ANSWERED: Why Do You Need a POS System?
You’ve done your homework, selected the perfect location, and researched vendors. You’re finally ready to realize your dream of opening a retail store. But wait! Aren’t you missing something? Before you’re ready to cut that ribbon, you’ll need to implement a point of sale (POS) system.
Owning and operating a retail store is associated with countless expenses. You have your space rental, utilities, staffing costs, upfront stocking costs… the list goes on and on. No doubt, you’re looking to save your bottom line wherever you can. As a result, you may be wondering, “Do I even need a POS system?”
Our answer to that question is a resounding “yes!” But we don’t expect you to take our word for it. Let’s examine a few benefits a retail POS system can offer your store.
Why Do You Need a POS System? Industry Trends
The retail industry is constantly changing, but this fact is doubly true in recent years. The events of 2020 and the resulting economic repercussions have made for a tough environment for smaller retailers. These conditions mean that retailers need to be more vigilant than ever concerning the success of their operational efficiency, customer retention, and more.
In other words, for your retail store to succeed, you’ll need to find operational success where other retailers have failed. Implementing a retail store POS system can assist you in many of these areas.
For example, research shows that 43 percent of small businesses are either not tracking inventory or using inefficient, manual processes. Using a fine-tuned POS solution with inventory management features already puts you in the top half of the pack.
Additionally, changing customer expectations necessitate retailers to implement new technology. For example, more and more customers expect to use mobile payments like ApplePay. In fact, mobile payments grew by more than 40 percent year over year from 2020 to 2021. Without a POS system, processing mobile pay and contactless payments won’t be possible for your store.
Now that we’ve examined some of the POS-related trends in retail, let’s get into the details. We’ll cover four key benefits you’ll gain when implementing a POS system in your retail store.
Improved Customer Service: Checkout Speed & Payment Options
Customer expectations are constantly changing, but one service expectation that has remained consistent is the value of speed. Quick service is vital at every stage of the customer experience, but one of the areas of the shopping experience where speed is most critical is at the checkout. You’re inches away from making a sale… but research shows that customers will abandon lines without making a purchase after eight minutes of waiting at the checkout.
Related Read: 4 Retail Tips to Keep Customers Happy
To provide excellent customer service, you’ll need to give customers the freedom to purchase using their preferred payment method. Cash-only payments have been inconvenient for customers for decades, but in the current market, even restricting payment options to cash or credit cards with your POS system can be problematic. Customers will appreciate the ability to pay using methods like Google Pay, Apple Wallet, and more.
The right POS system can improve customer service at the point of sale, giving you the ability to move customers through the checkout process quickly and easily, regardless of their chosen payment method.
Effective Inventory Management
Inventory management is essential to effective retail operations. Inefficient inventory processes open you up to issues with shrinkage, out-of-stock struggles, and more.
Implementing a POS system can assist you with all things inventory. Linking your inventory management system to your point of sale allows you to keep your inventory data accurate to the minute. This knowledge will help your loss prevention efforts, giving you real-time information about how many units should be on the shelf at any given time. Additionally, you can predict when you’ll run out of stock on a popular item, giving you time to reorder before the shelves are empty.
Related Read: 3 Best Inventory Counting Methods for Small Businesses
With an inventory system like the one offered by CAP Retail by POS Nation, you’ll be able to do more than just track units: You can organize your inventory in ways that will minimize confusion and maximize efficiency. The ability to track and sort products by style, color, department, and more not only assists in stocking and ordering but can give you valuable insights into your sales patterns.
Your POS system can also help you manage your vendors. Instead of keeping track of all your purchase orders and vendor contacts separately, you can manage all of that information in one place with the right POS solution.
Automation & Efficiency
We’ve touched a little on the ways a POS system can save your customers time standing in line, but we haven’t yet discussed just how much time the right POS solution can save your managers and associates.
With a POS solution like CAP Retail by POS Nation, you can automate certain repetitive tasks, freeing up managers and associates to dedicate more time to helping customers. For example, you can set inventory thresholds for certain items, and when your stock falls below that point, your POS can automatically generate a purchase order to reorder the item.
You can also use a POS system to help with employee management. Employees can clock in and out using the POS terminal, saving managers on hours and paying calculations.
If you’re concerned about security related to your POS system, advanced solutions like CAP Retail have the answer: user permissions. For example, your floor associates may not need access to inventory reordering permissions. You can use job-based permissions to restrict each employee’s system functionality.
The last POS-related advantage we’ll discuss in this article has benefits that cannot be understated: actionable data.
To ensure your store is running efficiently, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your store’s data. Swapping out manual spreadsheets for a robust POS solution gives you the ability to easily track key metrics like average transaction value, sell-through rate, sales per square foot, daily sales reports, and more.
The data you’ll get from your POS system can help you make important decisions about which items to stock, how to use floor space, and more.
You can also use your POS system to track customer data. For example, you can start a customer loyalty program with rewards and offers, encouraging customers to come back time and time again. Alternatively, you can use your POS system to store customer contact information like emails, phone numbers, or mailing addresses. This feature will enable you to keep in touch with customers and inform them of any upcoming promotions in your store.
Why You Need a POS System
With changing customer expectations, increased operational expectations, and staffing shortages constantly forcing retail store owners to do more with less, a POS system isn’t an option — it’s a necessity.
For your store to succeed, you’ll need access to real-time actionable data, speedy checkout processes, efficient inventory management, and more. These are all benefits the right POS system can deliver.
But how much will a POS system cost? What hardware do you need? We can help answer each of these questions to help you find the ideal POS solution:
- Take a look at our Complete Guide to Retail POS Systems for Small Businesses.
- Our Build and Price tool allows you to build out your own point of sale solution to get a better idea of what a POS system for your retail store will cost.
- A guided demo and discussion with one of our product specialists is also a great next step to help you learn more and ask questions specific to your store.
We look forward to sharing our expertise and helping you find the perfect POS system for your new business!