When it comes to business, here at Hike, we aren’t big lovers of the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Coasting along may be a comfortable option. You might have your own manual systems in place for inventory management and product sales that don’t involve any sort of Point of Sale technology, and you may think you can get along fine without it.
However, what if we could tell you that you can improve your store efficiency, your sales figures and profit margins, and your customer’s experience, all for just a few dollars per month? POS technology is now more advanced and more affordable than ever before, and in this blog post we are going to give you 8 reasons why every small business needs POS software.
Streamline your checkout process
POS software can significantly improve the experience your customer’s have when they check out at your store. It can achieve this in three ways:
- POS barcode scanning is quicker and more efficient, speeding up the entire process and reducing queuing time.
- POS barcodes also reduce the likelihood of human error, automatically inputting the prices from the central registry and calculating totals for you.
- Many POS systems can record valuable customer data. Knowing what your customers buy and when they buy it is vital for inventory control, effective marketing and creating loyalty schemes.
POS barcode scanning and centralized price controlling capabilities mean that once you update a product price on the system, it is automatically rolled out across all store locations. Some POS systems will also integrate with your online shop, meaning that your online prices can be updated at the same time as your in store ones.
Customers vastly prefer pricing consistency, so by having a centralized price control you can ensure that you are offering continuity across all platforms of sale.
Figuring out what price point works best for your customers whilst still giving you an attractive profit margin is an essential part of any small business. Sales and inventory data (which will we cover later) can help you control your pricing to be competitive.
Balance your Inventory
In an ideal world your stock take should always balance with your sales data, but thanks to human error; discrepancies can occur. However, having a great Point of Sale system in place can change all that. Any POS that is worth its weight in sales will automatically align your sales with your inventory. This has three main benefits.
- Stock levels are automatically adjusted when sales are made. This reduces the need for manual stock takes and the possibility the human error. Even a 1% margin of error could cost your business thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
- Reduce your losses. Unfortunately many business losses occur as a result of staff members choosing to exploit knowledge of company procedures and systems in favour of personal gain. Some also lose out to shoplifters. POS technology tracks products from purchase to sale, meaning you can more easily identify where the losses may be occurring. This will let you put additional security measures in place to combat the problem.
- Inventory data supplied by your POS can help you identify sales patterns. You need to know what products are selling and when they are selling best, in order to be prepared for the increased demand.
POS software integration with accounting software can save you more time on financial management.
Understand your Return on Investment (ROI)
Here at Hike, we have packed our POS software with useful analytical tools to help you understand your business. All good POS systems will have a number of analytics options that can tell you important information about your business. This can include:
- Figuring out your best/worst product.
- Which staff member is selling the most?
- Which day of the week is typically making the most sales?
- Which store is the most successful?
Reading and understanding these reports can assist you in improving your inventory management, sales processes and marketing strategies. It can also help you to discover which staff members are ready for further responsibilities or which need additional training or support.
Information at your Fingertips
When a business has a lot of products, employees can feel overwhelmed. There is a lot to remember and usually only a small amount of time to learn it in! Great POS systems can provide any information that you may need about the product, its manufacture, its restocking levels, how to up-sell etc. With all this knowledge at the touch of a button, your employees will feel empowered, more confident and able to fulfil their job better.
Why not eliminate the need for a boring ‘check out’ altogether? Using a combination of cloud-based POS software, mobile devices such as an iPad and a simple plug in scanner, you have a mobile check out on your hands! Not only great for in store, but also ideal if you take your business on the road to trade shows etc.
If your customers are stood around their product, you can approach them directly. Not only are customers put on the spot far more likely to make a purchase, but you can also answer any questions that they have about the product whilst you are both stood in front of it. Taking the ‘checkout’ to your customer also removes the psychological barrier to the purchase, as many potential sales are impeded by the idea of a queue or customers simply talk themselves out of it!
By choosing a POS software that integrates with your accounting software you can take card payments there and then, with the email receipt going direct to their inbox. No more lost receipts!
Love your Customers
Needless to say no business is anything without its loyal customers. Most POS software has integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management). This allows you to create a database of information about your customers, recording their purchase information and any other personal details you can get from them. This can then be used to target specific customer groups for special promotions or loyalty rewards. You could even make a note of your client birthdays and send them a discount voucher or free gift on their birthday.
Anything that is personalised towards your customer makes them feel valued, increases their loyalty to you and ultimately allows you to sell more products to them.
POS software doesn’t have to be expensive!
You could be forgiven for thinking that all of these amazing benefits are going to be expensive, but the reality is that POS software is now very affordable. For example, here at Hike our ethos is to support small business development and as such, we have tailored our price plans to suit even the smallest business.
With no start up fees, our basic package starts at $49 per month for a single store. This includes one register, unlimited products and unlimited transactions, plus all the analytic reports you can shake a stick at! You even get 24/7 email and live chat support.
Obviously we can’t speak for other POS providers, but when you take the next step to researching which POS software is right for your business, we are confident that you will find one that is affordable.
We are pretty confident that this blog post has illustrated to you the clear advantages of implementing POS software for your small business. However, if you still aren’t convinced and aren’t sure about taking the plunge, why not just dip your toes in instead? Here at Hike we are offering a completely free no obligation 30 day trial. No credit card is required, and no pressure is applied. Our POS software speaks for itself. To get started or find out more information, click HERE!