A good POS system is crucial in retail
If you run a retail business, you'll understand the need for a good point of sale system. The last thing you want is customers waiting impatiently in line while your employees manually enter purchase details into your system.
But there's more to a good point-of-sale system than just handling payments and recording sales. It’ll help improve:
- inventory management by telling you what’s selling and what’s not
- profitability by showing which product lines make you money
- marketing by highlighting customer buying habits face-to-face sales by giving employees a mobile catalogue
If selling products is the heart of your business, then a good POS system should be the backbone.
Take the checkout to your customers with mobile POS
In conventional retail, people find what they want to buy then bring it to a checkout counter to pay. But that model is changing fast.
Tablets and smartphones enable your employees to take the checkout counter to your customers. With good POS software and a simple plug-in scanner, a handheld device can become a mobile checkout.
With mobile POS, your employees no longer have to wait for buyers to come to them – they can approach customers anywhere in the store and help them with their buying decisions. And if the POS software is integrated with good accounting software, your employees can handle credit and debit card payments immediately and email the customer their receipt.
Make your employees better at sales
Information is key to selling. The more information you can give your employees about your products, the more confident they’ll feel discussing those products with customers. This can lead to increased conversion rates, and more satisfied employees.
Your employees likely can’t retain detailed knowledge about your entire product range. But if they can’t keep the information in their heads, you can put it in their hands. A good quality, easy-to-learn POS system will supply in-depth information about the products you sell so they’ll always have a catalogue with them. Each product can show related items, up-selling suggestions and sales tips. This will help your employees do their jobs better and bring in more revenue for your business.
Good POS software will also allow you to see which employees are selling the most – so you can give bonuses – and who’s struggling and might benefit from extra support or training.
Give customers peace of mind
Some of your customers might question the idea of entering their credit or debit card details into a smartphone or tablet. But good POS software will let you hide the app selection screen to make the tablet look like a single-purpose sales device.
Gaining your customers’ trust is important, but respecting and repaying that trust is even more so. Choose a system that securely encrypts customer and bank data.
Simplify inventory management
Good quality POS software will either have built-in inventory management, or it will integrate with an inventory app. This can help you figure out which are your best-selling (and worst-selling) products. It sounds simple but it’s a big deal. Retail businesses can lose revenue through overstocking and understocking of inventory.
You can dig deeper into the data to find out which products sell well on which days, in which seasons, and at what prices.
This will help you fine-tune your inventory management process. You’ll never run out of your best-sellers, or waste shelf space on items that don't sell. When tied into your accounting software, the right POS system will also let you:
- see how profitable each product line is
- explore the relationship between sales volume and price (to get to peak profitability)
- identify when is best to order stock, and how much to order
Understand your customers and increase sales
You can take your POS software a step further by linking it to a customer relationship management system. This will allow you to start seeing patterns in their preferences, and do smarter marketing.
By simply asking a customer their name, your sales team can surface the customer’s entire purchase history, preferences, interests and even birthdays. This information can be used to develop customer loyalty programs, special offers, and promotions. This can build customer loyalty and help you sell more products per customer.
Keeping your customers happy is vital to business – it’s many times more expensive to find a new customer than to keep an existing one, after all. With a good CRM system and clever loyalty rewards – all plugged into your POS and accounting software – you can delight shoppers and generate more revenue.
Get more control of your business with online retail POS
A few years ago, a cloud-based system combining POS, accounting, CRM, inventory management and loyalty programs was just for the big chains. But with the right software, small businesses can do it affordably.
Cloud-based POS and accounting apps are easy to learn, flexible and can work for businesses of all sizes. You can get things done quickly, from wherever you want, and analyse everything about your retail business to tap into opportunities for growth.
Inventory errors and misunderstood customers should no longer be costing your business money. If you’re not already using retail POS software, there are affordable options that can help you run your business smarter and smoother.
Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.