Important Questions Retailers Should Ask Themselves When Looking for a New Point-of-Sale Software
Meet Amy… a fellow Retail Business Owner comparing Retail Solutions:
Have you been overwhelmed with your online search for a new point-of-sale retail software?
It can be an exhausting process as there are so many retail technology providers on the market. You are likely looking for an affordable retail system, with the retail features specific to your evolving business, as well as with the ability to integrate your brick and mortar store with your online website.
Some Point of Sale providers offer outdated software and lack the mobility aspect, while other retail system providers are too new and don’t have the retail experience or the industry reputation for an experienced retail.
If I choose a Cloud-based SaaS point-of-sale, what happens if I lose internet?
Many of the more cost-effective POS solutions on the market are SaaS, with your retail software and data hosted in the cloud- this helps to bring down your overall costs, but what happens if the internet goes down? Does your POS provider offer on-site, local redundancy, so that even if the internet is lost, your store can still process sales and look up customer, sales and promotional information? Basically, is your POS ‘Always On’?
How can I save time during my POS implementation process?
Getting started on a new point-of-sale can be challenging and time consuming. One way to make the initial steps faster, is too integrate with your vendors. Can your point-of-sale import your vendor catalogs directly into your retail POS, to help you build your database? If so, there is no need to manually enter all of your products; gone are the days of manual entry and human error!
How can I integrate my brick and mortar store with my online website?
Another important question is can your website be integrated with your point of sale software at your store? Are you able to sell gift cards both in-store and online? Can you gift cards, that were sold in-store, be redeemed online? Can you offer loyalty reward programs which can be accumulated and/or redeemed in your store and on your website? With an integrated eCommerce platform, updates to products, pricing and promotions are entered once, and reflected immediately, in real-time, to your website and any other store.
Should I sell my products on online marketplaces?
You can easily expand online sales by not just selling on your own website, but also integrating to popular online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart and more. Of course, while you can sell on these marketplaces regardless of which point-of-sale you are using, having a POS system which is integrated to each marketplace can save you a lot of time and reduce errors. You can push your products through from your POS to the marketplace with a few clicks, and your online orders will then flow into your POS database just as if they are coming in from your own website, without any duplicate or manual entry.
How can I sell more products online?
Take the work out of stocking and fulfilling orders: pull your distributors’ and vendors’ available inventory feeds onto your website and drop ship through your website. This process allows you to sell tons more merchandise and a wider array of product lines on your website then you are able to carry in your store, since you are not stocking the merchandise! Simply have it ship directly from your vendor; you can even fulfill through Amazon or eBay!
And perhaps the biggest question…
How can I increase traffic and sales to my store and my website?
Email marketing is by far the least expensive and most effective type of marketing, but how can you break through the noise and ensure that your customers open your emails, click through to your website, and convert into a sale? By integrating your point of sale software with your email marketing platform, you can send out personalized emails based on your customers’ past purchases and individual preferences. By setting up automated email workflows, once you complete the initial set-up, the personalized email marketing will flow entirely on its own and you can enjoy increased visits, clicks and sales on your website, and in your store! For example, a week after an order is placed, you can send an automated email encouraging an online review, linking specifically to the product page from the purchase. Another example, each time a specific product is purchased, a week later you can send an automated email suggested associated products in an attempt to upsell. The possibilities are endless and you can ‘follow’ your customers while marketing specificly to them, with little effort on your end.
What happens when I outgrow my SaaS retail software?
It’s important to find a software company that can allow you to start small, yet support your growth. Whether you start with only one store, add on integrated eCommerce later, and then maybe add on an online marketplace- eventually add-on a few more. If your retail software company has different software versions available, enabling you to upgrade as you grow- with even the potential for an Enterprise system upgrade one day- that has huge advantages. Implementing a new software with a new POS provider can be challenging, time consuming and often times a difficult process for your small business, so why not find a vendor who will partner with you for the long haul?
With the right POS software provider, manage your store’s growing loyalty program, you can sell gift cards, create coupons & promotions, integrate your eCommerce and online marketplace orders, and even bring your digital marketing efforts to another level. Before making your decision on which point-of-sale provider is right for you, it’s important to do your research to ensure you are making the best decision for today and for the future of your growing retail business.