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.
According to Gartner’s Market Guide for Digital-Business-Ready POS Applications for Tier 2 Midsize Multichannel Retailers, 2016 (content is available to Gartner clients), it’s also important to consider how digital business-ready POS technologies will affect customers’ lifestyles.
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).
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.
Mobile POS systems can help small businesses and retailers in a number of ways:
According to a recent survey by Boston Retail Partners, 84 percent of the surveyed retailers plan to deploy mobile POS solutions within the next three years.
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 mobile POS helped these retailers:
To view the various options, check out our guide to mobile POS systems.
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.
Loyalty management systems can benefit retailers in numerous ways. Here’s how:
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.
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.
According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies, 2016, digital wallets will see mainstream adoption in two to five years.
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.
Digital wallets can make the transaction process faster and more efficient. They also offer additional benefits:
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.
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.
A Kitchen Display System, more popularly known as KDS is a display monitor that is set up in the kitchen. Integrated with the point of sale software, it displays the orders that have been placed in the POS. It acts as a mediator between the waiting staff who takes the order, and the chef who prepares the order.
Now that you know what a Kitchen Display System is, next is understanding why you must invest in it. Not only is it a piece of new age technology where the world is going right now, but it also has multiple benefits that will reflect in your restaurant operations. Here is how a Kitchen Display System can improve the efficiency of your restaurant.
As soon as you enter the order into the POS, it instantly reflects at the display in the kitchen. Thus, instead of generating a KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket), which needs to be taken to the kitchen and given to the chef or the kitchen staff to be prepared, the order is automatically visible on the kitchen display. Kitchen display systems reduce the time gap between order placing and order preparing.
Kitchens are often messy and chaotic. Handwritten or even printed KOTs can get misplaced, lost, and deliver incorrect order instructions. KDS ensures that no order gets missed and enhances accuracy. If the customers give any special instructions, they can also be included, and are visible on the display system.
Kitchen Display System is a one-time investment. Once installed and integrated through the POS, it is cheaper than paper KOTs. Bonus points for being environment-friendly and reducing paper wastage!
Orders placed online are directly pushed to the KDS through the POS. This way you don’t have to push online ordering systems like Starvin Marvin’s online ordering, separately to the kitchen, thus eliminating the risk of missed orders.
KDS sorts the orders automatically and sends them to the specific KDS station based on order type. For example, in the case of multiple stations, such as the main course section and the dessert station, KDS automatically sends the order for ice cream to the dessert station.
Since the order punched into the POS is directly visible on the Kitchen Display System, there is improved communication between the staff. KDS helps customize the kitchen workflow, especially in the case of multi-kitchen restaurants. When the order has been prepared, the chef can change the status of the order to ‘prepared or ready.’ The serving staff can view the display system and serve the order to the customer. Kitchen Display Systems eliminate the need for the service staff to keep asking the chef if the order has been prepared, thus improving communication.
Integrated with your POS software, a Kitchen Display System also helps you keep track of your business, and analyze reports. The KDS gives you in-depth reports through which you can track the average time taken to complete an order. This way you can view how much time and resources are being spent on a particular order.
Kitchen Display Systems are the need of the hour. Not just big cafes, and multi-kitchen restaurants, small restaurants are now also adopting the KDS for smoother restaurant operations and increased efficiency.
Receiving goods from suppliers is a fundamental part of retailing. Due to the potential financial losses that can result, it is critical that staff follow the related procedures to ensure that this is done effectively. While different procedures apply to different merchandise, the following are typical receiving and dispatch procedures.
|Goods are for your store|
Goods have been ordered
Goods received agree with the order and invoice quantity, description, and quality.
Goods are not signed for before they are thoroughly checked. If an invoice is not received with goods, there must be provided to process it in the correct manner when it is received.
Goods are correctly labeled and immediately placed on the selling floor or store. This is to prevent damage and shrinkage.
Pre-sold goods allocated for the earliest possible delivery.
Damaged or incorrect goods are rejected and arrangements made for immediate repair or replacement – delivery slip marked accordingly.
Stock held in reserve promptly labeled after inspection and carefully stored. Reserves are organized so that the oldest item will be drawn first for the selling floor or for delivery.
Daily Goods Received record kept and processed with all relevant invoices and/or delivery docketsReceiving area kept clear at all times and rigid security adhered to
|Dispatch person alert to false or incorrect paperwork. |
Ensure customers are notified of impending delivery – address checked and any money collected carefully documented so the driver cannot overlook it.
Double check goods to be delivered are correct in quantity, description, and quality. Damaged goods not dispatched unless an agreement from the customer. Regularly check loaded vehicles to ensure packing is satisfactory and only the items to be delivered are in the vehicle.
Ensure you are satisfied with the appearance of the vehicle and the driver – they create a lasting impression.
Maintain daily goods delivered records – ensure drivers sign for goods in good order and condition and customer signs at the end for the delivery.
All paperwork processed promptly
It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that everyone adheres to the receiving and dispatching procedures. The process involved in receiving goods will vary from store to store. The responsibilities of the manager and staff when receiving goods will also vary.
StorePoint Retail POS is equipped to handle stock receiving, branch transfers, warehouse management and invoicing to customers. Using the functionality, it prevents shrinkage and loss of stock. With track and tracing, from your point of sale, you will always know where your inventory is. You will also know when any amount is due.
Barcode Scanning – Commission Management- Customer Account Profiles – Discount Managemente – CommerceElectronic Signature – Gift Card Management – Inventory Management – Layaway Management – Loyalty Program Support – Multi-Location – Ordering Automation – Pricing Management – Restaurant POS – Retail Management – Retail POS Returns Management – Returns Tracking – Sales Tracking – Touch Screen – Color and size matrix – electronic invoicing – Invemtory management – Management Reports –
Hardware benefits of OnPoint Retail POS
No expensive hardware – Compatible with all top brands of hardware – Use standard bar code scanners – use standard label printers – label design makes it possible to use different sizes of thermal labels – works well with all top brands of customer displays – Touch Screen friendly design – Can be used on retail tablets – Tablet POS friendly – Hardware required use affordable thermal rolls and thermal labels.