Implementing a new Point of Sale platform can be a long painstaking process that yields great results when a legacy platform is failing to meet the needs of a retailer. But before jumping in with a new technology partner, a retailer should first look at projected growth over at least a five year period and make sure the new platform will support it.
This includes growth in all areas, not just adding new store locations. For example, a retailer might have plans to venture into the online world or expand their current eCommerce presence.
For example, a retailer might have plans to venture into the online world or expand their current eCommerce presence. Or maybe the retailer is looking to streamline inventory management and fulfillment, gather more unified data to make decisions on merchandise, integrate with vendors (distributors, manufacturers, etc) for catalog imports, automated purchase orders and drop ship. In today’s evolving retail climate, POS vendors increasingly need to be capable of much more than simply point of sale, and so it makes sense to have a POS provider that is capable of supporting this growth.
Customer Data Goes Far Beyond the In-Store Point of Sale
Capturing customer data really exceeds POS and it is something that needs to be observed from an omnichannel perspective. Consumers today do not know the difference between channels and they expect retailers at POS to have knowledge of their online behaviors and vice versa.
Therefore, each customer should maintain a single profile that follows them as they travel between your retail channels using a CRM. On one end, this means that a single login will give them access to all of their loyalty reward and purchase information. On the other end, this means giving retail store team members at POS the capability to enter data on behavior in store that will combine with online behavior to ultimately provide the customer with the most relevant and personalized offers.
The Importance of ‘Live Data” between stores and Websites
The POS world is being redefined as customers no longer have the patience to tolerate out-of-‐stocks. The “buy online, pick up in stores” model is proving to be very successful to retailers and it depends on real‐time visibility into available inventory. Most retailers know they are competing with online or big box retailers that can provide perks like free two day shipping because inventory management is not as much of a challenge to them.
Many shoppers that can’t find what they are looking for in store often think “this would have been much easier and saved me time if I ordered it online.” It is difficult to overstate how important accurate inventory management is to retailers and how systems that poll data, or update overnight, are obsolete. To be completely beneficial it has to be real-time and integrated between all sales channels.
A Seamless Unified Commerce Experience at the POS
It really all comes down to visibility. That includes visibility into inventory, visibility into consumer records and behaviors, and visibility into sales data. The first two are self-explanatory, but monitoring sales data helps retailers understand what merchandise consumers are demanding right now. They can set minimum and maximum inventory thresholds within the retail software, to set up automated ordering so top selling items are never out of stock and inventory isn’t bogged down with slow moving merchandise.
In-store point of sale also represents perhaps the biggest bottleneck in the retail experience and customers hate waiting in line or looking for a register. POS platforms that have fully functional mobile POS capabilities built-in allow retailers to arm every single team member with a tablet that can do everything a cash wrap can, and from anywhere in the store. This blends the convenience of online shopping with the instant gratification of in-store POS and provides shoppers the experience they are looking for.