If you plan on having a retail store, you will need a point-of-sale (POS) system to complete sales, track inventory, and manage other aspects of your small business. But deciding on a Retail POS system can feel overwhelming. Some are easier to use than others. Some give you better reporting than others. To help you narrow your search, here are three types of Retail POS systems to consider for your store.
All-In-One POS System
Some POS systems give you robust functionality in one application. Not only can you accept payment from customers but you can also get detailed reporting about your business.
These types of Retail POS systems often run quickly, saving you time both when checking out a customer and when collating your data. Because these systems are so robust, they’re often tailor-made to your specific industry. For example, a restaurant all-in-one POS system will look and react differently than that of a clothing store all-in-one POS system.
The potential downside to these systems is that they can cost a good amount of money each month. If you’re just getting started, you might want to opt for another system that’s better suited for your budget.
Cloud-Based POS System
Cloud-based POS systems are basically mobile apps your business can use on any device. This is beneficial to many types of businesses, including restaurants wanting to offer table-side checkout or retailers wanting to offer mobile checkout locations throughout the store.
If you’re using non-traditional hardware, such as tablets or smartphones, to accept payment, you’ll want to get a cloud-based POS system.
EMV Chip Readers
In late 2015, consumers started to have their credit cards switched to include the EMV chip. Store owners were supposed to do the same, yet many retailers have been slow to adopt EMV chip readers at their POS systems.
EMV chip readers don’t matter much for consumers, but they make a big difference for retailers. If there is a fraudulent charge, retailers have better protection when a chip reader is used rather than the traditional swipe-to-pay system. If you’re shopping for a new POS system, getting one with a chip reader is ideal. Soon, it’ll be the only option you have.
Which One is Right for You?
Narrowing the pool of choices to the type of POS system will help you decide which one is right for your needs. If you’re well established and have a healthy revenue stream coming in, an all-in-one might be the best option. If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to steer toward the cloud-based POS systems. And, if you want to stay compliant while minimizing your risk, you might want to limit your search to only include POS systems with EMV chip readers.
One of the most overlooked functions in your Restaurant POS System is the item modifier functionality. So many restaurant pos systems claims to have food modifier functionality in their restaurant point of sale. It becomes problematic when you bought a retail pos system to be used in your restaurant or quick service restaurant.
So let us have a look what is a food modifier and what it does. A food modifier is option that pops up, when working in the menu order screen. Modifiers could be forced or could be a choice.
Forced modifiers allow you to force the server to pick from a preset list of suggested or acceptable items on the menu. They are usually added to the main entrée or a choice of food or beverage that requires specific preparation instructions. This feature forces a set number of item choices to be chosen by the server from the order screen. When Forced Modifiers are attached to a particular product, the server will not be allowed to continue the order until a modifier is chosen or they exit out of the Forced Modifier screen. Forced Modifiers will be attached at the product level.
Exception Modifiers allow you to pick from a preset list of suggested or acceptable items under Exception Modify tab on order screen. This feature is similar to Forced Modifiers with the exception of the server being “Forced” to choose a selection. The server now has options to modify an item or exit modifications and continue with the order.
Benefits of item modifiers are:
Modifiers ensure that orders are correctly placed and send to the kitchen. So cooking instructions and choices are sent correctly to the kitchen. Keeping your customers happy.
Save money as orders are placed correctly as received from customers. No more wastage.
Inventory depletion plays a vital role in the execution of choices during the ordering process.
When using restaurant online ordering modifiers ensure the correct ordering from customers, ruling out incorrect orders, and wasting stock and enhancing the customer experience.
For further information on our restaurant pos systems please visit Home StorePoint Restaurant POS
Originally designed to handle QSR businesses, kitchen video display systems have become increasingly common fixtures in quick, casual and fine dining kitchens alike. Kitchen Display Systems eliminate steps, cut down on errors, improve productivity and speed of service, and drive increased guest satisfaction across all types and sizes of restaurants. Full-colour displays and multiple screen layouts make orders easy to read. The Bump Box is designed to make orders easy to control. And rich reporting keeps you on top of staff productivity at all times.
