Gain and keep the trust of customers with secure systems
Some of your customers might question the idea of entering their credit card details into another person's smartphone or tablet. But good POS software will let you make the user interface plain and simple, hiding the app selection screen and making the smartphone or tablet look like a single-purpose sales device.
That will help your customers trust you, but you need to respect and repay that trust. All of your customers' private data should be securely encrypted, especially credit card details and other payment information. If you have any doubts, consult a security expert to audit your systems. Don't take any risks with customer data.
Simplify inventory management
Small business retailers understand the importance of inventory management. But doing this by hand can be time-consuming and limiting. For example, it's hard to tell which products happen to sell well on sunny Tuesday afternoons just by scrolling through paper receipts.
Good quality POS software will have inventory management built-in or as an add-on. This should help you establish which are your best-selling (and worst-selling) products. You should be able to 'drill down' further into the data to find out which products sell well on which days, or in which months, and at which prices.
This will let you fine-tune your inventory management process so you never run out of stock of your best-sellers, or waste shelf space on items that don't sell. When tied into your cloud-based accounting software, it'll let you quickly see which product lines are the most profitable – right now, in real time.
And it will help you adjust your pricing policy to take account of customer behavior. This means everything you sell can be priced at the best point for you, keeping your business competitive while maintaining your profit margin.
Understand your customers better and increase sales
While you're joining systems together, think about how you can use the information you hold about your existing customers. This is CRM (customer relationship management) and there are cloud-based apps that will let you manage your customer database and tie it into your POS, if it isn't already.
So simply by asking customers their names, your sales team can quickly call up their entire purchase history, preferences, interests and even birthdays. If you use this information to develop customer loyalty programs, special offers and promotions, you'll be able to sell more products per customer.
Keep your customers happy and save money
A golden rule of business is that it's much easier and cheaper to hold onto an existing customer than to gain a new one.
With a good CRM system and clever loyalty rewards, all plugged into your POS and accounting software, you can save precious time and money and keep existing customers happy.
What cloud-based POS means for small business
Just a few years ago, a cloud-based system combining POS, accounting, CRM, inventory management and loyalty programs would have seemed like science fiction. But with the right software, it can be done here and now and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Most cloud software is subscription-based, so you pay monthly rather than a big up-front cost. Support is available around the clock and you’ll never have to do or pay for software upgrades, ever.
With cloud-based POS and accounting apps that are easy to learn, flexible and expandable, you can provide a tailored service and maximize your profits. You can get things done quickly, from wherever you want and analyze everything about your retail business, to tap into opportunities for growth.