Image credit: Lightspeed
Today more than ever, hardware and software companies are creating value by tailoring their solutions to increase productivity and efficiency for small businesses. The pandemic has unquestionably rewritten the rules retail businesses have been following for decades. And, if you haven’t fully embraced digital technologies to help you run your business, chances are you’re at a severe competitive disadvantage. Adopting hardware and software tools that make processes run smoothly, and customers’ lives easier help small businesses distinguish themselves from their competition and ultimately become more profitable.
While each business is unique, the common denominator in every small company equation is the point-of-sale (POS) system. Point-of-sale tools have grown in popularity especially with the emergence of COVID-19, for their versatility around payment collection. Contactless payments for example, allow consumers to pay for items in-store quickly and securely. Through NFC (near field communication) technology, the payment reader is able to communicate with the credit card, debit card or smartphone with a single tap.
Today, the POS system is so much more than a digitized cash register. Not only does it help you process transactions, it has transitioned into an all-in-one solution that assists in managing every part of your business efficiently. Sales, inventory, employee performance, customer relationships, buying behaviours and even the e-commerce store are fundamentally merged, and monitored in one common place.
On-premise or cloud-based POS systems? That is the question. On-premise is when an organization purchases one or more software licenses and installs them on its own computer system. Although this traditional POS system isn’t going away just yet, the cloud-based POS (point of sale) software for retail was invented to replace it. A cloud-based POS has much more to offer over legacy systems. Most importantly, it puts an end to the need for manual entry, thus minimizing costly errors and saving a retailer time.
In the cloud, everything is automated. Business processes are streamlined and retailers are able to scale whenever demand changes – something on-premise struggles to do. Automation allows resources and sales staff to focus on customer experience strategies rather than spending time performing repetitive tasks. Access to information remotely is another huge advantage of a Cloud POS. Store managers can acquire valuable insight into what is happening in the shop, without ever being present in the building.
With on-premise, your view to sales performance isn’t always accurate. Small businesses without an efficient POS system in place know the hardships associated with sales and inventory tracking. Lightspeed helps alleviate these pain points through customizable reporting solutions that work the way you need them to work. If you’re curious about what items are your best sellers or how often customers buy, you can view the data through interactive dashboards so you’re aware of all the info about the success of your store, all the time.
New customer experiences
It’s safe to say, the customer experience has changed immensely over the last 12 months. Providing shoppers a safe and easy shopping experience has never been this important. A superior experience has become so crucial in fact, that the lack thereof can cost businesses hundreds of customers, with no intention of coming back. In essence, customer service correlates to revenue. With the modern POS, long lines have become a thing of the past. So have slow in-store transactions and lengthy stockroom runs to check for inventory. Additionally, the shopping experience retailers now offer their clients has gone mobile! Shopkeepers are using Lightspeed POS for its mobility, allowing staff to assist clients on the floor with ease, pull up inventory information and make sales on the spot. Business News Daily has recently awarded Lightspeed the title for Best Mobile POS System for iPad in 2021.
Ease of integration is key. Retailers looking to elevate the way they do business will need to start by choosing hardware and software components that can easily integrate with current workflows and other value-added applications. In this COVID era, retail businesses will need solutions that have the capabilities to reach more customers through integrations with e-commerce platforms and loyalty programs. Moreover, a small business can’t possibly grow without learning from the data it collects. Whether cloud-based or not, the modern POS is presenting this data in such a way that allows today’s retailer to make more informed business decisions that translate into profits.