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Home Blog SAP For Retail Industry: How SAP ERP Is Transforming the Shopping Experience

SAP For Retail Industry: How SAP ERP Is Transforming the Shopping Experience

SAP for retail

The success of any retail business depends mainly on how efficiently the processes are managed. Retail companies worldwide are successful because they have found out the secret to managing their business process and operations skillfully. However, in this era, when retail businesses are generating huge data across all of their branches globally, it becomes impossible to manage the processes manually. This is where SAP comes in. 

SAP is the market leader when it comes to ERP software. Established in 1972, it caters to reputed retail businesses like Walmart, Loblaw Companies Limited, and Home Depot Canada. But that’s not all! SAP offers a variety of ERP software so that both large and small companies can afford it – both from a financial and organizational point of view.

SAP For Retail Industry: What Pain Points Does It Address?


A retail business has many unique pain points. However, if you look closely, all of these pain points are somehow related to the business processes. 

  • Brick-and-mortar retailers are being forced to adopt an omnichannel strategy to avoid the threats arising from the popularity of e-commerce platforms. This has resulted in their business processes becoming more complex and the visibility of the process getting reduced.

  • Since retailers primarily work with customers – not businesses – catering to their needs and demands efficiently and proactively can be the biggest deal-maker. Today’s customers want personalized services. However, this is easier said than done. Storing historical purchases of customers, storing their phone numbers and address, forecasting what they would buy next from you, keeping the customer data always available in order to provide contextual offers and services – all these things matter significantly. Yet, managing the customer management process can be an uphill task if the information is not managed in an organized, automated way.

  • Retail companies with low visibility of sales patterns and inventory often suffer from the issue of overstocking or understocking. Without measurable information on slow-moving and fast-moving items, it becomes difficult to determine which products should be stocked more and which should be stocked in lesser quantities. This is where automated demand planning comes in. 

  • Supply chain issues or delay in products being delivered to the company warehouse is a major pain point that can directly impact customer service. Maintaining a good relationship with wholesalers and suppliers, getting data-driven insights on which supplier is profitable for the retail company, and examining their historical delivery performance – enable retailers to stay on top of supply chain complexities. However, it can become overwhelming to monitor wholesalers and suppliers manually.

  • Lastly, with too much back-and-forth – selling, refunding, buying from suppliers, getting refunds from customers, reconciling online and offline sales – it can get too hectic for a retail company to keep track of finances in a 360-degree manner. It becomes necessary for a retail company to use software that can remain connected with every aspect of the company – especially those aspects that are associated with transactions.

SAP ERP Suite – Revolutionising the Shopping Experience

The primary aim of any retailer behind using an ERP is to ensure a superior experience for shoppers. SAP solutions for retail companies offer everything a retailer needs to provide a personalized experience for each customer. 

Omnichannel Sales Solution

SAP for the retail industry empowers retail companies with a unified view of inventory, products and customers. This enables retail companies to shift to an omnichannel business model- a primary criterion for businesses today to compete with established e-commerce sites. There are many standalone SAP modules and third-party integration solutions that enable businesses to manage their inventories, taking both online and offline channels into account. From the CRM perspective, SAP Customer Experience offers retailers the ease of reaching both online and offline customers.

As an SAP Business One partner in Canada, we at Silver Touch offer custom integrations to integrate your retail sales process with your online sales platform. All the complexities are handled by us.

Delivering Unparalleled Customer Experience

SAP offers a standalone CRM solution to make the customers of your retail business feel special. With its modern,cloud-oriented C/4 Hana platform, SAP makes sure that your customer data is available to the right person in your organization at the right time. For example, you can group your customers based on their buying patterns and show customized promotional offers. Even SAP variants for small businesses – like SAP Business One – come with built-in customer relationship management tools that make it easy for small businesses to conduct marketing, find opportunities and automatically upload relevant customer data to GL accounts.

Smooth Flow of Information

A retail business has various departments that work together to make the business successful. However, it is extremely crucial for retail companies to ensure a smooth flow of information across the departments. If critical company information does not reach a department on time, it can delay delivery. It can even result in delivering the wrong items.

