5 Reasons to integrate your POS with eCommerce

5 Reasons to integrate your POS with eCommerce

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

manage your web and store as one

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

modern eCommerce retail POS platform

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. 

To learn more about Cumulus eCommerce integration, please fill out this form:

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10 Reasons Why You Need an Omnichannel Retail Solution

10 Reasons Why You Need an Omnichannel Retail Solution

10 Reasons Why You Need an Omnichannel Retail Solution

Point of sale, eCommerce and marketplaces could be exactly what you need to increase sales!

The world of commerce is constantly evolving, especially with the emergence of retail technology and eCommerce. Thankfully, today’s tools make adopting POS architecture highly accessible to SMB retailers. Having a powerful POS software that manages all of your retail channels can give your small or medium-sized retail business a turbo boost in sales and growth.

Omnichannel Retail Solution

Being able to track inventory seamlessly is crucial for any retailer who sells a lot of merchandise, has multiple locations, or wants to provide their customers with the best experience.

Managing a business can be extremely complex so the task adopting a complex point of sale software can seem daunting. However, it might end up making things much simpler once the learning gap is closed. An ever-evolving eCommerce landscape suggests that the initial investment of time and money will be returned quickly so don’t let the learning curve intimidate you.

Still not sold about whether you need integrated retail software? Read the following reasons why you need an omnichannel retail solution.

1. Keeping Up With Your Competitors Technology

When you read surveys about consumer trends, do you ever think to yourself, “Wow, I wish we could do that!” Learning about current and potential trends can help you see clearly that there is something essential that your business lacks. 

It’s natural for retailers to be on the lookout for new capabilities to make their businesses more appealing. Many of these powerful capabilities that consumers are beginning to appreciate are made possible by having integrated retail software in place.

2. Managing Different Sales Channels

Retailers in most cases are not relying on a single channel as their main source of retail sales. Instead, rather than keeping all their eggs in one basket, retailers have now integrated with working with marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Managing these channels can become extremely difficult for retailers especially if they are not equipped with the proper technology capable of keeping track of sales and data. An omnichannel retail solution can better assist this tedious process as it grants retailers the access to actively manage all their channels within one system. From sales whether in store, your website, or separate marketplaces an intuitive retail solution will help you efficiently run your business.

3. Keeping Your Entire Business Managed Through ONE System

Managing marketplace integrations and in-store sales are only a small piece of the puzzle. Aside from these aspects there are channels such as inventory and fulfillment that need to be considered. How can a retailer possibly manage these channels all by themselves? This process can become overbearing and stressful for most retailers without the proper retail solution.

Having an intuitive retail solution on your side not only makes your job easier but can be a deciding factor as to the success of your retail business. A powerful retail solution will save retailers the stress  and most importantly the time of manually keeping track of sales and inventory. Owning a powerful retail solution will allow retailers to manage their inventory, vendors, marketplaces, fulfillment, and sales all in one system.

4. Ensure Consistent Inventory Data Across All Channels

If you are selling on multiple platforms (i.e; in-store, online, marketplaces), you should consider owning a POS software capable of managing inventory through all the channels you sell within. Not only can you manage sales but when you are also dealing with a large sum of inventory you can keep track of best selling and under performing products.

With Retailers not having a crystal-clear picture of current inventory, a retailer could potentially end up selling more products than they actually have. Without properly managing inventory, customers may have to receive their products later or might altogether opt to buy elsewhere.

5. Saving Time And Effort For Your Employees

If employees must perform tasks that should be left to point of sale software then they’re being inefficient. From re-entering information, creating purchase orders, filling out invoices should be left to POS software and out of the hands of 

Employees, including you if you’re a manager, should be doing what they were hired to do: sell, manage, deliver, etc. Why would a salesperson need to go to the back to check on inventory if they’re needed by in-store customers?

6. Provide Cross-Channel Coupons, Loyalty Rewards, And Gift Cards

Another aspect that retailers can take full advantage of by owning an omnichannel retail software solution is by offering coupons, loyalty rewards, and gift cards connected through a single channel. 

Without having all your channels connected through one system it might become extremely difficult for your shoppers to redeem coupons or gift cards in your store or on your online shop. This happens due to syncing erros with the coupons that retailers offer where a coupon may be redeemable online but not in-store or vice versa. 

Owning an omnichannel retail solution rids the worry of your coupons and gift cards not being compatible with one another. Having everything efficiently managed through one system ensure that all channels are clicking on all cylinders.

7. Keeping Your Customers Happy

Let’s be real, with so many options, customers need to be satisfied fully or they’ll leave. Lost orders, delayed delivery times, wrong order information are all obvious deal breakers. But as eCommerce and POS software evolve, rewards programs, quick and easy in-store fulfillment mechanisms, and personalized experiences are becoming vitally important.

8. Market To Your Customers Using Their In-Store And Online Purchasing History

Having full records of your customers purchasing history throughout your channels is a great way to generate reoccurring business and happy customers.

