Touchretail is a modern retail platform which develops tools that provides solutions for various different needs in retail, including EPOS, stock control, accounts, eCommerce connects and CRM. The platform is used by independent retailers all over the UK, from start up businesses to national companies, and is a perfect example of a fully integrated platform which meets the needs of its users.
We met with David Powell, Sales Director of Touchretail, to see what challenges the business faces and how they are adapting to the changing needs of their user base.
Can you give us a breakdown of how the company began and the vision of the founders?
Touchretail was formed to develop leading edge retail management software for the SME sector. The vision of the founders was to provide excellent customer support aligned to helping retailers to move from legacy or manual systems to Touchretail’s new and constantly evolving systems.
“The vision [of the founders] was to provide excellent customer support… and constantly evolving systems.”
Touchretail are very well known in the fashion sector, do you have many clients outside of this sector? If so, what are the other leading sectors who use your services?
Fashion is a huge sector of retail when you think of the breadth of retailers this encompasses, to include footwear, sportswear and childrenswear. Touchretail have always had a strong presence in Department Stores, with over 40 independent department stores as clients. Our TRIMS platform has been developed with a flexible product attribute structure so that we can attract non-fashion retailers. We are already gaining some traction with Home Interiors and Toy retailers.
What are the typical size of the companies who use your platform?
Our traditional clients have typically been the ‘indie’ with a couple of stores and integrated e-commerce. However new modules in TRIMS provide great stock management for the multi-store retailer and we are having success with the mini-chain businesses with warehouse, around 10 stores and integrated e-commerce.
How far has the platform grown from the initial first launch?
One of the exciting and at the same time frustrating aspects of the business we are in is that you can never stand still. As our company expands organically we are developing faster and producing better technology every year. All 3 fronts (back office inventory, e-commerce fulfilment and instore POS) are evolving at an incredible pace.
What are the major concerns for the businesses that contact you and how does Touchretail fix these issues?
“I would say that reliable e-commerce integration is the biggest concern for the businesses that contact Touchretail.”
I would say that reliable e-commerce integration is the biggest concern for the businesses that contact Touchretail. Most retailers already have an EPOS system in place, so most of our business involves replacing legacy systems – and the reason we replace them is because their e-commerce interface is imperfect or outdated, causing the retailer to have websales fulfilment issues. Touchretail have always focused on the real-time sales and stock updating across the retail enterprise. We have developed a range of Connectors, which provides reassurance to our customers that they can change their website or even their web developer without interruption to the service they provide.
As a leader in integrated EPOS platforms, how have you tackled the changes from desktop to mobile?
Most retailers still prefer the desktop for intensive data entry, but they want reports and enquiries on their mobile devices. TRIMS Vision is an HTML5 app so is platform-independent – the retail manager can access data from any device, whether it is IOS, Android or Windows. TRIMS Vision also has a report scheduler so automated reports are emailed to specified recipients so you don’t even have to access any system to be updated regularly.
Instore mobile developments include POS on Bluetooth tablets and receipts by email.
How scalable is the platform?
“Scalability and flexibility were the two principles that we designed the TRIMS platform on right from the start.”
Scalability and flexibility were the two principles that we designed the TRIMS platform on right from the start. We can do a lot of clever stuff using store grading for targeted stock replenishments, but TRIMS still has to work as a simple and intuitive package for the busy independent who does the buying, merchandising and retail management.
Your new TRIMS platform has some great features, what were the major upgrades from the previous platform?
Most legacy systems have limitation of some form on the database structure or number of fields or size of fields. So when we designed TRIMS we were keen to make it:
Which Ecom platforms does Touchretail tap into?
TRIMS has a specific Magento Connector – used by over 30 existing clients. The TRIMS API is used by web developers for integration with many other platforms, including:
Is there anything new on the horizon for Touchretail?
Three main areas really:
For more information on the services Touchretail provides and how they can help your independent business, check out the Touchretail website.