Without a doubt, the point of sale (POS) system is the heart of successful retailing.
All the hard work done in the upper levels of your funnel culminates in the sale — a sale that’s captured by your POS system. However, a POS system that only sells merchandise won’t succeed in today’s highly competitive environment.
Today’s consumers are empowered and demanding. They want super-fast service so their precious time is not wasted in a crazy-busy world. They insist on convenience — the freedom to buy whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want. Not only that. They desire a highly personalized service that takes into account their minute needs.
So a till that just records transactions and prints receipts won’t cut it. It has to do more, much more. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to streamline your POS system so it’s able to meet these varied customer needs. Of course, in meeting them you’ll make more money in the process.
5 bright ways to optimize your POS system for maximum profits
Let’s jump right in.
#1. Make sure your system is fast and furious
Optimizing for transaction speed at the POS is crucial if you are to satisfy today’s restive customers.
Don’t make them wait otherwise they’ll bolt.
In a recent research by Time Trade 70% of retailers reported that consumers will wait 5 minutes or less in a checkout line before they abandon a purchase and go elsewhere.
Source: Time Trade
Not only that. If the queue looks longish, they are unwilling to wait — instead they head straight for the nearest exit.
Here’s how to fine-tune your system to accommodate today’s instant-gratification consumers’ insatiable need for fast delivery.
First, offer BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) service to convert more visitors.
A recent study on consumer buying trends in the 2017 holiday shopping season showed that 40% of shoppers used click and collect and 90% of them bought additional items once in the store. Clearly consumers love the quick in and out experience BOPIS provides. No waiting in winding lines. Plus, they shop even more once in-store for pick-up. Talk about a double bite of the cherry.
According to Emarketer, buy online and pick up in-store sales made up almost a third (30.2%) of Sam’s Club’s total ecommerce sales in 2015.
Another way of boosting the speed of your system is skipping capturing incidental customer details on checkout during peak hours. Yes, collecting customer data is good for your overall marketing but doing it when the store is busy will only frustrate customers. Annoyed customers are more likely to abandon your shop and go elsewhere.
So train your cashiers to omit unnecessary details when lines are long. That way you record sales quickly and move customers through checkout much faster.
#2. Ensure inventory visibility across all channels
In a world where people use up to six channels a day, inventory visibility across all stores and channels is a must.
Without a unified brand experience from channel to channel you’ll lose out because 31% of people use five or more devices to connect to other humans, enterprises, and causes.
Furthermore, up to 90% of customers expect consistent interactions with a brand across channels — that’s why omni-channel retailing is crucial for any business that wants to boost its sales. An IDC report found that retailers using omni-channel commerce solutions saw a 15-25% increase in average order values, 5-10% increases in customer profitability, and 30% higher customer lifetime value.
To reap these rewards, make sure your POS system is omni-channel ready. For instance, the Shopify POS can track and manage inventory and sync physical purchases with your ecommerce backend.
British menswear fashion brand, Burton launched an initiative across the performance channel. By providing consumers with the choice and convenience of where to purchase, Burton successfully maximized performance and drove additional revenue.
With the increased exposure across channels, Burton saw a significant increase in activity. Affiliate traffic increased by 260% on the previous week while the offer also converted exceptionally well at 14.5% click to sale.
Source: Digital Training Academy
During the week long promotion, Burton increased sales by 395% online and via mobile devices.
Provide customers with a single buyer’s journey from platform to platform. They’ll reward you by spending more. An optimized omni-channel shopping experience gives you more all-round:
- More sales and higher profit margins.
- More customer satisfaction.
- More brand exposure and market penetration.
- More income streams.
- More data collection points.
- More accurate targeting.
Giant beauty industry retailer, Ulta Beauty has mastered omni-channel retailing, with robust growth in both physical stores and e-commerce. At a time when many retail chains are taking a beating, the public company had 2016 revenue of $4.85 billion, up from $3.9 billion the prior year.
Source: Ultra Beauty
What’s the secret to their phenomenal success?
Offering shoppers a more personalized shopping experience. They provide shoppers more options to buy their way on their favourite channel. Coming up with multi-faceted experiences that bring joy to customers has certainly brought joy to their bottom line.
Build conversion momentum from channel to channel through a nimble POS system that syncs user experience across channels.
#3. Introduce self-service kiosks and apps
An easy peasy way of getting maximum sales is adding self-service checkout kiosks and apps to your checkout system.
Customers love the convenience of self-service kiosks especially if they are buying a few items. Self-service kiosks significantly cut, or even eliminate wait time altogether. And, the more the merrier since that means more people get to checkout.
The biggest advantage of self-service though is that some research has shown that customers who use self-service apps and kiosks tend to spend more money. An experiment by McDonald’s found that customers using self-service kiosks bought bigger meals, spending 30% more on average.
Taco Bell noted that the average digital order made through their app is 20% higher than traditional orders made with a human cashier. The reason is simply because people select additional ingredients.