SAP for the retail industry prevents the creation of information bottlenecks. It provides a single source of truth for each and every piece of information. On top of that, automated appending of the information by the SAP ERP ensures that you don’t need to manually update business data whenever a transaction takes place or new items are delivered to the warehouse.

Sales Pattern Recognition and Deman Forecast

Since every piece of information flows through the SAP ERP, it can be leveraged to analyze enterprise data to identify sales patterns and develop intelligent forecasts based on historical data. As an SAP Business One partner, we configure your SAP set up so that the system ingests your data and creates automated forecasts based on the data.

Similarly, SAP solutions for the retail industry further optimize your supplier relationship based on your historical purchase data. For example, based on your purchase date, the SAP ERP can suggest which supplier to choose during holidays and which supplier to choose during work days.

Automated Finance Management

SAP for the retail industry works with master data. By leveraging this master data, SAP performs automated data entry whenever transactions occur. So, for example, if a retail company sells a product, it does not need to do anything to update the general ledger. SAP ERP automatically does that for the company. Remember that SAP ensures that the ledger is updated only when the pending A/R invoice is cleared. This makes sure that you get an accurate picture of the cash flow as well.

  Read more: How Retail Industry can Leverage the Benefits of SAP ERP Solution

SAP For Everyone: Why Should Big Retailers Have All the Fun?

There are many different variants of SAP for the retail industry. Depending on the scope of management, SAP offers different levels of features. However, SAP ensures a minimum number of standard features for all its ERP solutions so that businesses of all shapes and sizes can leverage SAP ERP and up their retail game.

From a high perspective, SAP offers three variants for its retail customers:

  • SAP S/4 Hana for big retail businesses –

SAP offers its flagship ERP for large retailers that need complex functionalities in their software. This variant of SAP is known and loved for its modules that extend the native functionality of SAP S/4 Hana to further enhance the productivity of retail businesses. For example, a retail business that has its own logistics arm would need to be able to manage the logistics using the ERP. The Logistics Execution (LE) module empowers such retail businesses to manage their logistics comprehensively.

  • SAP Business ByDesign

SAP Business ByDesign is a variant of the SAP ERP that focuses on pre-configured features. It is targeted toward mid-sized businesses that might not have the technological bandwidth to set up a complex ERP all by themselves. The focus on pre-configured features makes SAP Business ByDesign very easy to set up for retail companies. Most features that a retail company would need are already there in this ERP by default. Hence the name – ByDesign.

  • SAP Business One

SAP offers a retail ERP solution for small businesses as well. With SAP Business One, SAP targets growth-focused small retail businesses that want to future-proof their processes. SAP Business One is an ideal choice for a small-sized retail business. Using complex, feature-rich ERP software might be an overkill for businesses that are just starting out. From Sales and Purchase to financial management, from customer management to campaign management, from procurement control to warehouse management, and ultimately the presentation of smart data-backed reports – SAP Business One handles each and every aspect of a small retail business. SAP acknowledges the fact that a small business might not have the technological bandwidth to customize ERP software with custom code or integration. Hence, SAP Business One makes sure that the ERP has all capabilities out of the box to handle the needs of retail businesses.

As you can see, SAP does not ignore small businesses when it comes to ERP for retail businesses. Apart from SAP S/4 Hana, SAP Business One for retail industries makes sure that small retailers enjoy the same level of smooth process flow.

Implementing SAP ERP Taking All the Best Practices Into Account

A company’s success with an ERP system depends primarily on flawless implementation. The statistical fact that 70% of ERP implementations fail has now become a cliche. It is, therefore, extremely important that the ERP implementation partner takes all the best practices into account while deploying an ERP for retail companies.

As an SAP-certified implementation partner, Silver Touch Technologies has a track record of 100% successful ERP implementation thanks to our over-eagerness in following the best practices. 

We follow a 5-step implementation strategy to ensure a smooth transition to the SAP ERP for the retail industry.

