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/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/275100_l_srgb_s_gl_285976.jpg“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now…”

Every time I think about the term “real-time retail,” I think about those lyrics from the rock band Queen. That’s because busy consumers, like me, know exactly what we want, and we expect to get it for the best price as fast as possible. To meet our demands, retailers want to know what products and services we need, before we even know, so they can be the first to market, optimize inventory, and offer competitive pricing.

With analytics solutions that provide instant access to consumer, sales, and promotions data, retailers can gain real-time insight into what is and isn’t selling, how promotions are performing, and how external factors and competitive pricing are impacting demand. And they can put that information into the hands of merchandising, marketing, and sales staff, so they can make faster, more informed decisions that drive profitable growth.

Is becoming a real-time retailer easier said than done?

Although there are numerous analytics solutions available to retailers, getting them up and running without going over budget can be a challenge. Luckily, software companies are addressing this issue by offering rapid-deployment solutions that include preconfigured software and implementation services for a fixed cost and timeframe. Considering that 54% of typical implementation projects run over time and 56% run over budget, according to an infographic from SAP, rapid-deployment solutions are a welcome alternative to many retailers looking to save time and money.

Realizing the benefits of real-time retail quickly and cost-effectively

By combining software with implementation services, rapid-deployment solutions can be up and running in weeks, instead of months – or 12 weeks for an average rapid-deployment project versus 52 weeks for an average IT project, according to SAP. That’s because rapid-deployment solutions include:

  • Preconfigured software
  • Implementation services
  • Best-practice content and templates
  • End-user training materials

Since rapid-deployment solutions are offered with a fixed scope, cost, and timeline, SAP reports that companies are spending “40% less time and effort compared with traditional implementations.” And that translates into reduced costs and a faster ROI.

For more interesting statistics on the benefits of rapid-deployment solutions, and to learn about SAP Rapid Deployment solutions available from SAP Consulting, read “Create an Enhanced Shopping Experience with Help from Rapid-Deployment Solutions for Retail.”

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