A retail point of sale system is an essential in retail. Every retailer needs one, and pretty much all retailers have one. A retail point of sale system is about enabling and recording sales transactions – but it’s also so much more than that. Chosen well, a retail point of sale system can be the enabler that drives business growth and retail success.

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A retail point of sale system provides information and insights, and allows the automation and streamlining of processes that underpin business growth and help to set you apart from your competition. Here we explore the essential functions that retail POS software delivers for your business.

  • Performance management – Focusing on performance management is a good way to stay ahead of competition, and the first step is having the right information. In a recent report on successfully growing a retail business, Forbes lists ‘understand your business’ * as the number one priority. Performance management is about having the information to monitor corporate and store performance, and quickly take action. **

A good retail point of sale system will give you insight about your business is performing, so that you can manage it more effectively. It shows you where the business is doing well and where there is room for improvement, so you can put the right actions in place.

For example, sales tracking data from your retail POS system will show you if sales of a particular item are declining, giving you the opportunity to investigate why – such as a merchandising issue, or an inefficiency in your supply chain, allowing you to take action to address it. You can see which staff are performing best in driving sales, and use the POS to give all staff the information and support they need. You can use POS insights to help set clear goals, and in staff performance reviews, ultimately helping to motivate your team *** and reduce staff turnover.

  • Operational control – A successful retail business is one with strong operational control. Your retail POS system can help to manage the ‘5 Ss of retail operation’ – stock, space, staff, standards and systems. + For example: it can be used to implement mobile POS and self-checkout to reduce queuing in store; a single view of inventory will show you exactly where stock is located, and enable you to fulfil efficiently across all channels; you can integrate automate stock reordering by integrating product sales data with alerts into the inventory management system.

    Operationally, retail technology needs to be an enabler for the business, not a drain. It must make the best use of the resources that you have. For example, choosing a system that uses cloud-based software-as-a-service retail technology ensures that you minimise the infrastructure and technical team you need in-house. It streamlines the operational management of your retail technology, and frees up resources to focus on driving the insights that support business growth.

  • Fostering business growth – For a business to grow efficiently, it must have processes that are smooth and streamlined. If you choose a retail POS system that offers a unified retail approach, you can integrate different functions within the business into a single retail technology platform, allowing automation, and eliminating human effort and error. This becomes the foundation for scalable business growth. For example it enables effective marketing – using the POS for customer data tracking and to gather insights that inform and feed into creating promotions that will drive revenue and profit.

  • Multi-store administration flexibility – As your retail business grows, you need to be able to manage multiple stores efficiently. This too is an essential function of your retail POS system. For example: when you have multiple stores, and a customer goes into one store but can’t find the item they want, a retail POS software that gives you a single view of inventory enables staff to quickly see which store does have the item, and either reserve it for the customer to collect, or arrange to have it delivered to another store or the customer’s home. This level of flexibility reduces lost sales, maximises inventory turnover and increases customer satisfaction along with revenue and profit.

    Ambitious retailers the world over want to grow. Smart retailers realise that their retail POS system performs these four essential functions, which help them to get essential insights, streamline operations, scale up to managing multiple stores, and find that retail holy grail – sustainable, efficient business growth.

How does a retail POS system help manage online stores

A retail POS system can help you to integrate your online store with your brick and mortar stores, for a smooth and seamless omnichannel customer experience. It will help to manage loyalty for example, so that your customers are recognised and rewarded in the same way no matter how and where they shop. The right retail POS software will enable cross-channel sales transactions, such as click and collect, or buy online and return in store.

How does cloud-based retail POS software manage if the store goes offline?

Cloud-based software-as-a-service retail POS has many benefits, but retailers do naturally worry about how they would operate if the store lost connectivity. The answer is to select a cloud platform which also has the ability to operate offline if the network is for some reason compromised. Ensure that the software will then automatically replicate all transactions back to the cloud once connectivity is re-established.

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