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Technology has taken over the world. As a matter of fact, for some, smartphones seem have replaced dogs as our best friends. What’s more, to a lot of us, an Internet outage sounds like the end of the world. The retail industry can’t escape technology, either. As stores follow new customer trends, the first thing retailers need to do is to be more organized. That’s where the quest for a retail POS system starts.
Standing for point of sale, a POS is essentially software that allows retailers to manage their stock, customer base, sales, and everything in between. Now, if your main concern is to have a smooth transition from pen and paper or an older system to modern technology, it’s also critical to look ahead. A system that can’t adapt to shoppers’ changing needs will become obsolete tomorrow. So think long-term. Here we break down for you the five things you need to look for in a retail POS.
1) Automated Inventory
You spend time ordering, adding stock to the system, noting variations, and monitoring your inventory. Then you work on selling your goods to customers. What’s more, each customer wants to try on eight different sizes. And each one has lots of questions.
Therefore, you need a retail POS that will turn all these time-consuming steps into a single efficient workflow. Demand in-system purchase orders, automatic reorder points, and a system that handles any item, even serialized ones.
Stock is the foundation to your business. Accordingly, if you’re not in full control of your stock, you’re not in control of your business.
2) Customer Data
Asking shoppers for their email can be a bit uncomfortable. They peer at you with suspicious eyes if you should so much as dare to ask. And you can practically read their minds. They’re hoping a wave irrelevant emails isn’t about to flood their inbox.
However, the thing is, with all the options they have online and in-store, the only way to keep customers coming back is with targeted communications and tailored service. So don’t get a retail POS that won’t allow you to create customer cards. And especially be wary of one that doesn’t store customers’ purchase history.
With these tools, you’ll increase customer engagement and make them feel at home when they visit. In turn, they’ll reward you with more purchases.
3) Reporting and Analytics
Big data is changing the retail industry. What’s more, your retail POS will generate a lot of that big data. However, if you dedicate hours to sorting and understanding it, that process will just slow you down.
Therefore, pick a point of sale system that translates data into digestible reports you can actually use. Even better, see if you can get direct answers to your retail questions. For example, you might ask, “Am I keeping the right inventory on hand?” And, “How often do my best customers shop?” Your retail POS knows everything about your business. Pick one that doesn’t keep secrets.
You never know what the future holds. However, you should always be prepared for the best. If your first location is successful, it’ll only be logical to open a new one.
That sounds great. However, if you don’t have the right retail POS, your expansion will be a nightmare. Go for a system with multi-location features. This way, you can simply keep your existing tools and use them for your new store.
More concretely, look for these features:
- Single purchase orders for all locations
- Purchase history across locations
- Global data
- Numbers per store
You shouldn’t have to start from scratch or hire a doppelganger to do the extra work. Get a system that can support your growth.
5) Integrated Ecommerce
Almost nine out of ten shoppers start their search for products online. Give them a chance to find you. The big differentiator for retailers who want to go online is not how beautiful is their site is, but how integrated their ecommerce and POS are.
The industry jargon term is “omnichannel.” This basically means selling online and in-store with a single system and managing a single inventory to do so. You’re just pushing your POS stock online and all the numbers are updated in real time. You also get to see how shoppers interact with your brand, no matter where they buy.
Selling online can be a second job. But if your retail POS and your ecommerce merge into one complete solution, it won’t be.
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So There’s Your Checklist for a Retail POS
Voilà! Prepare your checklist and make sure the solution you choose can do everything listed here. You’re not just buying fancy technology. You’re building the foundations of a thriving business. Over to you. Good luck!