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BRL-015: IT Application in Retail

BRL-015: IT Application in Retail

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BRL-015 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject IT Application in Retail, you have come to the right place. BRL-015 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BBARL courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BRL-15/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BRL-015

Assignment Name: IT Application in Retail

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt all the questions.


(A) Short Type Questions. 10x7


Q1) What is e-retailing? Explain the components of e-retailing.

Ans) Electronic retailing is a buzzword for any business-to-consumer transactions that take place over the Internet. Business-to-consumer transactions refer to transactions that occur between a business or company and a consumer. E-tailing refers to the sale of goods online. Companies like Amazon and Dell created the online retail industry by putting the entire customer experience. These experiences may run from browsing products to placing orders to paying for purchases on the Internet. The success of internet buying and selling encouraged more traditional retailers to create an online presence to augment their brick-and-mortar outlets.


Components of E-Retailing

  1. Attractive Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-Commerce Portal: The interfaces and navigation should be user friendly and pleasing. The site should have a strong sense of branding.

  2. Right Revenue Model: Revenue model should be accurate and there is transparency in terms of service levels and pricing.

  3. Penetration of the Internet: As the e-commerce portal is in addition to the existing brick-and-mortar infrastructure aimed to bring in customer loyalty. The retailer should keep in mind the local internet penetration for better success.

  4. E-Catalogue: It is a database of products with prices and available stock. The retailer can provide value added service by giving price and feature comparison between products. This would enhance the value of the e-commerce portal for the customers. The retailer can indicate special benefits available to customers under the loyalty programme thus making the customer feel special.

  5. Shopping Cart: The customers can select the products that they wish to purchase and fill their shopping cart. The Shopping Cart can be designed in a way that it could allow the customer to store their preference and previous purchase history for easy selection. This adds value to the shopping experience and save time.

  6. A Payment Gateway: Customer makes payments through his/her credit card or e-cash. The payment mechanism must be fully secure.

  7. Support Services in E-Retailing: The electronic retail business requires support services, as a prerequisite for successful operations. These services are required to support the business, online or offline, throughout the complete transaction-processing phases.


Q2) List the steps for Advanced Customer Analytics.

Ans) The steps required for advanced customer analytics are:

  1. Build Analytics around the Customer: Multi-channel retail requires customer-centric analytics. Advanced analytics models combine client data from all channels and touch points.

  2. Use Key Identifiers: Customers should have IDs, promo codes, order numbers, payment identifiers, and cookies. They enable retailers identify customers, track their shopping across channels, and analyse how they buy. Multi-channel customer insights help improve assortments planning, merchandising, pricing, and promotion methods.

  3. Consider Clickstream Data: Clickstream data is generated through electronic channels allied with shopping path analysis data generated through in-store monitoring.

  4. Build Teams around the Way Cross Channel Retail Works: Retailers pursuing long term plans for multi-channel success have introduced channel wide changes in processes, roles, and responsibilities. These bring in cross channel synergies and alignment of decision making across channels.

  5. Discover value in a Kaleidoscope of Data: Using the appropriate combination of statistical tools can lead to increased sales. Thus, they boost profits and the bottom line. Using these techniques, retailers can categorise customers by the products and services they choose, identify patterns to plan cross-selling campaigns, analyse and target customers based on product-centric purchase histories and patterns, plan multi-product promotions based on customer response, arrive at customer probability to buy additional products, measure shifts in customer behaviour and locations, and compare segments.

  6. Realize the Connection: Retailers are aware of the fact that shoppers who buy one product frequently, are more likely to buy a couple of other related products. This probability is due to the amount of affinity that exists between the products. While some product affinities, such as the one above, are obvious to observers and can be arrived at by using common sense.

  7. Look for the Story in Every Shopper’s Basket: The items a shopper purchases during one shopping trip makes up the ‘market basket.’ The various items in a market basket are correlated to each other with varying frequencies, presenting a picture of what may have driven the shopping trip: running short of a couple of essential ingredients for cooking, assembling all necessary items for an exotic meal or a birthday party, preparing to have guests over, stocking up groceries for the month.


Q3) What is information technology? What are its applications?

Ans) Computers and information technology are frequently used interchangeably. It is crucial to remember that IT is much more than just a computer system. Information technology is the fusion of different types of hardware, software, networks, applications, internet, multimedia, images, and people. Information technology has a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. Our daily tasks, whether they be personal or professional, are increasingly being automated or mechanised. The main advantage of information technology is that it gives people the freedom to do whatever they want. Information technology is the control and management of information via the use of computers and other technology.


Applications of Information Technology

IT is fundamental to practically every human activity. Until recently, only urbanites utilised it, but now it's spreading to outlying locations. IT has affected almost everyone. We use technology every day. IT has many important uses.

