4 Affordable Technology Ideas for Your Small Business
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Posted by Sarah B. on March 7, 2017 in Merchant Focus

Technology is advancing at break neck speed throughout every industry, and the retail industry is no exception. At the National Retail Federation BIG Show this year the floor was full of cutting edge advancements in tech and the educational sessions focused on the newest innovations.

 

While it’s interesting to hear about the new products, it’s not always attainable for small businesses considering the price of some of the leading edge technology. However, we kept our retail customers in mind and have compiled a list of some of the newest, and most interesting, technology that won’t break your budget.

 

  1. Website—Having a beautiful website that can be accessed from mobile is a non-negotiable in this day and age. 81% of shoppers research online before buying. This means most of the time the consumer knows what they want and why before even reaching your store. Through your website you can curate your own corner of the internet and ensure your customers, and potential customers, get an accurate representation of your business and the products you sell. It’s not enough to just have a website; it needs to show people who you are. There are numerous website creating software’s that make building a great looking website a breeze.
  2. RFID—This isn’t new, but RFID technology is now at the point it is affordable to most business owners. The use cases for RFID are nearly limitless. Shoplifting and shrinkage are perennial concerns for small businesses and attaching RFID to high value items will allow you to track where these items are in your store and signal you of potential theft. Marketing can also be enhanced by RFID tracking like in this campaign.
  3. Chatbots—These robots talk back, and in real time too! Chatbots can be used for several purposes such as: responding to customer inquiries, getting feedback on products, or suggesting products to customers. Consumers are expecting essentially immediate responses on social media. While you live and breathe your business you don’t have time to respond 24/7, but robots do. Chatbots can respond to messages on Facebook automatically to give your customers the information they need or to say when you will be back in to the office if the bot does not have the information it needs to generate an automated response. Setting up a chatbot to collect feedback is another useful application. They can aggregate information from consumers about the items they purchase to better provide you information
  4. Data Backups—Losing your data is not something a business can easily handle. Backing up your information on an external hard drive or with a software system is a sound investment. As you start the process of backing up your data keep the following in mind: backup any information you would be upset to lose, have more than one backup for your most important data, do not house all of your backups in the same location. But, don’t keep the backup in your office. If you lose your office in a fire and your external hard drive is in your desk drawer it will be gone along with your PC.

 

Not all tech updates need to be huge disruptors in your business. Taking advantage of the smaller cheaper options can make a big difference in your operation.

 

This post was written by Beth L. Beth L. is a Regulatory Affairs Analyst at Acuity where she specializes in researching regulations, understanding statutes, and working with compliance.. She studied regulation, policy, environmental studies, and business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Beth has received degrees in in public administration and environmental policy and planning, and also has a certification in environmental sustainability in business. Outside of work Beth likes to run, cook, and play with her dog, Butter.

Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.


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Posted By: Aaron S. on December 1, 2017 in Merchant Focus
There is no doubt that small business owners are busy people. Your business takes up nearly every free minute and the tasks never seem to end. During the holiday season, all of this gets magnified, and it can become more difficult to manage.