5 Reasons to integrate your Point of Sale with eCommerce
Manage your website & store as one!
5 reasons you need a modern eCommerce platform that automatically syncs with your Retail point of sale:
1. Eliminate Manual Data Entry
If you’re like many retailers, you’re running your eCommerce website separate from your point of sale (POS). Intuitively, you know this isn’t ideal. When systems don’t talk to each other, problems are bound to arise. Problems such as not having enough time to manage separate systems and having too many errors within those systems. This happens when you duplicate your efforts by manually entering incoming online orders, transferring inventory, adding product images/descriptions or combining reports from one system to another.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could minimize errors and easily post products to your website from within your POS with just a few clicks? And were able to better manage inventory for both your store and website in one place? This is entirely possible if your POS software provides advanced eCommerce integration which allows you to manage your website and POS as one system. Once integrated, you can setup up automated purchase orders with vendors that will not only eliminate manual workload but also improve your overall restocking time. Once a minimum or maximum level is reached your system can automatically create and send POs directly to the vendor. You can also save time by sending automated email campaigns based on the CRM data collected from both your store and website sales. This gives you a complete picture of how your customers shop, allowing you to better structure and improve your promotional strategy.
2. Real-Time Available Inventory
You can operate more efficiently when managing your store and website inventory within one POS solution. With real-time, shared inventory for stores, warehouse and web, you can easily and quickly transfer merchandise from one store to another, from your web inventory to a store or from a store to your website. Prevent out of stocks and angry customers- as soon as an item is sold in your store or on your web, it is reflected, in real-time in your database. Easily keep track of stock levels, setup auto replenishment, and get real-time reporting to help transfer merchandise as needed. If you have more than one location, and one of those locations is running low on a specific product inter-store transfers can be done. You can replenish your inventory based on your preset minimum and maximum (min/max) values. Your POS will automatically send PO’s for purchased products based on those min/max settings. Your vendor will then fulfill your order accordingly. The POS does all the work. You only need to determine your optimal inventory levels upfront.
3. Offer Cross-Channel Promotions & Customer Incentives
Cross-channel promotions offer various strategic ways to expand your customer base and increase your sales. We spoke about the importance of cross-channel messaging so it’s important you have a retail system that allows pricing, coupons, loyalty rewards & gift cards to be redeemed in-store and online. Pricing can be setup so when there is a price change it will be reflected on both your channels. Loyalty points can be accrued and redeemed both in-store and online. Your loyalty points can be structured in a way which incentivizes customers to shop through both channels. Likewise, you can increase revenue by allowing interchangeable gift cards to be purchased and redeemed online, as well as in-store. Coupons and promotions can be handled with ease and without depending on your POS clerks to manually enter discounts which can slow down your register and increase your fraud risk.
4. Offer In-Store Returns and Pickups
As online shopping continues to evolve and the Amazon model becomes the new standard, shoppers are now preferring a quick and easy shopping experience. Most shoppers expect their order to be delivered within two days but a growing number would prefer to pick it up within an hour. You may have noticed many big box retailers, like Walmart, are now using their store locations to fulfill online orders. You can also take advantage of this fulfillment model by integrating your POS with your online store. Use your store as a fulfillment center. Allowing your customers to purchase products online and pick-up in-store offers shoppers more (and often faster) delivery options and retailers reduced shipping costs. An extension of this, which also helps enhance customer satisfaction, is allowing customers to return products purchased online at the store. Add a store locator on your website showing inventory availability in each store to offer even more shopping convenience. Turning your stock room into a mini fulfillment center will cut costs, decrease delivery times & improve the customer experience.
5. Promote to all your Customers & Leverage your Existing Customers
Take advantage of what the big companies already know- you’re best customers are those who shop through multiple channels. Multi-channel shoppers are the most brand loyal. These are often the ones who review products on your website and post their orders on social media. In today’s business world of transparency, these are the types of customers you need. It’s time to merge your store operations with your online presence and make your cross-channel promotions more effective as you increase brand loyalty and customer retention. Automated email campaigns can target shoppers based on their buying patterns, interests and brand preferences. Your CRM pulls data from every retail channel customers visit including your POS, eCommerce, and third-party marketplaces (i.e., Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc.), and consolidates all their email addresses. Create personalized campaigns that drive customers to your brick and mortar, website or both (pickup in-store) based on their past behaviors and/or demographics. These types of highly relevant cross-channel messages are more likely to increase brand loyalty and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Still not sure if an integrated eCommerce solution is right for you? Check out the video above to see the many benefits.