  1. Science and Engineering: IT is essential for scientific advancement. Weather forecasters use supercomputers. CAD and CAM have enhanced numerous items. IT engineers can design complicated structures, resulting in robust construction and superior manufacture. Engineers use computer programmes to examine power plants and space stations.

  2. Business and Commerce: IT is used by businesses to keep and manage records. Almost all large companies store employee records in computer-managed systems. IT is utilised for billing, receiving payments, inventory control, etc. E-banking and m-commerce streamlined financial transactions. POS terminals have replaced many businesses' cash registers. This terminal prints receipts and sends sales data to a computer.

  3. Education: Information technology has changed the meaning of literacy. Today most of the educational programmes are giving a due space to computer education and computer education has become an essential course at the various level of study across the world.

  4. Governance: E-governance, a unique concept in information technology, is affecting millions of lives worldwide. Computerizing government activities makes officials more responsive and the public's access to information easier. It connects government and citizens.

  5. Medical: IT is playing a very important role in the field of medical. It is technological advancement with the help of which we can easily know about the human body and deceases there in.

  6. Entertainment: IT has transformed most people's lifestyles. IT has created entertainment choices including streaming audio and video music, video games, online casts of maximum programmes, mobile radio, internet on pocket, animated movies, and 3D video presentations, etc.


Q4) Distinguish between the following:


a) Location Hierarchy and Time Hierarchy


Location Hierarchy

The time hierarchy is the following dimension for the examination of inventory and sales of goods. The majority of the peak sales time does not fall on the same day of the week of the year, which presents a difficulty for the systems. A grouping of locations according to a status or category within a structural level is known as a location hierarchy. There may be zero locations or multiple locations at each level of the grouping, which may have numerous levels altogether.


Time Hierarchy

You can compare line-item scenarios and activities with those of other items within a specified scenario group using the temporal hierarchy. For comparison with a scenario and activity using a quarterly calendar, you can roll up a scenario and activity using a monthly calendar into a quarterly view. Budget transactions may be aggregated to ever-shorter time periods thanks to the time hierarchy. The time hierarchy theorems are crucial proofs about time-bounded computing on Turing machines in computational complexity theory. These unofficial theorems assert that a Turing machine can handle more issues if given additional time.


b) Interior display and window display


Window Display

In order to effectively invite customers, a window display should essentially mirror the corporate brand. Depending on the rear end of the display put up, these can be broadly divided into closed-back window displays and open back window displays.


Interior Display

It ought to be connected to the window themes. It influences consumer flow and traffic and ought to result in a comprehensive, practical, and ergonomic visual idea of the business, enhancing a pleasurable experience.


c) Magnetic stripe readers and Fingerprint readers


Magnetic Stripe Readers

The system login information is encoded on the magnetic stripe of the employee ID, much like the barcode approach. The worker entered the system via the credit card reader on the POS. The benefits and drawbacks of the barcode scanning method are present in this method as well.


Fingerprint Readers

Barcode scanners and magnetic stripe readers cannot provide the same level of security as fingerprint readers. Software and hardware for fingerprint identification are often add-ons for POS systems. The employee's thumbprint or other distinctive details are recorded by the ID programme, which later utilises this data to identify the person trying to log in. In the POS context, fingerprint readers and ID software have become dependable and affordable. These gadgets are very helpful in all POS systems since they provide 100% assurance in positive identification and login.


d) Information System (IS) and Database Management System (DBMS)


Database Management System

A database management system is a must for any information system. Data, its administration tools, and systems make up database management systems. When it is specialised to a certain organisation, it turns into raw facts that depict the organization's events. In contrast, a data base is a place where information is stored, as its name suggests. It is a collection of connected data that is accessible to different users for diverse uses.


Information System

When we hear the word "information systems," two things spring to mind: computers and the people who use them. The word "information system" is more general. Information systems basically consist of a combination of human activities and information technology that aid in efficient administration, decision-making, and smooth operations. To put it plainly, it is an interface between people, technology, and information processing for a particular goal.


Q5) Write short notes on the following:


a) Impact of IT on retail business

Ans) Information technology has totally revolutionised the retail sector. IT is playing a predominant role in the success of any retail store. Every retailer is trying to utilize the best means provided by IT to run the retail store and to serve the customers effectively. Now customers want complete ease and comfort during the whole purchase process and to serve customers at their will is not possible without using information technology.


With the help of IT, now retailers can integrate their retail payments, inventory and other transactions which improve the retail operations and reduce cost by preventing duplicate entries. IT components enabled retailers to track inventory effectively and now they can quickly respond to customers’ requests. By being able to respond expediently, retailers can also improve services, expand their customer base, and increase profits.


b) POS Station Security Methods

Ans) Controlling access to registers is important in any POS environment. Most POS system software allows you to set up system users with password protection. These secured accounts allow and restrict access on an employee-by-employee basis depending on their job position. Supervisors may have access for supervisory functions at any register and have limited access to system management functions. The key is that the POS system software allows you to control who can do what with the POS software. Usernames and passwords take time to enter on the keyboard, and generally aren’t as secure as physical methods of logging on.


c) Retail Reporting

Ans) The purpose of reporting is more than presenting information. It is to enable insight. In the retail industry the retailer has access to a lot of data, which needs to make sense to him for his business.


