Remember walking down Main Street as a child, looking longingly into shop windows, wanting nothing more than whatever toy caught your fancy? Many people share a similar memory to this one- and even though the popularity of ecommerce continues to grow, there is something special about seeing something in person.
It’s never been easier to create online stores and small businesses. Whether it’s somebody selling their hand knit sweaters on Etsy, vintage jewelry on ebay, or custom t-shirts on their own personal website, the internet is a great way to for many individuals to find a market for their products.
As a result, it’s become easier to do shopping from home. Despite this fact, physical retail stores continue to grow- worldwide retail sales are projected to increase by 5.5% to over $28 trillion in in 2018.
Recognize the strengths of brick-and-mortar
According to Adweek, 54% of shoppers want to actually see the product before purchase. This comes despite the fact that 81% of customers are doing online research before their purchases. Use your cloud based POS to make your store the place they can do their research and make their purchase.
While it’s true that some online mega stores have prices that simply cannot be beat by a physical retailer, there are specific advantages that brick-and-mortar stores have over their online counterparts. An excellent customer service experience is one possible advantage. The best way to get a customer to buy in a physical store is to provide better service then they can get online. Returning products, for example, is much more of a hassle when customers have to ship them back to an online retailer. Incorporating an easy return policy within your POS can keep customers happy and coming back.
Additionally, the price gap between online stores and physical ones doesn’t matter as much when they have a good experience your store- they will be more likely to buy on the spot.
Keep track of what you have
The term “shrinkage” is one popularly used in the retail industry to indicate losses of product within a company. Typically, the more shrinkage that occurs, the bigger hit to a company’s bottom line. If it becomes a big enough problem it can even run you out of business.
According to YourBusiness, shrinkage losses are broken down as follows: 44% is due to employee theft, shoplifting is responsible for 32.6%, administrative error results in 12.9%, and vendor fraud leads to 5.4%. Fortunately, utilizing a cloud-based POS can potentially cut down on all of these issues allowing you to focus on growing your business rather than taking losses (http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/typical-annual-inventory-shrinkage-8878.html).
Employee theft and shoplifting are the hardest things to combat, but with a fully integrated POS you can keep track of your inventory and know exactly when things go missing. If a certain employee is stealing from the company, you can find out- even if it’s not on camera. Additionally, because it is cloud-based, this means you can check the records from anywhere, even when you are at home. All you need is access to the internet- whether from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
The single greatest impact a good POS can have is by eliminating administrative error and vendor fraud. This is because the POS is automatically more organized and keeps complete, detailed records of all transactions, inventory, and orders. It is very easy to see when something goes amiss, whether as a result of employee mistake or vendor fraud. Then it’s just a matter of resolving the issue.
Know who you’re selling to
You need new customers to grow your business- that’s a no-brainer. However, the foundation of any successful retailer is in the loyalty of their customers. Retailers simply need people to keep coming back. Why? According to a combination of studies from many different survey outlets, it typically costs anywhere from 5-10 times more to sell to a new customer than it does to an existing one.
How do you get these customers to keep coming back? By not only providing good customer service but a personal connection and an understanding of who your customer is. Your cloud-based POS is a great way to acquire information about your customers. Plus, along with your social media and websites, it’s a great way to create targeted marketing campaigns designed to bring in new customers.
While it’s true that some customers won’t be ready to hand over all of their life’s details at the register, there are tricks to getting this kind of info. Loyalty programs or rewards based incentives are great ways to get customers to not only willingly hand over their info, but are also encourage them to keep coming back to the store. They are also encouraged to become “regulars” and they can even feel like VIPs.
Your POS is the center of your store- it’s where employees are collecting money from customers. It should be used as much more than that, however. It can be used to cut losses and create personal connections with customers that will ultimately grow your business.