With a Kitchen Display System, service is faster and more accurate, reports more detailed and complete, and end-of-day closings simplified: all at a significantly lower cost than printer, paper and ink. The IT Perspective Installation and configuration is typically very simple as everything is preconfigured, no matter how many controllers you run. Every network address, device ID, the wireless connection—all the technical settings—are preset, or are configured automatically on initial startup: including integration with your POS system.
You can modify any or all of these settings—from changing the IP address of the network adapter to changing the color displayed for soft drinks—from the most familiar of interfaces. The Financial Perspective Kitchen Display Systems have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than Kitchen Printers For example, StorePoint Restaurant POS, there are two cost elements: all one-time, fixed costs.
1. A perpetual license.
2. Flat screen monitor(s). With printers, there are three costs: two of them go on forever. 1. The cost of the printer. 2. The annual cost of paper: R 2000-00 3. Annual cost of ribbons: R 3000-00 After four years, the cost of printing can be more than triple the cost of a kitchen display system.
Operations’ Point of View
A busy kitchen can struggle to maintain control in an environment driven by slips of paper. With a kitchen display system, the operational inefficiencies of the “enter-print-post” method of placing orders, fighting for a spin of the order wheels, expediting, and quality control are eliminated. The endless stream of orders coming out of paper printers— and the problems of backlog when the paper runs out unnoticed—is ended. In its place: a simple, direct connection from the point of sale to the place of preparation. It makes the last steps easier and more correct, providing both chefs and expeditors with pictures of the complete meal for garnishing and presentation control.
Emerging technology trends and mobile devices are changing customer expectations. To remain competitive, small and midsize retail businesses (SMBs) need to adopt a point of sale (POS) tools that address these changing needs.
For example, customers will start seeing checkout lines as a waste of time when other stores allow employees to check them out from anywhere in the store.
This article will help SMBs understand key retail trends and explain how new POS technologies can help businesses embrace mobile devices, social media and the internet of things (IoT).
Technology #1: Mobile POS
Mobile POS systems integrate with common mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to scan products and process payments. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies, 2016 (content is available to Gartner clients), these technologies will become mainstream in less than two years.
These systems can speed up the checkout process and help employees better interact with customers. They’re also useful for small retailers with limited floor space, as they reduce the need for a dedicated cash register.
Mobile POS systems are more suitable for low-margin items, such as groceries, than high-margin categories, such as apparel and electronic items. These products require proper bagging and de-tagging by store associates.
If a retailer has fixed checkout areas, they should make sure that the mobile POS system integrates with their main POS app.
Benefits of Mobile POS for Small Retailers
Mobile POS systems can help small businesses and retailers in a number of ways:
Manage multiple stores and engage with customers in a better way: Mobile POS lets retailers track their sales, profits and inventory levels at different store locations using a unified dashboard on their mobile device. Some options integrate with loyalty management programs so customers can access them from their mobile device.
Improved sales and data security: These systems allow sales associates to conduct transactions easily from any location inside the store, thus providing better customer service and making more sales. In addition, transactions carried out through a mobile POS are fully encrypted and do not store card data.
Many SMB retailers who called Software Advice were also interested in buying a mobile POS in the near future. Here are some sample conversations:
A small retailer with a single-store operation wanted a POS system that could automate their sales and track inventory efficiently. They were also interested in a mobile POS option since they visit about 40 events and shows annually.
Another retailer with operations across four stores was unhappy with their existing POS system due to ongoing data loss. They also required better credit card processing and were interested in a mobile POS for sales during trade shows.
A mobile POS helped these retailers:
Make sales at various trade shows and events. Retailers can meet customers directly at trade shows and conduct sales on the spot. Also, they won’t need to convince customers to visit their stores at a later time, increasing the chance of a sale.
Check inventory levels. When a customer asks for a specific product, the associate can use their mobile device to check its availability. If it’s not in stock, they can even place an order for it.
