Role of Technology in Retail

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oHow has technology changed the role of retail managers?
oHow has the technology improved retail management, not just how technology has improved? Provide specific examples. oWhat, if any, are the downsides to the technology that may present challenges to the retail manager?

Effectiveness of Technology

Consumers have many choices when deciding where to purchase their goods. While retailer managers are deciding how to win the consumer’s business and increase revenue, they are also constantly trying to figure out ways to reduce costs. Technology helps retail managers improve areas of inventory and supply chain management as well as customer satisfaction and loss prevention (Green, 2002). This paper explains how technology improves the effectiveness of retail management and has changed the role of managers. Before databases and data warehouses, business intelligence for some retail managers meant making decisions based on intuition, status quo, or mimicking the competition. Today, however, technology, like data warehouses, provides the tools for managers to make decisions based on relevant, organized data, which reduces the chances of making poor decisions (Berman & Evans, 2007). Information, when gathered, stored, and analyzed on a continuous basis reduces risk in management decision making. As an example, after implementing a real-time analysis tool, management at Staples now identifies consumer trends and makes better merchandising decisions (Berman & Evans, 2007). Without point-of-sale (POS) systems, retail managers depended on manual calculator-type entries for tallying receipts, taxes, and inventory levels. Today, POS systems automate receipts and track important information about inventory transactions. Valuable performance indicators, such as voids, price overrides, and multiple credit transactions can be retrieved from the POS and aid managers in their loss prevention efforts. Traditionally, many retailers incurred losses during the...
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