Retail & Distribution
27 October 2017
As retailers grow, they often need more advanced functionality from their point of sale system (POS) to meet customer expectations, innovate, outrun competitors and keep pace with evolving industry trends. Whether that growth is across town or around the world, it brings common challenges. Here are four of the most popular drivers behind the need for more feature-rich, integrated point-of-sale software. We’ll also discuss how the best new POS can help you quickly get up to speed with the capabilities you need.
#1: Expanding Store Locations. Adding more store locations can obscure your inventory visibility if your POS solution and other systems are not tightly integrated. Growth usually is accompanied by a greater number of product SKUs — and unique customers — both presenting retailers with more information to track and manage. Retailers in growth mode need a centralized view of inventory and sales by store location. This can be delivered through a POS solution with cloud-based connectivity and integration with inventory management, inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) data. In a single system, a retailer can easily move merchandise between stores. An advanced POS solution also simplifies the complexities of doing business locally in international locations, adhering to unique tax, language and other requirements by country. Another common demand among high-growth retailers is better reporting. An integrated POS software offers instant access to key performance indicators (KPI), without time-consuming, error-prone manual data consolidation and manipulation.
#2: Growing Online Sales. To futureproof their businesses, retailers know they need to link up their web sales with store commerce. The right point of sale system enables retailers to digitize the store with a connected commerce approach. Consumers want the ability to buy online and pick up in a store most convenient to them. Retailers also need the flexibility to ship online orders from the store to the shopper’s home or workplace — or wherever they want their products fulfilled. Advanced POS software can do all of this plus provide visibility to consumer activity across channels. After all, retailers need a holistic view of not just inventory but also customer activity across their e-commerce and in-store channels.
#3: Personalizing Customer Service. With growing sales, there is the inevitable need to move more shoppers through the checkout process efficiently. Just as important to retailers today is a desire to engage customers in a highly personalized manner during the shopping and checkout experience. This can be accomplished with more robust CRM running on a common platform with POS. When integrated with new clienteling software, the point of sale becomes a 360-degree viewfinder into each customer’s online, in-store and even social media activity with your brand. You can track purchases by customer, across locations and channels, and offer specialized pricing and deals to individual shoppers or targeted groups. This modern-day melding of POS and CRM rewards the customer’s spending power, regardless of when and where it is flexed. It also empowers retailers to offer integrated loyalty programs. Promotions can be deployed simultaneously and redeemed seamlessly on the web or in store. And instead of using a patchwork of point solutions to manage gift cards, store coupons and online offers, you can bring it all together on a single platform.
#4: Seeking Greater Mobility. Mobile POS is becoming a must for retailers as they court the increasingly mobile-armed consumer. In addition to shopping via mobile at home, at work or on their commute, customers bring their mobile phones into stores to research products, redeem discounts, share styles they like on social media and more. Meeting consumers where they are, mobile POS smooths the way to a frictionless experience at checkout and at every touchpoint. Service can move from behind the register to the customer’s side, anywhere in the store. Today it is easy and affordable to set up your POS software to operate on an iPad or other mobile device. Empowered to do their jobs with more mobility, retail associates emerge as brand ambassadors. At their fingertips are answers to product questions, knowledge about inventory availability, the prerogative to offer personalized deals and the ability to collect a secure, mobile payment.
Do some or all of these advanced POS functions resonate with your retail business? Are you thinking some are must-haves, while others are nice-to-haves outside your budget? You may be surprised to learn all of the POS capabilities discussed here can be implemented with no direct infrastructure or ongoing software maintenance costs. Scalable and web accessible, state-of-the-art POS software is offered by monthly subscription, delivered in the cloud or on demand through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.
Contact Cegid today to learn how new POS can support your retail growth goals.