Ian Goldman, CEO
This year will see the amalgamation of two of the biggest winter holidays with Hanukkah beginning from Christmas Eve, which means retailers need to brace themselves for the biggest shopping rush of the year. “For most retailers, the fourth quarter accounts for at least 40 percent of their total annual revenue. Holiday season performance can easily make or break the year,” begins Ian Goldman, CEO of Celerant Technology. One of the biggest challenges during the holiday season is retail planning, and that’s aggravated by the dynamic behavior of today’s omnichannel consumers. “While it’s important to look back at strategies that fed the sales as retailers plan ahead, it’s vital to account for business and industry changes to avoid becoming ‘holiday leftovers,’” says Goldman. Founded in 1999 by tech gurus Ian and Rob Goldman along with their partner, John Heiser, Celerant was built from the ground up to help retailers easily manage every component of their operation through a single integrated platform. From the first line of code to the most recent system updates, Celerant’s retail management solutions put the power of scalable enterprise class technology into the hands of mid-market and small retailers alike with user-friendly interfaces at accessible price points.
The solutions on offer are effortlessly customizable to the inimitable needs of specific business models and verticals, giving retailers the best tools to gratify the most perceptive customers throughout their omnichannel shopping journeys. Armed with strong back-end reporting capabilities and visibility into centralized inventory levels, Celerant provides real-time intelligence that empowers retailers to make the best decisions that can optimize their operations. The company gives single and multi-location retailers access to the same functionalities that easily scale with growth. Celerant’s technology integrates POS, warehouse, sales back office, inventory management, data mining, mail order/catalog and E-Commerce operations with advanced features like abandoned cart recovery, channel partner integration, best store fulfillment, loyalty club management, CRM, and mobile POS.
Speed is the Key this Holiday Season
Celerant provides real-time intelligence that empowers retailers to make the best decisions that can optimize their operations
One of the requirements during a holiday season is speeding up the checkout process—scan it and bag it. This can be achieved with a foolproof Point-of-Sale (POS) system with the option of accepting payments anywhere in the store. Celerant offers a flexible and powerful POS tool for omnichannel retailers. With an easy-to-use interface, customers can check out quickly using multiple secure payment methods— EMV/chip cards, Apple Pay, and Android Pay—that also offer retailers the choice to view and ship products from other stores in real-time.
Through Celerant’s POS, retailers can offer everything the customers want at their POS screen. They also have the flexibility to create gift registries, special orders, accept coupons and gift cards, mange memberships and loyalty rewards, provide layaway and shipping options, and generate gift receipts. All the transactions are completed in real-time and sales data is reflected immediately throughout the entire enterprise. With increasing customer traffic, accessibility is also key and Celerant gives the convenience of accessing the POS from anywhere via any tablet or smartphone, and across a wide-range of platforms including Linux, UNIX, Windows, and Macintosh.
This season, brick-and-mortar retailers should expect the majority of their shoppers to be armed with mobile devices that enable them to read reviews, check product availability and conduct price comparisons on the fly. “There is a significant increase in conversion rates from smartphones. Shoppers are not only researching products on the sales floor, they are purchasing from the competitors too,” adds Goldman.
In order to cater to online customers, Celerant offers a unique e-commerce experience to retailers. The system is fully configurable and gives retailers the control to display their items according to their needs or the trend. The power behind Celerant’s e-commerce solution is its seamless integration capabilities, which has been designed by their talented team of web specialists, built with the consumer in mind.
Stratification and Customization
Goldman also notes that holiday shoppers are deluged with advertisements, and it can be difficult for retailers to be heard. “Mass messaging is completely worthless to the vast majority of millennial consumers, who rely on social media shares and recommendations from friends to make purchase decisions. The best way to reach all customers— and the only way to reach some—is through customized messaging delivered directly to their inboxes and social media feeds,” he adds.
The company offers a robust CRM suite built into its retail platform which tracks all customer and sales data from every retail channel including in-store and online. With this data, retailers can increase sales and customer loyalty by sending personalized marketing promotions and rewarding their most frequent shoppers. With Celerant’s CRM, retailers can adapt retail operations according to the changing trends and preferences of their consumers—analyze buying patterns, track sales, identify profit opportunities, and personalize marketing campaigns that give each customer a unique shopping experience.
Readily Available Planned Inventory
Black Friday no longer marks the beginning of holiday shopping. Most experts agree it actually begins as early as Veterans Day, so the retailers need to make sure their inventory is readily available by early on. “Omnichannel fulfillment also plays an important role in smoothing hiccups in merchandise location, so be sure the capability to fulfill from any inventory source is available for holiday orders,” adds Goldman.
Celerant’s inventory management tools help retailers operate more efficiently by keeping track of inventory levels without the need to enter data manually. The system produces up-to-the-minute reports to help allocate goods to the stores that need them the most. With Celerant’s inventory management, retailers can maintain real-time inventory control throughout the channels and locations. They can also keep stock replenished with automated reordering, forecast inventory through analytics, and leverage vendors and third-parties to fulfill and drop ship orders.
With the holiday season knocking at the door, Goldman’s final thought turns toward how consumers have become savvier than ever, and are researching, comparing, and converting all over the map. “The upcoming holiday season will reward retailers that target and serve these empowered shoppers the right way—and punish those that don’t,” concludes Goldman.