Today’s digitally-connected customers expect slicker, more connected service in stores, and retailers need to make sure they can deliver. The right tech can help you give customers what they look for – and conversely, the wrong tech can undermine all your efforts. Here are 4 ways that the wrong Point of Sale (POS) system can damage your business – and our tips on how to avoid mistakes, and choose a system that supports business growth.
1. No mobile, no sale
A POS system that doesn’t include the option to run mobile POS (mPOS) can literally bring sales to a standstill. Customers are used to having access to information, products and services at their fingertips. They don’t have to wait in line to get what they want when they use their smartphones, and they don’t expect to have to do it in the store. Faced with a queue, many will simply walk out. Choosing a standalone mPOS solution can be just as bad a mistake. If the devices in your staff’s hands can’t do everything the stationary POS can do, they’ll end up back at the cash desk with another frustrated customer.
Make sure your POS includes the option to run mPOS, and that the system is integrated, so that your mobile and stationary POS work seamlessly together. When your mPOS can handle payments, promotions, product knowledge and up-to-date inventory information, staff can conduct the whole transaction wherever the customer chooses. They can give faster, more efficient service that enhances the shopping experience, ensuring minimal queues and maximum convenience.
2. The POS lacks a personal touch
Personalization is increasingly important to shoppers who expect to be recognized as individuals, receive recommendations based on their interests, and be rewarded for their loyalty. You might have a wealth of data about your customers, but if your POS isn’t integrated with other systems then it can’t share that information with sales staff. And without that insight, your employees won’t be able to deliver the personalized experience your customers expect.
Choose a POS that can bring together information about the customer’s activity on different channels, and provide insights that enable staff to have an informed conversation with the customer. Make sure the system gives easy access to relevant information including past purchases, loyalty points, preferences and interests. Suggestive selling, enabled by powerful search engines and automated machine learning, can increase the sales basket with suggestions tailored to the customer’s shopping habits at the POS.
3. The system slows down your staff
A rigid POS interface can hinder your productivity. If the POS system doesn’t fit with your workflows and is hard to customize, you may end up spending too much time training your staff on how to use the system. The time your staff wastes trying to understand what they are supposed to click to search the inventory or redeem loyalty reward points, is all time that would be better spent completing sales and serving customers.
Choose a POS system that you can customize easily to fit the way your people work, giving them access to all the tools and information they need. Use role-based support to control who has access to what, and provide smart menus and shortcuts that let them get on with the job.
4. Payments are a pain
Processing payments might be essential to retail, but a lot of POS systems can make you think otherwise. A surprising number of systems don’t support newer payment types such as mobile wallets or contactless cards, and even make heavy work of processing gift cards, loyalty points and promotional codes – let alone a combination of payment methods. This leads to queues, frustration and mistakes that can undermine trust in your brand.
Make sure your customers can pay the way they want with no fuss. Choose a system that lets you add new payment methods easily and makes it easy for staff to accept those payments, doing all the relevant calculations to minimize errors and maximize efficiency. Point of Sale systems are at the heart of any retail business. The successful retailers of the future will be those who choose a system that can support the business in meeting customers’ expectations. Does your current POS support your ambitions? Read our latest whitepaper and find out the key points you should consider when choosing retail POS.