|Rain’s cloud-based system lets retail users manage their businesses and view data from anywhere with an internet connection.|
|Rain Retail Software
Cloud-based package equips independent retailers
for omnichannel sales
A person still can’t be everywhere at once, but fortunately, a cloud computing system basically can. For retailers, that’s where Rain Retail Software comes in. Introduced in 2008, Rain’s cloud-based software became a nerve center for retail businesses, coordinating point-of-sale, e-commerce, inventory management, and other key systems that need to “talk” to each other to keep the business running effectively. A decade later, its power to integrate has made it an invaluable tool for managing the one thing many independent music retailers want most: omnichannel sales. Selling in-store and online, through mobile interfaces and third-party sales platforms, begins to look like a reality when it can all be synced through a single software package. “Our mission is to help small retailers grow in the modern retail landscape we live in,” says Sean Roylance, founder and CEO of Rain. “Retailers are constantly looking for ways to compete with Amazon and large national retailers. We give small retailers the omnichannel tools to be competitive.”
Designed for small to medium-sized specialty retailers, Rain is credited as the only software to combine point-of-sale, e-commerce, integrated inventory, rental management, service and repairs management, class management, and automated text/email in a single unified system. Because everything is linked, information can be entered just once and used across multiple areas of the business; for instance, updating inventory levels when an item rings up at point-of-sale. And because it’s based in the cloud, store owners and employees can access the system to manage the business and view data anywhere there’s an internet connection. For consumers, Rain means personal accounts, order tracking, text alerts, and more. As Roylance says, “Having all of these tools in one system eliminates the need for multiple software systems and tools that, combined, cost five times as much—and provides significant time savings for our customers.”
When it comes to omnichannel retail, Rain becomes the hub that keeps every channel up-to-date and in sync. When an item sells in-store at the point-of-sale, for example, it’s also taken out of the retailer’s e-commerce inventory, and vice versa. Importantly, that makes it impossible to “double-sell” an item, sparing the retailer from cancellations, refunds, and frustrated shoppers. Inventory levels are displayed on the store website to consumers in real time, driving foot traffic from shoppers who know the retailer has what they’re looking for. When entering a SKU into the system, retailers have the option to offer it for sale online or, for products not eligible for web orders, simply display it online so customers know it’s stocked in the showroom. The option to “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS) is also easily configured. “Our customers tell us all the time about consumers walking into their store, looking at a product on their phones, and the retailer has it right there in stock for them,” says Roylance.
In its latest updates to the system, Rain has made it easier for retailers to list new products through a catalog supplying data on more than 1 million SKUs from thousands of suppliers—complete with product images, titles, descriptions, and more. Other new features bring vendors into the loop to prevent lost sales due to out-of-stock items. Depending on the options selected, vendors can offer one-click reordering when popular SKUs run low, even integrating their own wholesale e-commerce systems to make the process seamless. When orders are placed with an integrated vendor, product titles, images, and specs can be imported automatically into the retailer’s point-of-sale.
The upshot for Rain users, says Roylance, is almost always an immediate bump in sales. According to Rain statistics, businesses record an average of 20% year-over-year sales growth after implementing Rain—and sometimes the effect is more dramatic than that. For The Chapmans’ Acoustic Shoppe, a Missouri-based retailer best known for its new and vintage guitars selection, the change was an impressive 35%. As Roylance sums up, “We are constantly enhancing and evolving our retail system to better help our customers meet the challenges of modern retailing. We hope to continue growing as we help our customers grow.”