants (which include electronics retailers) are the most aware of how consumers use their mobile devices in and before they go to the store. They are also most concerned about whether consumers will be engaging in showrooming. Retailers are not surprised that most consumers don’t use their mobile phones while shopping in stores. Perhaps they believe that visual appeal is more important than content.
These differences are fascinating, but the bottom line is that retail stores know that mobile devices are used by consumers to browse for products and likely to do more. Although stores still make sales for most retailers, digital channels – which are accelerated by mobile consumer technologies – enable those sales.
The Story of the Winners: Digital Channels Converge
RSR’s February 2016 E-Commerce benchmark report, Digital Divergence, revealed that digital convergence is not yet possible. It takes just a few minutes to walk through the online channels of a retailer’s website and see how disconnected their digital strategy is. But the intention is evident….” Further evidence shows that retailers agree that consistency is key to success.
We saw a shift in attitudes among retailers about mobile use by consumers. In 2015, 46% agreed that consistency across all devices was important. Now, however, a strong majority (58%) agree that it is. Because it suggests that retailers no longer view mobile as an independent entity from their entire digital offering, the notion of consistency across digital platforms has become important.
We can see this is a Winners’ story by looking at the responses. 73% of the top-performing retailers believe consistency is key to their success, as opposed to 48% of all respondents. We find that Retail Winners, or over-performers, don’t just do things better. They also tend to do things differently. They think differently. They think differently. They react differently. Mobile is a different story. Winners were much more aggressive in trying everything before they settled on the best mobile offer.
The report confirmed that the jury is still out on whether a mobile platform, a downloadable consumer application, or an E-Commerce platform responsive to the device accessing it is the best approach. Most Winners have tried them all. This is indicative that Winners are more open to experimentation than less successful competitors. Second, it’s still early days in mobilizing the sales environment.
Retailers in all performance categories know that they must act quickly – consumers have high expectations and are not willing to tolerate inconsistency. Today’s retail environment is all about “Easier than to ignore”. This is key to gaining consumer loyalty.
The Small Retailers’ Dilemma
Survey responses show that smaller retailers feel the most pain regarding consumer mobile offerings. They feel the most pain than any other group of respondents, and they are not only struggling to meet consumer expectations, but they also have a much less clear understanding of what consumers want from a mobile presence.
There are stark differences in the revenues of the largest retailers (>$5B) and smaller retailers, $250M. The largest retailers are most concerned about the privacy of their customers and how they use their data. However, their smaller retail counterparts don’t have that concern. Small retailers are more concerned that consumers expect mobile shopping to be part of their shopping experience. However, large retailers have already implemented mobile solutions while smaller retailers do not.
Another difference in the responses to that concern reinforces this line of thinking: While more than half of the largest retailers expressed concerns that they were seeing “significant online traffic from mobile sources” and needed to respond, only one-third of smaller retailers worried about that. Meanwhile, twice as many smaller retailers are concerned about “we don’t know what customers value in a mobile offering” as the largest retailers.
It is clear that the bigger the retailer, the more likely they are to have something already in place to deliver a digital experience. Small retailers are in a different situation. They know what they need, but don’t know how to get it.
Small Retailers Get Moving
Small retailers have a huge opportunity right now. Because they are smaller than larger chains and operate fewer stores, small retailers can leverage their agility to incorporate mobile solutions into their shopping experience.
This means that their employees will be more relevant to customers in-store, who have been outgunned technologically for a long time. It also means that stores can offer more customer-facing benefits by leveraging the devices they already love and own. It means that stores can be more attractive places to shop. This research shows that small retailers are missing out on a window of opportunity. They are too afraid to take risks. Now is the time to implement bold, new ideas or at least pilot them.