Running a retail business involves successfully juggling a sometimes dizzying amount of moving parts. Dealing with employees and their schedules. Product selection and ordering. Accounting and marketing. These are just a few of the tasks that you are faced with on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, you have a highly efficient and reliable silent partner that you might not be fully utilizing who can help you: Your point of sale (POS) system.
POS system basics.
Before we begin to list everything the right POS solution can do to streamline your operations, let’s get our terminology straight. A POS system is the combination of hardware and software that processes payments and assists with other important back-office tasks. It can include elements such as a desktop device or tablet, customer-facing display, barcode scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer, and mobile/contactless card reader. Furthermore, it contains powerful software that can be harnessed to enhance many of your other business operations beyond the payments arena.
Powered by your payments software and an online merchant portal, your POS system should provide you access to everything you need to more effectively manage your employees. This includes tools for hiring, scheduling, the ability to assign specific employee rules with varying levels of access to sensitive payment data, and more. That way you can get your staff firing on all cylinders!
Are you tired of using guesswork and vague predictions when deciding which items to restock and in what quantities? With the help of your POS system’s product database, these jobs can be transformed from random prognostication into data-driven decisions based on real-time, customer data. Generate easy-to-understand, analytics-based reports to see what is selling and what is not, and to gauge seasonal sales trends. You can even set low stock alerts so you never leave customers in the lurch.
These days, serving your customers involves a lot more than simply offering retail payment processing. Today’s buyers want a fast and frictionless shopping experience that extends far beyond the exchange of currency for a product or service. Fortunately, your POS is well-positioned to meet this need.
With your patrons’ permission, you can gather details such as physical and email addresses. Once you have these details, you can leverage them to curate the long-term customer experience of each individual buyer. Send targeted emails based on past purchases. Notify customers about in-store events and flash sales that will interest them specifically. Send personalized holiday or birthday greetings. All of these strategies will help to cement a lasting, customized relationship with your most important resource: Your customers.
Expand the payment options you provide.
Along with that all-important personal relationship you nurture with your customers, comes the need to provide them with choice. That is especially true when it comes to payments.
Of course, your POS system should facilitate easy and secure credit and debit card transactions. However, it should do much more. You should also be able to use it to accept recurring or subscription payments, deducted regularly from a customer’s bank account. This subscription model, which helps to increase cash flow, is especially popular for ongoing or big-ticket products and services.
As it turns out, that little device that reads credit cards and spits out receipts is rich with additional capabilities. Incorporate them into your business model and you will soon find that your operations are more efficient and effective. Best of all, you’ll have more time for what you do best: Serving your valued customers.