Like Taco, you too can increase your sales with self-service checkout.
However, self-service is not without its challenges. Technical glitches can frustrate customers until they leave without buying. People without scruples find it easier to steal from a robot than from a human as this study shows.
Source: The Conversation
So you have to find a way to overcome the technical knots and see how you can prevent thefts.
One way of reducing theft is to deploy staff to monitor customers. Insights from a research conducted by a sociologist from an Australian University showed that having a human presence in the self-checkout area helps. It increases the perceived risk of being caught which reduces the likelihood of aberrant behaviour by the potential offender.
#4. Link sales assistants’ tablets or phones to POS system
Another sales-boosting technique is simply equipping your sales associates with mobile POS units.
A survey from mobile services company Stratix, in partnership with global research and advisory firm IHL Group, found that retailers who enabled mobile POS technology saw an average sales increase of 24% in 2017. The same research projects that retailers who deploy in-store mobile effectively this year will have an increase of 146% in sales for the year.
A mobile POS system speeds checkout and benefits your business in several ways:
- Provide paper-free receipting services by instantly sending receipts via email.
- Capture customer information before they get to the check-out line so they sail through faster.
- Sales assistants can take orders while customers are in line so they don’t have to wait longer than they should.
- Empowers sales assistants to ring sales anywhere on the shop floor.
- Enables sales staff to spend more time on the shop floor so they sell more.
- Allows staff to serve customers while in conversation which increases the likelihood of them buying more.
Plus, using phones or tablets for checkout offers customers convenient personalized service they love. And, as you know, a happy customer buys more.
Bonobos’ Guideshops enable sales reps at the store to use a mobile POS system through iPads. The system allows them to store and log in customer data as they try on new clothes. That data then gets routed to the customer’s individual login online.
These mobile units allow store associates to complete transactions from anywhere on the showroom floor. The company saw higher employee satisfaction scores in pilot stores, in addition to a 12% increase in average order values (AOV), a 4.7% increase in units per transaction (UPT), and rising customer satisfaction.
After introducing a mobile POS system, Amara, a beverage company, was able to increase sales by 20%. Having a mobile POS system also allowed them to sell Amara products anywhere, from gyms to CrossFit events and more.
A mobile POS system enables faster and easier selling.
#5. Switch to a centralized powerful analytics system
Precise up-to-the-minute tracking of sales of inventory and sales in one central place can boost revenue.
Having a fully integrated point of sale system that bridges the gap between offline and online retail is good for business. It lets you easily manage all aspects of your business from one dashboard and generates all kinds of stats that help you sell better. Here’s a good example of one such dashboard.
Source: Shopify Blog
As you can see, the dashboard gives detailed data across different channels, performance of different promotions, products or product families and much more.
You don’t have to run to and fro trying to balance inventory of your brick and mortar store and your virtual store. Manage inventory and sales in real time from one convenient place.
Your point-of-sale system is far more than just a cash register. It’s a crammed customer info vault you can use to grow your business. Mine and maximize rich data locked up in your system and use it to improve your earnings.
Below are 5 ways of using analytics data to ramp up your business.
- Keep tabs on your inventory– Sales staff can know the status of every item in your store in real time across all channels. You’ll restock in time, offer better customer service, and sell more products.
- Identify trends and best sellers – A POS system with powerful analytics capabilities allows you to pull out reports showing trends and best-selling products or services. Once identified, you can anticipate demand and stock accordingly and make more money.
- Manage the workforce better – Detailed data about peak sales periods, how many sales per hour each employee makes, or which employee sells the most of a particular product allows you to manage your workforce better and maximize sales and profits.
- Identify repeat customer rate – Who are your repeat customers? How much do they spend? A good well optimized POS system tells you all that so you strategize, make better offers and generate more revenue.
- Channel performance comparison – A solid POS system helps you easily track the performance of all your sales channels. You can pick which sales channel performs best and add similar ones based on the trends you see.
Use this valuable information to do highly-targeted email marketing campaigns and promotions, make personalized product recommendations, do upsells, or even send them a direct mailer. Overall your marketing and advertising will more precise and yield better results.
In short, let’s just say move towards a well-tuned POS system with powerful analytics features. It’ll help you achieve fast results by delivering quick on-demand reporting and interactive analysis of retail data.
Tweak Your POS System To Boost ROI
Indeed, the POS is the brain of modern retailing.
In this omni-channel world with picky consumers, these optimization techniques are no longer nice-to-haves but must-haves.
Customer expectations are going higher and higher. If you don’t rise to meet them, your competitors will zip by you on the commerce highway and leave you engulfed in a cloud of bankruptcy. You just have to up your game. Period. The tools are there.
There are plenty customizable POS systems out with advanced technology to help you deliver a satisfactory seamless omni-channel shopping experience. Use them to make your cash register ring a little while longer.