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If you’re thinking of taking your bricks and mortar store online, there has never been a better time. Now integration between Meridian EPOS (Ireland’s leading EPOS system) and Shopify (The leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce web platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses) has never been easier.
Surprisingly, many of Ireland’s leading “bricks and mortar” stores still don’t have an online store and are missing out significantly on this important and growing channel. Every hour, it is estimated that there is €850,00 spent online in Ireland*. Unfortunately, 84% of online sales are to websites located outside of Ireland*. And while 72% of of Irish SMEs have websites, only 30% of these can process orders online*.
More and more, retailers are being encouraged to practice an omnichannel approach (an approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store). Many retailers are reluctant to embark on this journey however, fearing the time and perceived costs involved in making this happen. However, if we’ve learned anything from the Covid crisis in 2020, it is that those with an omnichannel approach have coped and adapted best with the obvious challenges they faced.
Traditionally, the time and cost of implementing an online retail channel was significant, however, today, thanks to increased and better technology, these are nothing like those faced in the past. Also, in their desire for businesses to embrace online sales channels, the Irish government and many of its development agencies, have and continue to give significant grant aid to support companies in this regard.
In moving to online retail, what is critical is that your system is integrated. This is where OMNISHOP from Retail Integration comes in. It is vital that your current EPOS system, which manages your day to day sales transactions, stock control, ordering and reporting, talks to your online retail system. If the two systems aren’t integrated and don’t talk to each other, you will find it very difficult to manage the process, particularly if you have many SKUs, and this will result in stock outs, back orders and very irate customers. The perfect solution is an integrated system, where your EPOS and Online systems work in perfect harmony together, thanks to OMNISHOP. Finally, at the entry level of the market, there is a solution that achieves that objective; that solution is Meridian EPOS and Shopify.
* Source: Conor Cochrane, Social Media Elite, speaking at Retail Excellence Ireland Webinar #2 – Trade On – Short Term Strategies, 6th May 2020
Meridian EPOS is Ireland’s leading EPOS system, developed by Retail Integration in Dublin. It is a feature rich, yet easy-to-use EPOS system designed for retailers by retailers with fully integrated point of sale, back office, head office and e-commerce functionality.
Whether you are a single-site store or a multi-site retailer Meridian will continually record, save and analyse information in relation to every aspect of your business. In today’s competitive retailing environment successful retailers win by making informed decisions faster than their competitors. The information Meridian can provide you with will ensure that you will make intelligent business decisions enhancing customer retention, management and ultimately the profitability of your business.
Our passion and experience in retail ensures that our customers have all the functionality they need to run their businesses effectively. Through Meridian we give the sector everything they need – flexible ordering/inter-branch transfers, full line of sight on stock across the entire estate, extensive reporting – including real-time smart phone app, integrated gift card management, product labelling & barcoding, integration with a vast array of web platforms, and a whole lot more – all backed up with the experience of working in the sector for over 20 years.
Retailers, of course, also want a fast, efficient, friendly, responsive, reliable and local customer service. And that’s what they get first time and every time from Retail Integration.
Shopify is the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce web platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. With over 1,000,000 merchants worldwide choosing Shopify it is an obvious consideration for retailers wanting to sell online. It is the all-in-one commerce platform to start, run, and grow a business.
Shopify has grown from 5 people in a coffee shop to over 5,000 across the globe. With over 1 million businesses powered by Shopify, the company cares about the work they do. They are constant learners who thrive on change and seek to have an impact in everything they do.
Shopify, in it’s most basic form, is an online store template. Unlike some other store web platforms, Shopify hosts the store on the customer’s behalf on its own servers but the customer has full control over maintaining the store.
Meridian EPOS is the best choice of EPOS in Ireland. It gives the retailer unrivaled control over it’s point of sale, back office, stock control and reporting. Shopify is the best choice for developing an online store, quickly and easily, especially for small and medium sized enterprises. Putting the two together just gives you the edge. It facilitates a relatively quick and easy route from bricks and mortar to online; it ensures that the two channels are completely in sync with one another; it puts the retailer in control; and it offers the customer more choice. Frankly, the question should be why not Meridian EPOS and Shopify?
Specify in Meridian which products from your Bricks and Mortar store you want to sell Online and Meridian will map these in Shopify, with any associated codes and product descriptions. You will just need to add product photographs.
All the variants or product options you have created in Meridian (e.g. Size & Colour Matrix) will automatically feature in the product selections in Shopify.
The most obvious result of the integration is that you can now transact online, and the sale of these items will automatically download to Meridian.
When a sale is fulfilled online, Meridian is automatically updated and syncs data with Shopify. The two systems, while separate, are perfectly in sync.
Stock levels are constantly maintained between Meridian EPOS and Shopify and ensure that you know your stock levels and are fully in control.
Any changes to products that you make in Meridian, such as price, stock, code, etc. will be reflected in Shopify
All web sales will be reported on through Meridian as if they had taken place in a physical store and can be analysed or consolidated as required.
Before you embark on your online and EPOS integration journey, talk to us. We have lots of experience and can provide invaluable advice, ultimately saving you the effort.
You will need to decide on the type of Shopify plan you wish to use. This usually necessitates a small monthly fee. The account setup is simple and we can help with this.
We take your existing data in Meridian, including product descriptions, stock levels, variations, and more, convert it, and seamlessly export it to Shopify using Omnishop*.
Now you can trade in an omnichannel environment, confident that your systems are fully integrated so changes made in Meridian will also happen in Shopify.
* Note: The initial Omnishop integration between Meridian and Shopify is a one-off process and once in place your online and offline activity will be fully in sync. Some ongoing maintenance of the system is required however it is not difficult or time consuming.
As part of the initial setup and configuration of the Shopify website we will assist with the mapping of the product attributes to the web-site tags (identifiers) and show you how to maintain your web products through Meridian going forward. Once the website is active you will be responsible for maintaining the web products through Meridian going forward.
The flow of data is the other way around. You maintain your web products in Meridian and this web file uploads to your website, so all price changes or changes of any type are done in Meridian.
For the full integration of your Meridian EPOS system, the OMNISHOP solution is with a Shopify site, however we have numerous clients that operate different website platforms. In these instances the client will have a third-party company managing the website for them. We provide the files for the website in the format that the third-party company requires (usually CSV or XML format)
The third-party will be responsible for the importing of the files into the website system and also for producing the subsequent order files for us to collect.
Usually the web orders will be collected and processed on a specified PC/Laptop or till running the Meridian EPOS system.
If you have any additional questions please just fill in the contact form below and we will respond to your query as quickly as possible.
We are very conveniently located on the outskirts of South Dublin, with very close proximity to the M50 and Airport. As such we can be with you, wherever you are located very quickly. Equally, if you would like to drop into us, we are easy to find and have ample, free parking just outside our door.
Do you want to know more about Meridian EPOS software integration with Shopify? Is is time for you to move your Bricks and Mortar Store online? Would you like someone from Retail Integration to arrange for a call out or demonstration?
For answers to these questions and more just complete this contact form and we will respond almost immediately!