These systems enable retailers to reward and interact with regular customers through a centralized system that tracks loyalty points, discounts and gift vouchers. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies, 2016, loyalty management systems will become widespread within two to five years.
These systems can help small retailers encourage and reward customer loyalty. They can help businesses track customer interactions on social media and mobile, and provide appropriate rewards, such as cashback offers or special recognition.
Benefits of Loyalty Management Systems for Retailers
Simplify loyalty program adoption: These systems can enable customers to participate in loyalty programs using mobile devices, increasing their adoption.
Appeal to millennials: A recent study found that millennials are twice as likely to pay a premium if they are earning loyalty rewards.
Understand customers’ buying patterns: Retailers can track and understand their customers’ buying patterns. They can offer personalized deals to customers based on their purchase histories and buying trends.
How are Loyalty Management Systems Useful to You?
Thousands of small and midsize retailers already use loyalty management systems or seek to deploy one. Based on a recent survey by Local Commerce Monitor, nearly 24 percent of the SMBs surveyed offer some kind of loyalty program. About one-third of the respondents plan to start offering a customer loyalty program in less than a year.
Chris Luo, VP of Marketing, FiveStars, a loyalty technology company, revealed to Forbes contributor Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle that he believes most retailers that retain customers through repeated sales have better chances to enhance their overall profitability.
Luo is also of the opinion that loyalty programs enhance the overall lifetime value of customers by nearly 30 percent through retention and increase in number of visits and spend.
Retailers can use loyalty management systems in numerous ways.
For example, an SMB crafts retailer in the US that deployed a customer loyalty program had nearly 20,000 customers sign up for the program. The retailer can now identify the most valuable buyers and reach out to them to promote sales events, trade shows and new merchandise.
Technology #3: Digital Wallets
A digital wallet solution securely stores a person’s credentials, such as bank account details, identification cards, loyalty programs and payment cards. Customers can use it in a retail store using their mobile devices.
These wallets can also store multiple payment options, and customers can keep track of their loyalty program progress and benefits.
Apple Pay in action
Before making large technology investments, SMBs should determine whether there is customer demand. As the technology becomes more popular and SMBs adopt digital wallet technologies, they should explain the advantages of these systems to more reluctant users. Incentives should be considered in order to drive customer use.
The use of digital wallets can significantly increase sales for small retailers. Customers will appreciate the ease of transactions and the opportunity for customized offers.
Benefits of Digital Wallets for Retailers
Digital wallets can make the transaction process faster and more efficient. They also offer additional benefits:
Simplified buying process: Digital wallet technology can ease the shopping experience for customers by securely storing customer’s’ payment card information on the server.
Increased sales: Customers usually prefer a streamlined buying process and would return to a retailer if their overall transaction process is quick and easy. This gives opportunities to increase sales as existing customers would repeat their buying.
How are Digital Wallets Being Used?
An apparel retailer that operates in two stores contacted Software Advice regarding a retail system to automate their core checkout processes, manage inventory in the stores and track customers. They need the system to support payments made through Apple Wallet or Android Pay, as well as have e-commerce functionality and back office analytics.
Takeaways and Next Steps
These technologies are already in the wild, and customers will increasingly rely on their ease and convenience. To remain competitive, it’s essential for SMBs to be aware of these trends and develop a plan to adopt them within the next two to five years.
Have a look at our website to see what to keep in mind when it comes to technology for your business that best fits your company’s needs.
It’s clear that the retail landscape is in a state of a major transformation. Thanks to disruptive technologies and changing consumer behavior, traditional retailers are under increasing pressure to keep up with digital-first companies such as Amazon, Takealot, Superbalist, etc.
A large SA retailer that employs approximately 40,000 people, is implementing a survival plan to ensure it does not close its door, having previously reported having struggled with making enough profit in the past. The retailer’s plan, which will help to up its game, is based on seeking funding and not using technology to up its profits.
The future could look bright for those retailers who are willing to embrace innovation and invest in long-term growth. But how do they need to adapt? And where should they be focusing their spend and resource?
