POS systems aren’t just something you need – they can help you increase your takings too.
Changing shopping habits make it wise to integrate your physical and online business as much as possible.
Customers like to have lots of payment options – so make sure you provide them.
The more information you collect about your customers, the better position you are in to deliver what they want.
Always think about the nuances or your specific business when deciding your most important features.
POS systems can do so much more than merely acting as a modern-day cash register.
By making intelligent use of your POS system, you can employ various tactics to boost your takings and increase your bottom line. As such, it’s well worth carefully considering which features will most help you.
The best POS system for small business use won’t just tick off your operational musts, it will also provide functionality to drive your company forward.
In this article, we look at several ways to use POS system features to increase revenue. There are lots of different options out there. Whether you’re researching a POS system for retail or food service use, you’ll want to consider which solutions give you the features you think will be most beneficial for your specific business.
1. Give Customers Online Options
The world we live in now is very different to world before 2020. Many high-street firms that were once reluctant to embrace eCommerce have had to do it to stay in business.
Nobody yet knows exactly how the “new normal” will shake out. However, surveys suggest that some of the shift to online shopping will stick.
This is arguably most relevant to retail businesses, but it does impact food service as well. People will always want to browse shops and visit restaurants, but they’ve become used to online shopping, and having goods (and meals) arriving at their door too.
This is where well-chosen POS systems come in. Approaches vary considerably, with some solutions integrating with existing online stores and others offering everything in one package.
Lightspeed, for example, allows you to do everything with one system, with Lightspeed eCom and Delivery modules handling all of the online side. The latter could be a good POS system for restaurant use, should you wish to push the home delivery side of the business.
The key thing here is to be there for the customer, whether they decide to take a trip into town, or remain in the comfort of home. The more continuity you have – in everything from tracking stock to recognizing regular shoppers – the more you can build loyalty and increase sales.
2. Provide More Ways to Pay
This is an obvious one, but when you’re choosing a POS system for small business use, it makes a lot of sense to give customers as many ways to pay as possible.
We’ve all been in those situations where we’ve encountered a business that can’t take the right card. Often this can result in customers walking away when they actually wanted to spend money!
Nowadays there’s Apple Pay, Google Pay and contactless cards, alongside all the more “traditional” payment methods. If one of these is missing from your system’s feature list, it might be worth considering an alternative.
Also, zooming back to the previous point, make sure you consider online payment methods as well as those people will use in person.
3. Learn About Your Customers
Customers like it when they’re recognized and appreciated.
For example, a good POS system for restaurant use could use caller ID so that you know when a repeat customer is booking a table or phoning in a delivery order.
You can take things much further than this. Strong customer management functionality will allow you to track spending patterns and learn about your customers’ favorite items. Knowing that a specific diner likes to have extra mushroom sauce or has a preferred bottle of wine makes them feel special. Not only will they spend more, but they are also more likely to return and to recommend you.
Integration with the online side of the business is possible (and desirable) here too. Oracle’s SuiteCommerce InStore is a great example of this done to the maximum. Imagine having visibility of a customer’s online wish list, and being able to offer them those products at the cash desk. The opportunities to increase revenue are clear.
4. Take Your Payments Mobile
Most POS systems offer some kind of mobile payment functionality these days. Its functionality provides lots of scope for increasing sales and improving customer experience.
Ironically, the pandemic forced businesses to use mobile payments more effectively. We can learn from those lessons.
If you can take payment anywhere, you can offer curbside pickup; You can set up pop-up stores at events and elsewhere; You can deliver items to people’s doors, and take payment there and then.
You also have the option of using mobile payment as a queue-busting technique. This is particularly effective in garden centers or anywhere else selling large, unwieldy items.
It’s all about removing friction for your customers. Make it EASY for them to spend money with your business!
5. Upsell and Cross-Sell
Upselling and cross-selling are “sales 101.” There’s a reason store staff say “can I help you with anything else?” and burger chains ask if you want fries.
POS systems make these sales techniques both easier and more refined. With the right customization, you can also ensure your staff doesn’t miss upselling and cross-selling opportunities. For example, staff can be shown a screen of suggested related products as part of the sales process.
You can use these techniques both online and offline. Combined with customer data, they can be hugely powerful. If you already know what your customers have purchased and enjoyed, you have a strong steer on what to offer them next.
Whether you’re looking at a POS system for retail or restaurant use, it’s wise to spend some time researching how deep these features go. Let’s say, for example, that you want to ensure your staff are guided through an upsell process when they make a sale. It’s worth checking exactly how this will work in practice.
As you can see, your point of sale system can do a great deal to boost your revenue.
The majority of these ideas are equally relevant to retail and restaurant businesses, and there are plenty of POS solutions that will allow you to cover all of them. However, it’s well worth thinking of your business specifically.
If, for example, you run a food cart business, mobile payments should be a huge priority to you. If you have a retail business with multiple stores, customer and inventory management may be particularly important. After all, you don’t want a customer making a trip to a store and not being able to buy the things on their wish list!
If you do the research, you should be able to find a perfect system that ticks all your boxes. It will make point of sale a true asset to your business – not just something you need.