Online shopping and business interaction are thoroughly ingrained in our daily lives. No matter what the current state of your business’s online presence is, there is more to learn. Discovering how online ordering works is not as simple as mimicking the websites of the competition. It is a process that begins with you and that fully projects your vision and passion to the world.
Building an online ordering process that is powered by point of sale (POS) software is easy to achieve when a few fundamental steps are followed. These provide a comprehensive platform that is attractive and easy to use for customers while strengthening the internal processes you rely on to stay in step with your business and marketing plans.
Start by building a strong technology foundation
Just like the building you are now sitting in or your well-thought-out business plan, a strong foundation is necessary for building an effective online ordering platform. Although the options in this area seem limitless, these fundamentals will serve any small business:
- Cloud-based POS software that is modular with features and functionality.
- Data management that stores information from multiple sales channels and without manual intervention.
- The ability to integrate online sales platforms into your data-agnostic POS software.
- A perfected blend of digital invoicing, in-store POS terminals, and virtual payment terminals.
Having this small group of core technologies in place will allow you to build an online ordering experience that will expand your brand’s reach. However, the mixture of new and existing customers may require some rethinking around the items you present to this new online world.
Use your data to determine your online offerings
It will be tempting, at least initially, to throw everything you have onto your online ordering platform to make all of your in-store items available online as well. But this is a fairly typical mistake made by small businesses, as some of the products and services you offer will not translate well into a virtual storefront or as an option for delivery or contactless service.
A thorough analysis of sales, both historic and present, can be easily provided by a POS system that is supportive of multiple sales channels. From here, you will gain consistency in the data you acquire from every transaction, leading to the ability to generate predictive sales reports that reveal your best performers online, on-site, or those items that need a refresh.
Implementing a POS system that provides this level of data management and analysis is a valuable aid for maintaining a constant vigil over sales performance. With a few taps, you can quickly compare in-house sales to virtual sales, monitor inventory levels, or keep a watchful eye over sales conversions and abandoned virtual carts. You can then use this information to construct an inventory strategy to align with the wants and needs of the customer.
Train your staff on maintaining top customer service
A common initial thought in a discussion about online ordering is the lack of importance given to staff training. Much of this is because, well, online orders are shipped, and your staff needs to remain focused on the customers working in your physical location. You would be all set to go with that strategy, if only it were true. Online ordering means:
- Even more staff time will need to be devoted to customer service for any issues or questions that arise.
- Lacking that initial in-person must be replaced by an uncanny ability to accurately fill orders and promptly.
- It will be imperative that online transactions run smoothly, and that those customers requiring click and collect or curbside service are impressed during those few seconds of interaction.
- A blend of POS technology and online ordering is the best way to introduce greater mobility to serve your customer base. This combination will help you give quicker responses to customer inquiries, resolve billing or payment issues, or serve as a guide when a hard-to-please customer is standing in your store undecided on an option.
Even though online ordering is not conducted in person, employees will need up their customer service game more than ever.
Introduce your online platform to the world
Any online ordering platform will fall short of expectations if it is not used or visited by potential customers. QR codes placed in strategic spots around your physical storefront are a great way to attract attention. When scanned, a QR code will direct the customer’s mobile device to your virtual store, placing your site front-and-center for the customer while giving your website another hit to help it rise in search rankings.
Solidifying the commitment to your brand will require an online ordering portal that projects all of the nuances and details about who you are as a business. This gives a visiting customer the sense of you speaking to them in an authentic voice, which increases the chances of a purchase being made and your virtual storefront finding a place in their browser favorites.
The sign of a great POS partner? All-inclusive POS technology
Small business owners understand that thriving is better than surviving. This is why, like you, they all seek better and innovative tools to leverage for gaining an edge in highly competitive markets. All-inclusive POS technology fits the bill, cutting costs while powering performance and results.
The POS technology delivered by talech ensures a high degree of flexibility and performance in all of the daily tasks your business performs. This gives you a budget-friendly technology platform for the expansion of your brand through new sales channels and your newfound ability to perfectly execute customer service. Contact us to learn more about our ePOS solutions or to take part in a free demo.
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