A retail business has a lot of moving parts. Literally. Customers are moving in and out of the store and, ideally, inventory is moving too.
Maintaining retail profitability isn’t easy, but it can be more manageable when you can motivate customers to come back to your store and optimize inventory and payment methods to meet their needs.
Technology can be a profitable partner to help you move inventory, but only if your technology supports retail POS features that help you meet customer expectations to move it out the door, and gives you powerful features to stock just enough of what your customers want.
When searching for a POS solution, look for these four must-have features.
Seamless Payment Integrations
Retail customers are increasingly adopting new payment methods and retailers who want to attract and retain their business are wise to have a POS system that accepts these methods. Payment types include:
- EMV (chipped) credit cards
- Contactless payments like Apple Pay
- Gift cards
Contactless payment methods from mobile devices and mobile wallets are becoming mainstream and a part of the everyday retail experience for many shoppers. EMV is important because card information is encrypted, providing better security for both the customer and the retailer.
Loyalty and Customer Management
Customers love loyalty programs and the perks that come with them. For years, retail loyalty programs were only for big retailers with the technology to support it. But today, this same technology is available to independent retailers and small chains. A modern retail POS features make it easy to set up and manage a loyalty program.The magic of a loyalty program is that you can track sales from customers who use the program to create targeted marketing and sales promotions geared to their buying preferences.
A well-managed loyalty program with tiered reward levels can translate into repeat business and more profit. By offering flexible points and rewards, customers will fell like their business is valued.
And, a POS system with built-in customer management and loyalty programs can increase lifetime value.
Inventory Control and Stock Management
Planning ahead is essential in retail. You want to be able to accurately track all stock items and have instant visibility into your retail operations. Ordering too much product results in costly overstocks. Not ordering enough is costly in lost sales and perhaps customer loyalty. It’s a balancing act retailers perform constantly.But it doesn’t have to be a circus. A modern POS system provides retailers with powerful data and reporting capabilities to help you make better-informed inventory decisions.
Look for a POS system that includes these inventory and stock management features for optimal inventory performance:
View entire stock across stores or at the main warehouse or distribution center from your POS system
- Manage stock with handheld devices
- Raise purchase orders in-store for local vendors
- Receive goods against PO or warehouse shipments
- Support Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) to generate in-store receipts
- Make inventory counts and adjustments
- Perform inter-store transfers, transactions, item order and fulfillment from other stores or a distribution center
- Store and track offline inventory
Merchandising, Replenishing and Forecasting
To accurately meet demand for your retail products, track all stock items and their movement in real time with an accurate merchandising, replenishing and forecasting system. The best retail POS system will help you:
- Generate sales forecasts by product, product group, product categories and merchandise hierarchy
- Create sales forecasting models with automatic “best pick” options
- Logically group items into a merchandise hierarchy for effective planning
- Define multiple merchandise hierarchies in the system
- Relate more than one merchandise hierarchy to individual products
- Top-down reporting at all merchandise hierarchy levels
- Manage store inventory with a handheld device
- Plan replenishment at the store or enterprise level
- Generate recommendations to replenish warehouses or stores by purchase order or stock transfer
Keep in mind that adopting new technology is about building your business and boosting profits. But it’s also about making your life easier with powerful automated processes that save time and deliver better information for more profitable decisions. iVend Retail offers a comprehensive system with all the retail POS features your operations need to deliver results, while making customer service a priority.
Paula Da Silva
Executive Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances for CitiXsys
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