Point of sale (POS) software solutions have been around for some time now, enabling companies in the hospitality or retail sector to provide their customers with a slick and streamlined service. As with most technology, the standard POS system has been around for a number of years, and while it has always been a very useful tool in the retailer’s armour, it has now developed to the point where it can add even more value to the business owner. Today’s POS software solutions are Internet connected and mobile friendly systems that are at the forefront of technology and highly customised to suit the needs of each and every business.
Investing in a multi functioning superior retail POS solution or café POS system, for example, will repay its initial investment several times over, giving staff and owners the tools at their fingertips that are needed to pick up the pace of service and boost sales. Simple to use, even the smallest of businesses will be able to service clients and manage the operational side of the company to the same standard found in top performing multinational brands.
Give your company the added “edge”
Competition is always going to be fierce in the commercial world, even more so in the hospitality and retail sector. Consumers have so much choice, but with limited budgets, are looking for both quality as well as quantity. Some goods and services are a necessity – the buying of food, for example – and households have to budget accordingly.
Disposable income that goes towards social entertainment or leisure pursuits will be channelled towards those companies who the consumer believes will provide the best value for money and the best possible customer service. This is where a superior POS system comes in; from the moment it is installed, it gives your business the added edge that makes it more attractive than others in the same area and sector.
It all starts with speed and efficiency
The “here and now” culture means that customers want to be able to order and pick up or have their goods and services without delay and within optimum time. An enhanced POS system speeds up ordering. Many have a graphic interface so that entry of orders is simple to carry out, they will take card payments at a restaurant table, and might even split payments depending on the customer’s needs.
In order to process customers and take their order and payment in optimum time, a system that can, for example, allow consumers to order coffee in advance meaning they don’t have to queue up for their caffeine hit, is going to instantly add value. This system allows you to know what custom is going to be coming through the door so staff time can be prioritised, the customer gets what they want when they want it, and you can focus on ensuring the remaining footfall clients are dealt with in an effective way.
For leisure centres or beauty salons, the system can be used to schedule new customers via their mobile devices, and consumers can book time slots for activities and events. Restaurants can monitor table layouts by mapping them on screen so it allows the management to streamline processes during busy periods, such as lunchtime, for example.
Simplifying stock ordering and stocktaking
Shrinkage will be reduced as real time inventory management starts from the moment staff begin to use the superior POS system. Managers know immediately what has been sold or what service has been booked, and this is a powerful management tool. Trends in sales can be monitored and stock replenished by buying in only what you need.
Profit is not tied up in stock that is standing still in a warehouse through overbuying, nor should your business run short because staff will know what is in stock and where it is held. Loss due to human error in miscounting is going to be greatly reduced, and not overstocking items will ensure that damage due to overcrowding or theft will also be minimised. All of this means monitoring shrinkage has never been easier.
Department managers or owners will also notice the difference in freeing up staff and management time, as an enhanced POS system will take over a number of manual duties by monitoring sales and goods going out and stock levels and goods coming in. This will also allow managers to focus staff on delivering even better customer service and free up their time to look at improving other areas of the business. At the same time, staff training time will be reduced, as these systems are relatively simple to use.
Better customer relations
Some of the core aspects of improved customer service have been touched upon when reviewing speed and efficiency and giving your business the edge on your competition. Brand loyalty is key when it comes to retaining customers who are faced with a multitude of choice in the hospitality and retail sector. However there are other ways in which an enhanced POS system immediately starts to add value to the business, and this is linked to the customer relationship management tools built into the system.
From the minute customers start to purchase goods or services, these technologically advanced tools begin to log, chart and record buying habits. This can be linked to when the potential consumer lands on the web page and is encouraged to leave their email information and/or preferences (depending on how good your marketing people are), to purchasing an item either in situ or via the web.
This information can be used to monitor consumer buying habits and preferences. The business can use this information to benchmark these habits against other demographic data held on their customers. Goods and services can then be tailored to consumer demand and will also allow the company to respond very quickly to the latest trends.
Last but certainly not least, a superior POS system allows for customer loyalty programmes to be easily set up. This goes a long way towards ensuring that the business retains that brand loyalty and rewards clients who then form part of its repeat business.
Why waste time and lose out on all these benefits? If you’re a business owner, particularly one in the retail and hospitality sector, you simply cannot afford to come up short in this digital age. Invest in a superior POS system that will work hard for your organisation – it’s a decision that you will not regret.
About the author
Peter Ling is the director of Abacus.co, a POS software system and app that will transform the way you run your business. With 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry and a Masters degree in Business Systems, he makes it a point to keep abreast of all the latest technological developments in the retail and hospitality industries. His background also means that he is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of business owners and how technology can meet those requirements.