Step 1: Bringing Employees On The Same Page

We always say that implementing a new ERP – especially when the company has never had one before – can be similar to a cultural shift. And cultural shift always leads to resistance from a portion of employees. It is, therefore, important to bring most of your indispensable employees on the same page to avoid resistance to this cultural change. Our SAP consultants help our client’s employees see the big picture – beyond the temporary discomfort.

Step 2: Requirement Analysis

Some retail companies want their ERP to do everything for them; They want everything out of the box because they don’t have the necessary IT team to tweak the system. Again, some retail companies – especially those big ones – need to get as much out of their ERP system as possible. They want the power to customize their ERP system exactly how they want. Some retail companies have just one or two warehouses, while others might have more than ten per city. Some might need to integrate their ERP with that of the supplier. It is necessary to understand the requirement thoroughly before moving ahead and start implementing an ERP system. We at Silver Touch Technologies take this requirement analysis part very seriously. The implementation of an ERP system impacts every aspect of a business. Requirement analysis makes sure that this impact is positive rather than negative.

Step 3: Taking The Budget Into Account

Let’s not sugarcoat it. An ERP implementation is a costly affair. Before choosing the right ERP for a retail company, Silver Touch Technologies makes it a point to give an accurate heads-up regarding the costs that the company would incur while implementing an ERP and even after the implementation. SAP offers different variants of ERP. Some are budget intensive, while others are quite pocket friendly. The choice of ERP, the number of third-party integrations, and the number of add-ons – all depend on how much money a company is ready to spend. However, it must be noted that SAP has fairly democratized the ERP market by coming up with SAP Business One. As an SAP Business One partner, we feel happy when we see that even small businesses can compete with large, established retail companies thanks to the affordable ERP.

Step 4: Looking at The Implementation From a Functional Perspective

An ERP implementation might be in the purview of the IT team inside the retail company, but at the end of the day, it is the operations team that would be using the ERP system day in and day out. Hence, we look at the implementation and the scenario after the implementation from a functional perspective. We ensure that the operations feel at ease while handling their day-to-day operations using the ERP.

Step 5: Phased Launch

Shifting the internal processes in a company to a new ERP system almost feels like shifting the business to a new location. All these years, employees have been accustomed to a certain way of doing their work and navigating the processes in a certain way. If the shift happens all of a sudden, there is a higher chance of things going awry. Silver Touch Technologies is a proponent of a phased launch when it comes to implementing a new ERP.

SAP Retail


Damon Richards once said, “Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In this hyper-competitive world, it is almost impossible for retail companies to take care of their customers without using an automated ERP system that can optimize the customers’ journey at every step. Come, let’s give a personalized experience to your customers with ERP that’s made especially for forward-thinking retail businesses like yours.


Q1. What is SAP used for in retail?

SAP, which stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing, is a leading provider of enterprise software solutions used by many industries, including retail.

SAP is used for various purposes, including

  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Merchandising and Assortment Planning
  • Point of Sale (POS) and Store Operations
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • E-commerce and Digital Commerce
  • Analytics and Business Intelligence

Q2. Which SAP module is used for retail?

SAP Retail: SAP Retail is a comprehensive module designed specifically for the retail industry.

Q3. What is SAP in merchandising?

SAP offers specific functionalities and modules that cater to the needs of retailers in managing their merchandise, pricing, promotions, and assortment planning.

Here are some key aspects of SAP in merchandising:

  • Merchandise Management:
  • Pricing and Promotions
  • Assortment Planning
  • Merchandise Financial Planning
  • Analytics and Reporting

Q4. What is SAP used for in customer service?

SAP offers specific functionalities and modules that cater to the needs of organizations in managing customer interactions, resolving issues, and delivering excellent customer service.

Q5. What is retail method of accounting in SAP?

The Retail Method of Accounting (ROMA) is a widely used inventory valuation method in the retail industry. It is used to estimate the value of ending inventory based on the relationship between the cost of goods available for sale and the estimated retail selling price of the merchandise. SAP, a leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, offers functionalities to support the Retail Method of Accounting (ROMA) in its SAP Retail module.

Meet our
Digital Transformation Expert

Mr. Adarsh Parikh

Associate Director
Silver Touch Technologies Canada