Here are 5 ways retailers can safeguard their position in an omnichannel world.
1. Bring the shopping experience to life
There’s no doubt that the selection pressure on retail businesses is changing, and those that fail to adapt certainly face decline and even extinction. But whilst traditional retail businesses based on brick-and-mortar stores urgently need to update their business models for the Amazon age, they also need to start recognizing the unique advantages their physical locations offer – and then using technology to enhance them.
After all, unlike shopping online, the brick-and-mortar experience is one of true discovery, which can be done with friends, and also offers the possibility of in-person interactions with retail staff. The more retailers can play up these three elements, the more they can win back the hearts and minds of consumers, using the opportunity of in-store interaction to their unique advantage.
2. Break down departments to connect shopper behavior online and in-store
If retailers invest properly in infrastructure that breaks down internal departments, they will be able to offer consumers truly omnichannel shopping experience.
Until recently, there was no connection between what a shopper bought or looked at online and their behavior in-store. But knowing who the customer is, where they are, and their preferences is critical. To do this, retailers are using analytics, location, and context, and seeing rising sales as a result.
By aligning back-end operations with front-end customer service, and using technology at every step of the supply chain, the retail industry will start to get a single, multi-channel view of its omnichannel customers. This is exactly what it needs to offer the seamless, streamlined experience that consumers now demand.
3. Gather deeper insight into stock and inventory
Tied to the above point, part of developing insight into a customer’s in-store behavior includes collecting data around stock and inventory. At present, the structure of many retailers fails to live up to the needs of modern customers. Stock is typically received and allocated to different departments that serve the physical shop, e-commerce, pop-ups, and wholesale. But this kind of approach is no longer fit for purpose in an omnichannel world.
With growing customer demand to access any item through any channel at any time, retailers need to have a precise picture of their inventory 24/7.
To achieve this, and ultimately increase profit margins and retain customers, retailers must improve their POS systems and make better use of inventory tracking technology. Investing in technologies such as radio-frequency identification and electronic shelf labels will enable retailers to monitor stock levels in real-time, and ensure they know exactly what they have in at any given time. Not only will this avoid customer disappointment in out-of-stock items but it maximizes efficiencies, saving the retailer time and money in the long-run.
4. Empower employees with technology
If brick-and-mortar retailers are going to overcome the challenges they face, they must be willing to invest both money and time into offering the kind of experience customers have come to expect. Perhaps surprisingly, the focus for this investment starts with employees – more specifically, empowering employees through digital technology and connected workplaces.
After speaking to 900 managers and non-managers in global retailers, and conducting interviews with two industry experts for our report The Road to Digitalisation in Retailing, we found that retail workers using digital workplace technology were not only more productive (72%), but also better able to differentiate their customer offering against the competition (59%).
The benefits of digitization for employees is clear. But with more than a third of those surveyed saying retail has been slow to implement workplace technology compared to other industries, retailers must make this more of a priority. To thrive, they must focus on technology at the edge of the network – in the physical locations that staff and shoppers are most likely to interact, and then provide staff with the connected digital tools that allow them to deliver a more personalized service to every customer.
5. Think differently about success and ROI (long-term investments vs. short-term gains)
After years of focusing only on spending that brings immediate results, retailers are having to accept the need for long-term investments in both POS systems and people. Because unless they conduct a full overhaul of their legacy infrastructure and bridge the skills gap by outsourcing the right talent, they stand little chance of navigating digital transformation successfully.
Rather than mothballing any project that doesn’t deliver instant gains, the industry needs to find new ways of measuring success over longer periods of time. Once retailers get comfortable with this, they can start to focus on building smart digital workplaces – spaces that connect back-end employees with those on the shop floor and provide them all with the tools and flexibility to do their jobs properly.
For retailers, the present can sometimes seem bleak, but the future doesn’t need to be. If that is, technology is embraced and integrated in a way that empowers employees, serves customers and improves the bottom line, and retailers prepare to hold out for longer-term results.