ERP in Retail
Retail ERP is a real-time software system to streamline, automate and manage front-end and back-office business processes. Retail ERP handles omnichannel point of sale (POS system), CRM, supply chain management, inventory management, pricing, sales order management, payments, sales receipts, and financial management for business transactions. ERP means enterprise resource planning.
Omnichannel includes sales from physical retail stores (brick-and-mortar), eCommerce, and other online sales channels that may require warehouses and inventory management for order fulfillment and merchandise returns.
Retail ERP vs Traditional ERP
A retail ERP system handles the specific business processes and needs of omnichannel or multi-channel retailers. In contrast, a traditional ERP system is designed to meet general business needs or the requirements of companies in other industries like manufacturing or construction. With retail ERP software, the retailer gets essential modules relating to the retail industry workflow.
Some ERPs are designed as retail ERP. If you’re considering the retail version of a traditional ERP system, you have more choices. ERP systems Acumatica, NetSuite, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and QuickBooks POS, integrated with QuickBooks Desktop accounting software, offer retail industry solutions.
To optimize a QuickBooks retail solution, consider buying QuickBooks products and services from a value-added reseller (VAR) with POS and retail experience.
Both retail ERPs and traditional ERPs have integration to work with add-on AP automation and global mass payments software. For example, Tipalti software has enabled Touch of Modern and other retailers to handle accounts payable and payments workflow and expand with limited staffing.
Top Retail ERP Software Solutions
Retail ERP Systems Designed for Retailers
The best ERP systems designed for retailers include:
- Lightspeed Retail POS
Brightpearl is a leader in retail ERP software designed for omnichannel retailers and wholesalers. Brightpearl describes its software as a Digital Operations Platform that can process thousands of orders every day. Brightpearl ERP provides eCommerce integrations with BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.
Brightpearl functionality provides:
- Sales order management
- Inventory management
- Inventory & demand planning
- Shipping & fulfillment
- Warehouse management
- Retail accounting
- Purchasing & supplier management
- Workflow automation
- Reporting & business intelligence
2. Lightspeed Retail POS
The Lightspeed retail ERP product is cloud-based software for retailers with physical stores and eCommerce businesses. Lightspeed POS is scalable enough to serve growing medium-sized retailers with multi-store locations. Third-party add-on software apps are available for Lightspeed to expand its functionality to fit specific business needs.
Lightspeed Retail ERP software includes:
- Retail point of sale (POS)
- Smart inventory management
- Flexible payment options
- Multi-stores functionality
- eCommerce integration and online store setup
Products and key features of Lightspeed Retail include:
- Appointments and automated reminders for services and personal shopping.
Traditional ERP Solutions for the Retail Industry
This analysis excludes the highest end ERP software like SAP ERP and Oracle ERP, which offer industry-specific retail ERP software besides serving many other industries. Large retailers like Home Depot and Walmart have used SAP as part of their retail software solutions.
The best traditional ERP systems used in the retail industry are:
- Epicor Propello for Retail
- Acumatica Retail-Commerce Edition
- NetSuite Omnichannel Retailing
- Infor for Retail
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce for Retail
- QuickBooks POS integrated with QuickBooks Accounting Software
1. Epicor Propello for Retail
The Epicor Propello retail ERP software includes:
- eCommerce and omnichannel
- Point of sale
- Payment processing
- Inventory management
- Analytics & reporting
- Customer management
2. Acumatica Retail-Commerce Edition
Acumatica retail and eCommerce ERP is cloud-based multi-channel software branded as its Retail-Commerce Edition for small businesses and mid-sized companies. Acumatica claims that its Retail-Commerce Edition was “built for eCommerce and retail.” Acumatica offers 24/7 customer support through Acumatica Cloud ERP.
The Acumatica Retail-Commerce Edition product offers:
- Financial management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Warehouse management system (WMS)
- Sales order management
- Customer self-service portal
- Reporting, dashboards, & data analysis toolkit
- Inventory management
- ERP business intelligence & analytics in Acumatica
- Purchase order management.
NetSuite offers a module for Omnichannel Commerce, also called SuiteCommerce, as part of its traditional ERP system. NetSuite brands itself as the #1 cloud ERP system and is often rated high in ERP software reviews. SuiteCommerce is for B2C and B2B commerce and for multi-channel and multi-location order management.
NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce key features and uses include:
- Point of sale
- Order management
- Product content management
- Customer service
4. Infor for Retail
Infor offers several types of retail industry software that it labels as Infor for Retail. Infor cloud-based product solutions used by in-store and eCommerce retailers, including:
- Demand Management (using ML and AI)
- Infor Nexus (supply chain business network platform)
- Infor Talent Science (talent analytics using big data)
- Infor EAM (asset management software)
- Infor WMS (warehouse management system)
- Infor HCM (human capital management)
- Infor Financials and Supply Chain Management
- Infor PLM For Fashion (product lifecycle management)
5. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce for Retail
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is modern cloud ERP software for multiple industries. The Commerce solution for mid-sized to large omnichannel retailers is a scalable solution that accommodates retail business growth and handles global business issues. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce includes AI-driven features that improve customer relationships and engagement.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce includes these key features:
- End-to-end unified omnichannel and retail platform
- Add-ons for AI-driven intelligent shopping recommendations, including real-time eCommerce
- Native support for omnichannel purchasing
- Unified view of customers across channels
Retailers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce include Columbia and Dr. Martens.
6. QuickBooks POS integrated with QuickBooks Accounting Software
Startups and small to mid-market businesses with smaller budgets can consider QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) integrated with on-premises and optionally remotely hosted QuickBooks Desktop accounting software as a retail management solution. QuickBooks POS natively syncs some fields to QuickBooks Desktop as an End-of-Day procedure from the menu. If you want to use QuickBooks Online accounting software, you can integrate a third-party add-on app that syncs QuickBooks POS with QuickBooks Online in near real-time.
Why is Retail ERP Important?
Using a retail ERP system is important for a retail business because the software operates in real-time and provides needed functionality for retail business processes and workflows. Retailers can review profitability at the SKU or item level.
Retail ERP lets employees check status at any time, including inventory levels, and provides ERP features for forecasting sales demand. Inventory status in real-time makes it easier for retailers to keep inventory in stock and avoid missed sales.
With retail ERP, retail companies:
- Order inventory
- Conduct business through multiple sales channels
o including physical retail stores and integrated web stores for online retailers
- Optimize customer experience
- Contact customers, and
- Perform the functions of:
- Inventory management,
- Business intelligence,
- Financial management, and
- Human resources (HR) functions.
Conclusion – Retail ERP Software
We explained the retail ERP software meaning, the role of ERP in retail and its retail industry benefits, what differentiates retail ERP systems like Brightpearl from traditional ERP systems, and why retail ERP is important. And we provided examples of retail ERP systems and traditional ERP systems with industry-specific retail solutions.
Choosing the best ERP for your retail business depends on whether you accept the premise that an ERP system designed for retail with its multiple sales channels is the best solution. Or would you widen your consideration of systems to include industry-specific retail solutions from traditional ERP companies to meet your business needs?