6 key characteristics retailers should expect from a Commerce Platform
Irrespective of the sector you are in, it is clear retailing has become a lot more complex than it was a few years ago. Openbravo believes that a single cloud-based commerce platform is the best way to ensure that this complexity does not hinder business agility and your ability to innovate, which are more important than ever today.
So, I would like to talk about six key technical characteristics that every retailer should take into account when evaluating a commerce platform, and briefly mention how we have addressed these challenges in Openbravo Commerce Cloud.
Adaptability. Greater competition requires you to work harder at differentiating your retail business from your rivals. So, retailers need a platform that is able to offer very specific and unique functional requirements that can provide a competitive advantage. Loyalty programs, custom pricing and inventory replenishment procedures are just some examples of the types of specialized functionality that retailers require. In the past, the only way to offer these capabilities was by adapting your existing systems with custom code and one-off integrations. But too much customization makes systems not only hard to maintain but very difficult to modernize. Indeed, a lot of retailers have heavily customized legacy systems and they often tell us that is one of the main reasons that prevents them moving to a new system, namely, they fear the complexity such a move would involve.
So we designed Openbravo Commerce Cloud as a single integrated solution that provides a comprehensive set of standard functionalities that today’s retailers need, while also making it very easy to integrate with new technologies and systems.
Maintainability. The ability to efficiently adapt your system to specific functional requirements is very important, but it is even more important to be able to easily adopt new common functionalities delivered by your vendor. So the platform should provide a straightforward process to upgrade your system to newer versions of the software without any painful migration process. Adaptability should never conflict with maintainability. We at Openbravo believe that the way to ensure maintainability and adaptability is with a modular solution. Adaptation is done using modules that guarantee that the customization is isolated so the system can be updated frequently and smoothly. Combined together, adaptability and maintainability ensure retailers have the agility to respond quickly to fast-changing market conditions or new requirements.
Scalability. The market evolves very rapidly and so do retailers. They demand solutions than can adapt to their particular growth trajectory. For this reason, Openbravo offers a cloud-based platform that can scale to support a growing number of assortments, products and transactions. It gives them the ability to rapidly expand the number of users, stores or terminals they have as well — all without impacting the platform performance. This is one of the big advantages of a cloud-based platform like Openbravo Commerce Cloud. The cloud infrastructure is designed in such a way that applications have the room to scale up or scale out to prevent a lack of resources from hindering performance.
Security. Obviously, a retailer needs a system that is secure against cyber attacks from hackers and has robust operational controls to avoid any fraudulent activity at the point of sale or in the online transactions. Openbravo Commerce Cloud runs on the secure cloud infrastructure of one of the leading commercial cloud service providers. When it comes to operational controls, Openbravo Commerce Cloud lets you configure which users can use the system to perform specific actions as well as providing detailed tracking of actions they have performed.
Interoperability. One of the biggest concerns retailers have when adopting a new solution is whether they can continue to use their existing systems in other business areas, so enabling them to leverage their prior investments. More complex supply chains also demand the capacity to easily integrate with customers and suppliers´ systems. And with a growing number of new retail technologies, it is mandatory that the platform provides proper tools that allow you to leverage them (new payment methods, digital signage, social media integration, location-based marketing…).
Usability. The retail sector is characterized by high staff turnover rates and seasonal trading peaks that require you to constantly adjust staffing levels. So brick-and-mortar retailers need a POS system that is easy to use and requires minimal training. Openbravo has developed a mobile POS that offers the same functionality irrespective of the characteristics of the device and with a highly intuitive user interface. It enables you to train new employees in minutes, so reducing onboarding costs and increasing staff productivity.
Want to find out if Openbravo Commerce Cloud is right for your retail business? We invite you to view our interactive demonstration that will show you some of its key features.