Boutique owners know that their greatest advantage over the chain stores and giant retailers is their uniqueness. Of the millions of shops in the world, none can match your one-of-a-kind inventory, decor, and personalized customer service.
That’s why a point of sale system for boutiques has to be customizable to match your store’s unique way of doing business. The POS purchase process begins by determining the optimal technology approach in three areas:
- Standard POS terminal vs. touchscreens and mountable iPads
- Whether you need mobile POS devices
- Whether to adopt an omnichannel strategy that integrates your online and brick-and-mortar operations
Once you’ve determined the best technology foundation for your store’s POS system, you need to identify the specific functions it will include. Here are seven features that boutiques should consider when shopping for the perfect POS system.
Will the POS System Support Your ‘Inventory Matrix’?
Perhaps the most complex component of a boutique’s operation is managing inventory. A boutique’s stock must be categorized by item, color, size, style, and other variables. A POS system for boutiques should support the ability to create hundreds of product combinations and to set the price, cost, and quantity for each in real-time.
In addition, the system should let you track and store groups or sets of items that are often sold in bundles. To ensure your store has sufficient inventory on hand, but not too much, look for a POS system that helps you determine minimum thresholds for products. It should also alert you automatically when inventory levels approach those thresholds.
Can the POS System Accommodate Layaways and Holds?
One advantage that boutiques have over the chain stores and large retailers is the personal service they offer customers. An important part of this service is allowing customers to place items on hold or to purchase them on layaway. A POS system for boutiques needs to be able to track items that have been placed on hold or layaway and identify the products as such in the inventory system.
It’s important to treat layaway payments as deposits in the store’s general ledger. Similarly, if an item that a customer has placed on hold isn’t purchased or placed on layaway after a set period of time, the system should automatically cancel the hold. Equally important is the POS system’s ability to accommodate returned items with refunds, exchanges, or store credits.
Does the POS System Help You Connect with Your Customers?
Attracting customers to your shop is only the beginning. Converting browsers into buyers requires insight into what brought the customers to your business, and how the boutique’s employees can provide service that goes beyond the customers’ expectations. Your POS system should help you collect and analyze customer data that’s used to generate easy-to-read reports.
By providing employees with mobile devices linked to the store’s POS system, they’re able to offer customers complete product descriptions and other information on the spot. The customer records maintained in the POS system should let you track customer visits, products purchased, as well as issue store credit and apply promotional discounts automatically based on predefined conditions.
Does the POS System Offer a Customer Loyalty Program?
An increasingly important part of encouraging return customers is to give them special offers and discounts as part of a loyalty program. The customer relationship management component of a point of sale system for boutiques should include the ability to track each customer’s sales history and reward points for their purchases. The points can be redeemed for future discounts or other offers when they reach a predefined level.
Another option that customers frequently request is gift cards. Look for a POS system that lets you sell, track, and activate gift cards. To help promote your brand, choose a system that includes the ability to print custom gift cards.
Will the POS System Support Seasonal Planning of Inventory?
Keeping inventory fresh is key to a boutique’s success. As fashions and accessories change from season to season, the store’s POS system needs to make it simple to update the inventory. The reports created by the system will help store managers anticipate required inventory levels for new products and determine the best way to optimize storage space.
Apparel isn’t the only thing that comes in and out of fashion. The technology your store depends on can quickly become outdated as well. Your POS vendor should work with you to conduct a technical assessment to ensure your technology blueprint is a good match for your business strategy.
Does the POS System Accept Many Different Payment Methods?
Customers are growing accustomed to being offered a range of payment alternatives and the ability to split payments. To accommodate customers, a boutique’s POS system should support digital payment options, including contactless, cardless, mobile, and smartphone payments.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are making more of their retail purchases online, so a boutique’s POS system needs to handle online ordering for retail. Look for an online ordering component that includes a branded website, integrated payment options, smooth order management, automatic notifications, and the ability of local customers to “click and collect.”
Will the POS System Help You Coordinate Accessories with Outfits?
Nothing says fashion like an outfit complemented by just the right accessories. A POS system for boutiques should assist employees in coordinating shoes, belts, scarves, ties, and other accessories automatically. Inventory on hand can be matched to selected items or be made available by special order if necessary.
Providing sales staff with mobile devices that link to the store’s inventory puts the full range of product information at their fingertips, ensuring they’re able to offer customers instant answers to their questions. The system should allow promotional discounts to be generated automatically when specific combinations of products are bought together, for example.
Finding a POS System that’s as Special as Your Boutique
Boutique owners know their business inside and out, but they probably aren’t as well versed in the nuances of modern POS technology. That’s why one of the most important considerations when shopping for a POS system is to find a vendor who will take the time to get to know your business and work with you to build a POS solution that’s tailor-made for your shop.
The best POS system is the one that supports your business processes, meets your customers’ expectations, and helps your boutique achieve its goals. Just as the right accessories make a stunning outfit, the right features make a winning POS system.
When you partner with talech for your point of sale system for boutique, we devote our time to identifying your business challenges. We use this information to work with you to provide you with an innovative POS solution that levels the playing field. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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