The 2020 holiday season may be more anticipated than any other year. Despite COVID-19 restrictions being eased in many locations, so many people have discovered the benefits of online ordering and delivery that retailers and restaurants expect the trend to continue through the holidays and beyond.
One key trend you can expect to see for the 2020 holiday season is a 50% increase in click-and-collect sales from 2019. Studies also predict package delivery problems to lead more retailers to contract with local delivery services to ensure their customers receive their orders in a timely manner.
A modern POS system can help serviced-based companies automate and simplify many tasks required to seamlessly run their operations this holiday season and beyond, making it a valuable addition to any business.
How a Modern POS Solution Creates Efficiencies in Online Ordering and Delivery
Here’s a quick look at how restaurants and other retailers can prepare for the boom in online ordering and delivery that is expected to hit this holiday season with the help of a POS solution.
Anticipate Consumer Behavior Through Data Collection and Analysis
Uncertainty is the bane of any business plan. Retailers need accurate, up-to-date data about which of their products are selling and which are struggling. This critical sales information helps retailers provide their customers with the products and services that are most in demand. Modern POS systems are able to integrate online and in-store sales with inventory figures to provide retailers with insight into their customers’ behavior.
Small retailers in particular need the ability to collect and analyze online order statistics quickly and simply so they know exactly where to allocate their limited budgets. This is a primary reason motivating them to upgrade to a POS system with the tools required to support the management of online ordering and delivery.
Another major concern for small and midsize retailers at a time of reduced operations is being able to adopt these and other advanced POS features without any large up-front expenses and without requiring a great deal of employee training. Cloud-based POS solutions such as talech make it possible for the smallest restaurants and retail operations to take advantage of customer relationship management, sales analytics, and other advanced features on an affordable pay-as-you-go basis.
Meet Customers’ Expectations and Needs Through Modern Technology
A key aspect for any successful retailer to uphold is making sure it’s as easy as possible for your customers to reach you. For online ordering, that means having an easily accessible, branded website and accepting various types of payment. It also requires smooth order taking and fulfillment.
These are among the key features a POS system must have in order to successfully support online ordering and delivery:
- Automatic notifications for customers via email or text message.
- Collection of customer information and data.
- Integrated online and in-store sales with inventory reporting.
- The ability to pause online ordering during a surge in orders.
- Custom menus and product catalogs for online orders.
The benefits restaurants reap from adopting a POS system with integrated online ordering were quickly evident to a pair of establishments in Dublin, Ireland:
- The owners of Pacino’s (an Italian restaurant) and The Blind Pig (a New York-style speakeasy that Pacino’s owners opened as an offshoot serving high-end cocktails) switched from relying almost entirely on bookings, walk-ins, and private parties prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to an online ordering and delivery model after lockdown this past spring.
- Talech’s cloud-based POS system allowed the restaurants to implement online ordering and delivery almost overnight.
- The restaurants also switched from using a delivery service that charged commissions as high as 30% to handling deliveries themselves using the POS system. Several of their furloughed servers were happy to be converted into delivery drivers.
Streamline Delivery Services Through POS Tools
Curbside pickup helps protect both customers and employees. A shop’s customers are able to retrieve their orders without stepping foot inside the establishment or even leaving their cars. In addition to “dine in” or “to go,” talech’s POS system now features a new reservation order type called “curbside,” as well as a new order status called “ready for delivery.”
- When the curbside order type is selected, the customer receives an email with pickup instructions and an estimated ready time.
- Customers indicate that they have arrived by choosing the “I’m here” button in the order-confirmation email.
- Customers are then directed to a webpage that acts as a beacon to signal the person who is delivering their order; it shows the order number and will change color when the delivery is complete.
Create a Strong Online Ordering and Delivery Strategy With Talech
Online sales require a different approach than service-based establishments normally take when interacting with customers in person. Meeting the needs of customers in the online sphere starts with building an online ordering strategy. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which products will be offered for sale online? Are the products suitable for delivery? Will they be made available for curbside pickup?
- Will customers have the information they need, such as sizes, colors, and model numbers, to ensure orders are accurate?
- Are the products sold online subject to any regulations or restrictions?
Packaging and delivering orders are new skills for many service-based employees. This is especially true with restaurants where menu items may require special considerations to ensure they arrive in the quality customers expect.
This holiday season will be like no other, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still embody the happy and joyous time it’s known for. The spirit of the holidays will express itself differently, but with a few well-planned adjustments, service-based businesses can deliver the shopping experience their customers want and need. Online ordering and delivery will be more important than ever to creating a safe and enjoyable 2020 holiday season.