The four things that retailers manage are as follows:

  1. Products

  2. Suppliers

  3. Channels

  4. Customers


Retail Report is a feature-rich shopping centre management and retail analytics software solution that keeps all your information and communications in one, central location. Anyone can access the retail analytics platform from any browser, anywhere in the world.


d) Features of the Retail Loyalty Programme

Ans) Worldwide loyalty programmes aim to recognise and reward their most valuable customers, rewarding them regularly to encourage repeat business. Every time a consumer makes a transaction, rewards are calculated and offered. Points are the simplest way to accomplish this. This also applies to retail. While a loyalty programme cannot exist without point accrual. This does not stand alone as a significant point of differentiation for the firm and does not add any noteworthy value.

Q6) Briefly comment on the following:


a) “Retail is about detail and accurate details help in taking the right decisions.”

Ans) After comprehending the idea and breadth of MMS, it is crucial to comprehend the operational difficulties associated with running and maintaining MMS software and its database, which has an impact on company choices. You will learn about the practical problems in this area, which will help you understand how to avoid them when running a retail business. Such subtleties can be avoided by doing sufficient checks while defining the attribute masters or the item master in the MMS system. To produce accurate reports by the numerous attributes that constitute a product, data quality is crucial while establishing the item master. Details matter in retail, and precise details aid in making wise judgments.


b) “The POS system can provide standard and customized reports to the retailer.”

Ans) The retailer can receive both standard and custom reports from the POS system. To provide insightful business reports, the POS system's data can be connected with other data systems used by the company, such as the accounting and ERP systems. The reports could be used to analyse and project the needs of the business.

c) “Networks and telecommunications are the important components of information systems.”

Ans) It is crucial for retail business owners to understand the fundamentals of networking and telecommunication. A network is just the interconnection of individuals, but in this context, the term "network" refers to a computer network, in which a number of computers are linked together to exchange information. Networking is the sharing of files, documents, and messages between two or more connected computers. In the 1960s, Leonard Kleinrock was one of the pioneers in the development of network systems utilising data packets. In September 1969, His Host machine became the initial node of the Internet.


d) “Retailers are racing to become better at slicing and dicing reams of data they collect from multiple channels.”

Ans) Small, mid-sized, and large retailers are always looking for the performance improvement advantage in a market with razor-thin margins. Retailers are competing to excel at slicing and dicing vast amounts of data they gather from numerous channels, including websites, storefronts, contact centres, catalogues, and mobile devices. To get understanding of retail KPIs or metrics, they are employing business analytics. Through better merchandising choices, quicker information requests, cost-cutting measures, increased employee productivity, and better customer service, the aim is to create significant top line and bottom-line improvements.


Q7) Discuss the benefits and considerations of implementing a CRM system.

Ans) The benefits and considerations of implementing a CRM system are:

  1. Efficiency: The time-consuming operations of creating prospect lists, conducting mass physical mail or email campaigns, and monitoring campaign results can all be automated by good programmes for merchants. Systems can also send out automated reminders for important events like holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.

  2. Customer Retention: Retailers may develop relationships with clients and keep their repeat business by communicating with them frequently. Systems can also remind merchants to contact clients on a frequent basis after a sale.

  3. Increased Margins: Retailers should be able to offer more of what customers desire by efficiently utilising CRM systems, which should raise sales and decrease purchases of unsold goods. Retailers should discover that there is not much risk involved in deploying a CRM system.

(B) Essay Type Questions: (15x2)


Q8) State the various transactions to be performed under the goods dispatch-picking function through MMS.

Ans) The merchandiser suggests shipping extra stock to the stores with strong sales for the provided set of SKUs. Requests for more goods are made on the MMS system by authorised store employees. The Merchandiser shall also approve any replenishment orders issued at the MMS in order to certify that the item is in fact required at the store. When a store order is accepted, the WMS software changes it into a choose list. This select list can be printed out or downloaded as data to a portable device. The choose list includes the SKU name, SKU number, and storage location number. These things are chosen and then put in the corresponding boxes that are designated for a particular store. All of these processes are pictured in the WMS software for better tracking and accuracy ratio.


Goods Transfer

A feature that enables the merchandiser to move goods from the warehouse or distribution centre to the appropriate outlets must always be present in a merchandise management system. A lot of MMS software streamline this labour-intensive manual procedure of distributing the goods to automated ways known as Allocation of the DC inventory to be transferred to the stores based on Sales of the previous few days/weeks.


