The Covid-19 pandemic has made life more difficult for everyone. Small business owners around the world have been pushed to adapt to an era of “social distancing”. For many small business owners, maintaining a safe and compliant business is difficult. This is especially true for restaurants. Fortunately, many of the biggest point-of-sale (POS) system companies have found new solutions. Regardless of what kind of small business you run, tech can now be on your side in the fight to keep businesses alive amid the pandemic.
What POS Systems Offer
The POS industry is growing rapidly. More companies are entering the market and subscriptions are becoming less expensive. As the industry has progressed, it’s addressed new concerns and POS companies have expanded the scope of their systems. POS systems were never designed for social distancing before Covid-19. But they offer many features aimed at streamlining the sales process. As they’ve become more advanced, POS systems can perform many tasks that assist with business management. Then, most systems also offer many integrations with accounting and other software. What many POS systems are offering now is new features and integrations that make social distancing easier.
Delivery & Collection Options
If you’re already selling online, you’ll have a head start for offering your customers options for receiving their products. Many stores have started to offer more in-store collections to adhere to social distancing guidelines. That way customers can come in and out with minimal contact with others.
With some POS systems, you can set timeframes for customers to come in and pick up their orders. These new features are popular among restaurant POS systems and allow you to avoid large queues. One critical step is ensuring that the collection process is efficient and distant. With a POS system that offers e-receipts, you can almost eliminate the need for direct contact at the checkout. If you offer delivery, it’s important to make ordering as easy as possible. Before UberEats and similar apps took over the food delivery market, restaurants and retailers alike could only take orders by phone or through a form on the business’s website. Now, having an online order option available is especially important. Your POS system should be able to process online orders without fees and ensure orders are completed quickly.
If you run a restaurant but don’t already have a takeout or delivery option, you can set one up with Toast Now. Toast Now can help you set up an online ordering and delivery service. The service can be offered on a platform of your choice.
Integration With Cloud Services & Mobile Devices
Queues are a given if you choose a POS system that only works on your computer at the checkout. During peak hours, another solution is needed if you want to reduce queue sizes. When you’re looking for a POS system, make sure it can be integrated with your existing systems and work smoothly with mobile devices. The system should allow you to bill customers from any point in the store.
Fast & Distant Billing
On that note, you can find POS systems that offer a seamless billing process. With a mobile POS that can bill from any location, the only thing left is finding the best way to quickly help customers check out. Look for POS features that track products, customers, and prices quickly and seamlessly. If you have a rewards system, you’ll need a POS system that can automatically track registered customers and redeem their points and other loyalty rewards. It’s best to leave nothing overlooked. When you’re trying to accommodate social distancing, every step of the checkout process should be as easy and distant as possible.
A self-serve Kiosk is a feature that comes with many POS subscriptions. Quick-service restaurants and many retail shops can easily adopt self-serve options. With a self-serve kiosk, customers can scan the products they’re buying and pay on their own. All of this can be done through a kiosk or checkout terminal. Self-serve kiosks reduce interaction between people in your stores. You can leave hand sanitizer nearby the kiosks for customers to use. But that’s not all they can do to reduce risk. If your staff need to take time off due to illness, self-checkout terminals will make working easier for your remaining staff.
The only downside with self-serve kiosks is that not all businesses will be able to use them effectively. There are POS systems with self-checkout for many industries, including restaurants. But setting up these kiosks is expensive and may not be worth the cost for some.
You may have potential customers that would love to support your store. But if they aren’t aware of your new online ordering options, you might be losing business. Many POS systems come with built-in marketing tools or integrations with third-party marketing tools. These features and integrations more often come alongside eCommerce-friendly POS systems.
Make Sure Your POS System Doesn’t Mistakenly Make Social Distancing Harder
The POS industry has long been a work in progress. But given the state of the pandemic, there are a few subtler things you should watch out for to make sure you’re helping your customers cope with these circumstances. While social distancing is still in effect, you should get rid of minimum order sizes for delivery and takeout. This is advisable even for restaurants that don’t use POS systems. During this time, minimum order sizes aren’t as effective.
Entry & Exit Points
Lastly, you will need to make sure your POS systems and all exit points are organized effectively. Entry and exit points can become bottlenecks for crowds of shoppers if they’re not set up effectively. This is especially difficult if the store only has one entry point. But with some creativity and the right technology, social distancing is easy to accommodate.
POS Systems Can Help
No one can pinpoint the date on which the Covid-19 pandemic will end. But for now, social distancing measures are the norm in many countries. Even if there is no government-mandated social distancing, your customer base may appreciate your efforts and feel safer shopping with you. There is one other reason to consider POS systems that enable social distancing. Having these features available is a good sign of a modern and efficient POS system that is capable of quickly adapting to industry changes.