Today’s retail environment is more challenging than ever, with tighter competition, both locally as well as internationally through online shopping, alongside customer expectations that are greater than ever.
Retailers need to focus on enhancing customer experience to attract and retain customers and improving efficiencies, most of which culminate at the point-of-sale.
In our 30+ years helping retail business owners, small and large, as well as franchises, we’ve come to learn a thing or two about running a successful point-of-sale.
- Be practical. Timing at the point of sale is crucial, and any system you deploy, whether manual or electronic, should be able to be carried out within the least amount of steps, by staff that require minimal training to do so.
- Training. Ensure new staff are provided with adequate training to be able to run the POS prior to attending to customers. Rushed clients don’t want to have to deal with new POS staff who are trying to manoeuvre their way around the system.
- Information. In today’s knowledge based society, information is critical and you need it most at the point of sale. Customer information should be available at the click of a button including fancy stuff such as birthdays, anniversaries and other information that may be significant to your business for marketing purposes. In multi-store environments, it shouldn’t matter which store the customer goes to – all the information should be available at all stores.
- Reporting. Ensure you are using a system that allows you to generate all the necessary reports required to run your business, such as end of day Z readings as well as sales statistics and more.
- Inventory control. Mechanisms should be in place to ensure the POS terminals update your inventory with every sale or return. Provide the point of sale with real time inventory knowledge, so that your staff can answer to customer requests about real-time stock item availability, including those available in other shops, next orders, location of an item and more.
- Loyalty. Deploy a loyalty system that is fast and easy to use, ideally integrated with your point-of-sale. It’s no use creating a loyalty system if you’re going to keep a customer waiting at the till for extra minutes in order to process their purchase. With one simple click or barcode scan, you should be able to identify the customer, view their history, record this purchase and provide the value added, whether in the form of a discount, free gift, or points accumulation amongst others.
- eCommerce. Ensure your POS can be eCommerce integrated. Consider whether you already have or may want to extend to an online shop, so that you can ensure that whatever system you choose works for both, and stock inventories are maintained in real-time across all platforms.
- Automation. Save time on those many little tasks that otherwise require manual input, like change calculations, foreign currency calculations, lay-aways of products for processing later, and more.
- Software. Invest in a good point of sale solution. This is the backbone to your business as a retailer, and it should enable your staff to be efficient and flexible to customer requirements in order to maintain a positive customer shopping experience. You might need it to cater for refunds, returns, reservations, gift receipts and gift cards, and you may also require to work with different currencies and languages.
- Support. If using a software solution, ensure the vendor has reputable support services. If your busiest days
are Saturdays and holidays like Boxing Day, you want to ensure that your vendor can be instantly reachable if something goes wrong. Most top vendors offer packages for support services, even after regular office hours. Failure to do this can be detrimental to your sales for that day.
At Shireburn we have over 30 years of experience in business software solutions, specialising in multi-channel solutions for retail, catering, distributors and more. The Shireburn POS is the leading solution deployed in Malta with clients who are single-traders, all the way to many of Malta’s largest retailers. You can count on Shireburn to guide you through a number of point-of-sale and inventory management options to suit your particular business requirements. Get in touch with us for a proposal and demonstration.