More often than not, small businesses operate in complicated markets. You have to deal with revenue, management, competition—the usual stuff. But that’s the problem: being a small business does not shrink your challenges, and you often have fewer resources at your disposal.
This is why you need to be smart with the tools you utilize, and an integrated, customizable software system that can provide management solutions and optimize systems’ performance, can be just what you need to help keep your business humming.
Modern point of sale software for small retail business is at the center of a network of complementary systems. The systems are customizable and, thanks to cloud computing, they are mobile and highly secure. You can perform management functions on your smartphone or home computer, and be confident that your data will be stored in the cloud with the best security currently available.
Using Your Point of Sale Software for Small Retail Business
A modern, cloud-based POS does many things. It begins with the regular functions of an advanced cash register, such as:
- Sales with a wide range of payment options
- Returns and refunds
- Discounts, loyalty rewards, and other price adjustments
- Custom ordering and delivery scheduling
Those are just the tip of the iceberg, however. A modern POS will open up all kinds of new possibilities for improved management and customer service.
A modern POS integrates other management functions related to retail, increasing both the convenience and efficiency of store management. Some of the handy management features you can look for include:
- Inventory management—comprehensive inventory management, including warnings when stock runs low, automatically generated purchase orders, easy receipt of stock, reduced leakage due to closer control, and sales metrics tracking.
- Staff management—scheduling, time clock, performance indicators, permissions, and payroll.
The ability to add new integrations can keep you at the forefront of current retailing practices. A modern POS needs to incorporate internal management features and make them accessible remotely from a range of devices. A POS needs to connect with outside services as well through APIs. These crucially include payment processors. QuickBooks is another popular integration, and you probably need connections to delivery services or other outside vendors as well.
Mobile connectivity has a lot of advantages. You will appreciate the ability to log in from remote locations. Your customers will appreciate salespeople equipped with tablets who can provide more personalized service by accessing a customer’s previous purchase history and tailoring suggestions to match buying habits. With a tablet, a salesperson can also check inventory, set up special orders and deliveries, and even accept payment and check out a customer right from the aisle.
A practical response to the challenges small businesses face today is to increase the purchase options your store offers. Omni-channel selling uses multiple channels or devices to close a sale. A common scenario for this is that you might make it possible for the customer to buy an item online for pickup in-store. This increasingly popular tactic is usually referred to in the abbreviated form of BOPIS. Then, when the customer is in their car approaching the store’s curbside, they can alert the store to have their purchase brought out to them using an app on their smartphone.
This makes a good impression on the customer. They save shipping costs and don’t have to wait for their new purchase. You show that you have the latest technology for them to take advantage of and great customer service.
Other options include using sales functions on social media, such as Instagram or Facebook, and simply using online ordering for retail. There are a lot of pieces even to a comparatively simple omni-channel sales approach. At a minimum, you have to consider:
- Branding—your website must be identifiable with your business, with a logo and design elements that are unique to you.
- Accessibility—your website must be mobile-friendly to be fully usable by consumers. Many shoppers use their phones for price comparisons and product research while they are out shopping.
- Item display—show the world what you have in the form you want the world to see it.
- Simultaneous inventory updating—online sales have to be reflected immediately in the inventory to allow for bulk orders and to prevent disappointments when popular items are demanded by different components at the same time.
- Analytics—online sales may show different trends from what you see in the store itself. Tracking online buying habits will allow you to market better online. Combining all customer data—from in-store and online sales—in a single database will make it possible to provide greater personalization for those customers in the future.
As you can see, once all the pieces are lined up, omni-channel becomes a powerful sales tool, but it can take a lot of integration. A major benefit when setting up a system like this is to have a POS that is preconfigured for integration with a website. That way, much of the inevitable troubleshooting is done in advance, and you should have ample technical support, if you need it, from your POS service provider.
A POS System That Will Work Hard for You
Your choice of point of sale software for small retail business has long-lasting ramifications. To ensure a successful future for your business, you need to take full advantage of the options available to you. So it is important to see all the functions a POS system provides and consider how they can work for you.
talech produces cloud-based point of sale systems that are simple to use, customizable, and integrable. We can work with you to create a POS system that will meet your unique needs, and we will continue to provide you 24-hour customer service support once you are up and running. See for yourself what a modern, cloud-based POS system can do by scheduling a free demo today.
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