Ever since the 1900’s where local corner stores dominated the retail world, the customer experience has pretty much remained a constant. You come in to a shop, take a look around, then once you’ve decided, you take your item to the cash register. However the emergence of “point of sale” systems has dramatically changed the way shops operate, especially in regards to their customers, staff and stock management.
Convert more often & create customer loyalty
Similar to home life, where the TV is placed in the living room and everything else is structured around it, the same is said about the cash register in shops. The ever-increasing power of tablets and smartphones has changed that now, as shop staff can take the counter to the customer. All you need is the simple addition of a barcode scanner and the cash register has now become mobile.
This ensures that the customer won’t have to come to you for advice, making their shopping experience more pleasurable. If the POS system you use is also linked to accounting software, your staff can also handle payments and email receipts, during which time your customer hasn’t even had to move.
Walter Loeb, who writes for Forbes, commented that shopping had become “dull and unexciting” and almost a chore for the “millennials.” This group of people, as Loeb rightly points out have “significant spending power,” via grants and student loans. Having an interactive experience such as a point of sale system, which they will be familiar with, will only help drive conversions.
How will this affect my staff?
We all know that if you approach a customer, you are more likely to convert them than leaving them to their own devices. If you have set your staff goals, the use of POS is a significant step to help them achieve that.
If you are able to tie it in your CRM system, you can make notes of customers’ previous purchases. This will encourage your staff to learn more about your product offerings in order to fully maximize the potential they can get from people who walk in to your shop.
As is common in retail, the turnover of staff can be high. This can be down to lack of motivation, where they don’t feel they have the requisite tools in which to do their job. It can also be financial, where they feel they can’t earn past their basic. The use of a tablet and the plethora of information available at their fingertips will help drive product knowledge and increase an appetite for sales in order to meet targets. According to a study by The Aspen Institute, the retail industry holds a younger demographic than all of the U.S. Therefore the software will no doubt already be familiar to younger workers.
Incorrect stock levels cost $224 billion
Perhaps the point of sale systems crowning glory is how it links to your inventory management software. As soon as you make a sale of an item, it automatically subtracts the stock from your system by identifying that items SKU. This is especially important if you also trade online as well as having a physical shop. It will help reduce the rate of aggravated customers who were misled into thinking an item was in stock.
With the right tools in place you can also set a re-order value against that item and link your suppliers costs to it, ensuring that you get the best deal. This will allow you to keep those best sellers in stock and also work out your gross profit. In contrast you can also produce reports to identify those slow selling items.
According to the National Retail Foundation, U.S retailers record losses of $224 billion due to overstocked inventory. They also lose $45 billion from not having those items in stock.
What happens if I have any questions?
Invariably there will be a learning curve, but many point of sale systems are easier to learn and are open to expansion in order to suit your needs. Also the big benefit of POS software is that there is constant support available via telephone and instant chat. In regards to payment, systems are invariably available on a monthly plan, so it won’t have a dramatic effect on you financially.
Finally, as this is all cloud based you can keep up to date while on the go. With announcements that the Taj Mahal is set to be getting Wi-Fi in the coming weeks you could even manage inventory if you’re planning a trip to India.