A look at which apps can make life a little easier for retail businesses

12 useful apps for retailers

Running a retail business can be time consuming and involve a lot of paperwork. For those who need to spend time out of the office, are looking for a paper-free working environment, or simply want a more efficient way of managing their business, PCR takes a look at which apps can make life a little easier.

Whether it’s safely sharing important documents, creating spreadsheets or viewing business transactions, there’s an array of apps available to help business owners take a big chunk of their day-to-day workload out of the office.

Google (from £3.30) offers professional email services, online storage, shared calendars and video meetings, enabling users to share documents and carry out meetings via smartphone or tablet.

Microsoft has released a number of its Office products in app form, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Documents can be viewed for free, with those who already own an Office 365 subscription (starting at £7.99) able to create and edit files.

Sage also has a number of free apps allowing business owners to access invoice and sales orders, immediately respond to customers, and manage employees.

Keeping an eye on your inventory can be done on-the-go with the apps that are now available to retailers and businesses. This means less time is spent finding products and the apps allow users to see when inventory levels are low.

On Shelf (free) is designed to help optimise inventory levels, with a focus on finding out which items are selling well and which products are the most profitable.

Inventory Scanner (free) turns your iPhone into a barcode scanner and saves all of the collected data in its integrated database.

Some UK tech distributors have decided to extend their services to mobile devices to help retailers keep up-to-date with the latest IT news and order products on the go.

Exertis Micro-P has a free iOS app offering its customers vendor product data sheets, current stock levels and the ability to place orders.

Entatech’s Entaonline app (free) gives its customers access to their accounts and offers features including a barcode product search, order history, live personalised pricing and the option to contact their Entatech account manager.

Whether you’re wanting to protect devices from malicious links or make sure employees are not using their work phone or tablet for inappropriate content, many of the major security vendors have standalone apps available, as well as ones that complement their software.

Kaspersky has a standalone Safe Browser app (free), which helps filter out undesirable content.

If you have a BullGuard account, you can extend your protection by installing BullGuard Mobile Security (free) onto an iPhone or iPad to keep track of the device’s location at all times.

Symantec has an app called Norton Hotspot Privacy (free), which is designed to safeguard your devices when using public Wi-Fi.

Making sure payments are conducted smoothly, and keeping secure records of them, is an important part of any business. There are now a number of apps that can help speed up a customer’s payment process, as well as store transaction data.

PayPal Here (free) from eBay is arguably the most talked about payment app for retailers. Users can accept Visa, MasterCard and Maestro debit and credit cards, get paid with PayPal, track cash and cheque payments and issue invoices through a mobile device.

Invoice2Go (free) features over 20 invoice styles and gives the users the option to include a PayPal button to take advantage of the payment service.

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