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We at Iconography believe British retailers should be supported in their growth plans by their retail management software. This means not being afraid of using technology to improve productivity. 

Surprising as it may seem, there's a serious productivity gap in the UK. This means in some areas, we lag behind other industrialised countries. There’s a danger of repeating the so-called British disease of the 1970s when in economic terms we in the UK were labelled the sick man of Europe. 

Looking ahead to the 2020s and the evidence is that low productivity once again poses a threat to the British economy’s success. So narrowing the productivity gap and implementing effective plans for “levelling up” is in all our interests.

In Britain, small independent businesses employ 60.5% of the population and generate 52.2% of turnover. So, there's a strong case for public sector government agencies and private sector businesses to take targeted action aimed at supporting SMEs. What’s needed to address the productivity gap is encouragement to innovate and embrace more effective technologies and workplace practices.

OMNIS by Iconography
OMNIS by Iconography

Did you know that our Unified Commerce platform mixes eCommerce, RMS, CRM and EPoS to provide an award winning omnichannel solution?

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“We believe British retailers should be able to operate their digital ecosystem without fear of systems going down and patchy integrations constantly failing. ”

Considering the problem

This fear is born out of a bitter experience where patchy integrations, system sync issues, systems going down, data entry and access errors all conspire to undermine effectiveness and improved productivity. Mixing separate retail software applications like eCommerce, EPoS, CRM, and RMS causes endless problems and prevents retailers from doing what they do best - wowing and satisfying customers.

Read more about how system integrations are killing retailers.

Where does this problem stem from?

Many owners and managers of SMEs do not have the time to understand all the digital tools that are available to them. Typically they're too busy running the business to have the time to fully evaluate what’s out there to help them improve their business’ productivity. Read more here about multichannel order management.

The pandemic has induced an acceleration of retailers adopting eCommerce, which is unlikely to be reversed when the crisis reduces. But it’s also clear that the pandemic has simultaneously highlighted the centrality of technology to SMEs’ future while also exposing the digital adoption gap that exists and has been hampering UK productivity since long before the pandemic. 

Solutions for UK PLC

There’s plenty of evidence to show that businesses who invest in technology will see and understand the rewards’ value. Their positive experience is often a reliable way for others to benefit as they talk about and recommend the success of the solutions to their industry peers (see case study on And So To Bed). 

Indeed, to better support best practice, knowledge sharing and provide shortcuts, there are calls for a government-backed sector-by-sector technology matrix that lists a set of pre-approved productivity tools as a guide for businesses—we at Iconography support this initiative. With our evidence-based client case studies and sector focus pages, we aim to provide signposting and reassurance to companies looking to make systems and software investments.

It is widely accepted that digital adoption can improve businesses’ productivity in several different ways. The most obvious of which is reducing the administrative costs of basic tasks. Companies that use cloud technologies overwhelmingly identify its benefits: lower cost, increased speed, and improved security and productivity gains.  The enterprise research centre also conducted a three-year study into the impact of digital adoption on the performance of 6,200 micro-firms in the UK and found the following:

CRM software

Sales increase of 18.4% per employee.

Cloud-based computing

Sales increase of 13.5%.


Added 7.5% to sales per employee.

Replicating results

Replicating these across the UK’s small business sector would lead to a massive productivity boost, deliver multiple billions of additional turnover and narrow that productivity gap.

Solutions for UKRetail

For over 20 years, Iconography has been working with retailers to create enterprise eCommerce websites using our award-winning platform. 

OMNIS unified commerce, launched in 2020, has been developed to solve many of the issues retailers face regarding omnichannel retail. It is a transformational tool in achieving the goal of improving productivity in the area of retail management systems. 

And the key to it is combining eCommerce, EPoS, CRM and a suite of essential retail management functionality into a cloud-based unified commerce platform. Doing that removes the need for integrations which are the main drag on improving productivity.  

Overcoming barriers

The UK lags behind Europe’s digital leaders in the spread of digital adoption through the economy. In amongst some good, bad and indifferent statistics, a stark comparison is that just 3% of UK businesses use ten or more key digital technologies compared to 12% in Denmark. The UK small business survey reported that not even a majority of businesses (49%) use web-based software for sales. 

Barriers to change include the fact that unproductive firms don't know that they are unproductive. The lack of digital skills amongst management and employees remains a significant barrier to digital adoption. The cost of making the changes is seen as the most prohibitive factor even though not making the changes can be more consequential.

Closing the productivity gap

As we stated at the beginning of this piece, we at Iconography believe retail management software can be a positive and transformative influence on British retailers. 

Our vision is that OMNIS will deliver productivity gains to change the British retail landscape by enabling retailers to conduct business (unified and omnichannel commerce) confidently and efficiently. 

By combining eCommerce, EPoS, CRM & Retail Management in one comprehensive system with zero integrations, British retailers need no longer fear everyday battles with ageing, inadequate retail systems. The frustration of trying to resolve issues with multiple vendors is eliminated. Omnis Retail offers a proven new way to operate retail, and it’s already helping to save British multichannel retailers.  

Iconography and OMNIS

Succeeding in omnichannel retail means making the right investments in systems that allow a single view of the customer, inventory, and orders so that you can deliver the end-to-end experience customers expect. In the 2020s, this is no longer a competitive advantage, but a requirement to thrive. 

If you’re interested in getting some expert help in reviewing your situation and exploring how a unified commerce platform can take your retail business to the next level contact a member of our team on 


We have published five eBooks on the unified future of retail, click the link below to find out more.

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Case studies

Our customer case studies and retail sector know-how is explained in more detail below. Click here to read more about our work with furniture retailers.

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Made in Britain

We are proud to be accredited by Made In Britain, click below to find out more about our involvement with the group.

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Role of SMEs

Watch a video giving more insight on "SMEs, growth, and the recovery: what role do SMEs have in the economic recovery and boosting growth.”

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OMNIS Retail

OMNIS was born out of the needs of a leading direct to consumer brand to support their online and instore retailing formats in the UK market. They were facing the same problems and challenges that present obstacles for any retailer.

As a progressive and forwarding thinking brand, our client wanted to remove the limitations, constraints and operational inefficiencies associated with integrating an eCommerce website with offline EPoS and legacy back office retail software.

We quickly saw the vast potential OMNIS possessed. It’s a need we’ve recognised with many other retailers and DTC brands that have similar aspirations and want to remove the restrictions of old retail technology and software.

In OMNIS you can create multiple warehouses with any number of locations, place purchase orders and complete stock transfers. We have a full range of reporting and administrative control suite. Together, these give you complete control and oversight over your stock across all channels.

Online and instore retail
Online and instore retail

OMNIS Retail is a pioneering new retail solution that has been driven by D2C brands & niche retailers looking to the future. A single database eliminates any data integration issues between outdated systems, instead providing a cloud-based omnicommerce retail solution fit for the 21st century.

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