Good Return/Vendor Return

This function's sole purpose is to keep track of the goods that are being returned to the vendor in accordance with the percentage of the goods that can be returned to the vendor that was initially agreed upon. This feature is also referred to as "Vendor Returns" in other pieces of software. Please take note that this is not a "Sales Return" from the client. The Point-of-Sale software handles the "Sales Return" function in the retail setting.


Good Return Transaction


Reasons for Goods Return:

  1. In accordance with the agreement with the vendor, the merchandiser conducts the necessary sales analysis to identify the inventory that hasn't been selling and decides whether to run a promotion or return the items to the supplier.

  2. Goods received in poor shape when it is found that the vendor's goods have quality problems.

  3. Due to a local authority's statutory notification, goods must be returned. Such recalls are frequently the result of quality problems, or there is a risk to the consumer if they ingest the product.

  4. Compared to the sales being produced, the company has more stock than is necessary.



  1. The merchandiser compiles a list of the items that need to be returned to the vendor.

  2. Chooses the software's Goods Return option.

  3. Decides which vendor will receive the returned goods. Enter the reason for the return of the goods because the business heads want to examine it to see if it violates any industry standards. Trend analysis could assist in lowering the initial purchase of items or removing the vendor with the highest returns due to quality.

  4. Enter the SKU and quantity that will be returned after that. Once the transaction has been approved in the software, it is published at the warehouse, distribution centre, or store location so that the vendor can receive the returned goods. In order to follow the transit of the items and simplify the reverse logistics, best practise advises routing all shipments through the parent DC/Warehouse.


Stock Adjustments

There will inevitably be theft, loss of products, incorrect accounting, and damage to items throughout the transit of goods due to the amount of transactions and complexity brought on by the number of SKUs. Such product loss due to the aforementioned factors is referred to as shrinkage. Shrinkage is determined by dividing the total value of lost goods by the revenue produced by retail sales.


The percentage of shrinkage varies from 0.8 to 2.5. Many retailers in the nation have utilised the MMS's Good feature functions over the past ten years to bring control to transactions and lower the percentage of shrinkage. Since practically all decisions are based on the system sales and stock data, the stock adjustment function provides the merchant with the relaxation of adjusting the stocks in a way that the real stocks match the system stock.


Q9) What do you understand by campaign management? Discuss the process of implementing campaign management.

Ans) Campaigns are a crucial component of any marketing plans and strategies for demand development, customer acquisition, retention, and branding. A store has to develop more targeted, predictive, and optimised lists to assist them target the appropriate customers with the right offers. Any campaign management program's key component is this, in which the retailer develops, oversees, monitors, and evaluates campaigns across all channels. The modern consumer is more knowledgeable than in the past thanks to increased access to numerous media.


Any campaign should focus on having a personal, cross-channel discussion with consumers and prospects that builds on their previous and present behaviour. Returns are decreasing while marketing expenses are rising.


Process of Implementing Campaign Management

Campaign management is made possible by technology, but for it to be successful, enterprises must also restructure and retool, rethink their procedures, and implement KPIs based on their goals. There are four ways to do this:


Inventory the Internal Organization to Identify Skill Gaps: The company needs great expertise in a variety of fields, including database marketing and administration, modelling, internet marketing, web analytics, and many more, to be successful at managing interactive campaigns. Some of these skills might already be present within the company, while others might need to be acquired or developed. Analyse your resources and determine what you need and where you can get it.


Define how the Organization will Support Interactive Marketing: The flawless coordination of the entire company is necessary for interactive campaign management. Important tasks like marketing and database management are often neglected in businesses since there is little interaction and little motivation for collaboration. Some businesses will choose to totally combine their current offline and online marketing resources, starting with cross-functional trial projects and cross-training. Others will keep the same structures but change the measurements and rewards to encourage rather than discourage cross-functional collaboration.


Consider Creating a Skunk Works Team: Older customer-oriented efforts, like CRM, in many corporations only succeeded when they were handed to tiny "skunk works" teams who were given a blank slate and the freedom to operate independently while the rest of the organisation continued focused on its day-to-day operations. Your interactive marketing campaign initiative may also reflect this.


Identify and Pursue Low-Hanging Fruit: Even though integrating interactivity into all of your marketing initiatives is a difficult endeavour, you can spot specific projects where a small team can quickly prove its worth. Be detailed and realistic about the business goals for these projects, choose the precise metrics you'll employ, and set up the necessary instruments to collect them.


Every retail establishment has a unique culture, organisational structure, and clientele. There is no one-size-fits-all route to follow to reach where you need to go. Setting a goal that can guide your planning and priorities is the key. This makes it easier to develop an interactive campaign management tool that can detect almost all client possibilities so that you may send each customer the most powerful message at the ideal time via the most efficient channel.

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