Having saved customer information through your POS or eCommerce sites will give you a platform to utilize digital marketing to help generate sales. Obtaining your customers information throughout all channels will allow your business to offer customer incentives, rewards, and coupons which in turn will bring in sales and customer awareness of your brand.

9. Taking Full Advantage Of Your Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Although online shopping is prevalent, most customers still prefer to shop in-store and many say that they would like to support local businesses. With robust POS software that’s accessible on tablets, your sales team can spend their time serving customers and creating a friendly environment instead of entering information and checking stock.

By tracking inventory with POS software, a retailer can help move products from store to store to help cover shortages and allow customers to pick up their recent order from the store that’s closest to them.

10. Leaving The Heavy Lifting To Automation

Managing your retail sales online and in-store, along with inventory, marketing, fulfillment, vendors, customer loyalty and rewards can become a daunting task. Leaning on your POS and eCommerce software will get rid of all the headaches that come with running a retail business. Having everything efficiently managed through a central system frees up the time you need when running your business to focus on the most important aspect, the customer.  

If you feel afflicted by of any of these reasons then it’s time to call CAM to request a demo.

Learn More About Cumulus Retail

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How To Be Competitive With Your Online Store

How To Be Competitive With Your Online Store

How to be Competitive with your Online Store

Developing an Innovative eCommerce Site, as an Extension of your Brick and Mortar Store

As web technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, more and more consumers are shopping online; the web has now become a competitive “battlefield” for retailers. The fact that anyone can purchase products in the comfort of their own home is one of the greatest assets for any retailer in this new age of technology.

Online Store eCommerece Strategies

Staying ahead of the competition requires retailers to understand and leverage modern best practices for online retail. While developing an effective strategy may be different for each type of retail business, there are commonalities all retailers should focus on, such as mobile-first, SEO, the customer experience, and innovative technology integrations – all to help drive traffic and sales to your eCommerce website. This article describe some of the best practices for online retail.

Make It Easy For Online Shoppers

One of the most important steps to a successful online business is ease-of-use. Fostering a booming eCommerce business requires designers to reduce the shopper’s effort. In “The Six Perspectives on Retail Innovation,” the author stresses that reducing annoyances in the purchasing process is an important step to innovation, and lists three important steps to achieve this.

  1. Improve the consumers’ quality of life before and after purchase, and make it easy to navigate the storefront.
  2. Make the storefront look appealing and straight to the point to attract and guide consumers to the most relevant areas of your website.
  3. Focus efforts to automate back-end processes (i.e., inventory, fulfillment, emails) to increase efficiency and speed.

With an easy-to-use, effortless storefront, customers will be more inclined to revisit your website.

Develop an Innovative eCommerce Strategy

Now that your site is easy to use, it’s time to develop a digital strategy. Keep in mind that your strategy will vary based on your goals, industry, competition, budget, and other factors- there is no universal plan. Featured in “You Need An Innovation Strategy,” the author provides a blueprint, which lists three key areas an online retail business should focus on when developing a strategy.

  1. Differentiate: How will you differentiate yourself from competitors (i.e., price, product, experience)?
  2. Foundation: What components will you need to run your business (i.e., website, Amazon, drop ship)?
  3. Innovation: How will you continue growing your business in the future (i.e., new products, popup shops, marketing)?

Whether you’re selling innovative products, or merchandise already on the market, developing an online strategy is vital to an effective online business.

Stay Up-To-Date with Emerging Technologies

We all know technology is constantly evolving, and it’s up to you – the online retailer – to keep up with the “latest and greatest”. Not only will it help you compete, it will improve the experience for you, your staff, and most importantly, your customers.

One of the most important retail technologies that’s constantly evolving is Point of Sale (POS) software. A modern POS system consists of CRM, inventory management, accounting, automation, Cloud technology, POS hardware (i.e., computers/tablets, card readers, cash draws, barcode scanners, receipt printers, mobile POS devices), and more. It’s important to choose a retail solution provider that supports all these components, and keeps up with industry changes.

Final Thoughts...

When building an online store, we suggest starting out with an eCommerce website that is easy to use, and can also automate as many internal processes as possible. Next, build a plan, or strategy, that is realistic, actionable and measurable. And finally, choose a retail software provider that can support all your technology needs.

Learn More About Cumulus Retail

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Launching Your Website is Only the First Step

Launching Your Website is Only the First Step

Launching Your Website is Only the First Step

Going live with your website is only the beginning of your eCommerce journey

Some retailers make the mistake of thinking that developing and launching their website is the most important step. They “go-live” with their new site, stop putting in the continued effort, and then expect the sales to start coming in.

If only it were that easy.
SEO Best Practices for eCommerce

While a user-friendly website is a must for every serious retail business, it is just the first step in building a successful presence on the web. To take your integrated eCommerce platform to the next level, you will have to invest time and energy towards mastering the ever-changing field of SEO (search engine optimization). Ongoing SEO and continued efforts within these best practices is the ultimate key to selling online.

Learn how you can boost your online sales with this crucial weapon.

Why is SEO so Important?

The most common way an online business finds new customers is with the help of Google, which is the internet’s number one search engine. As of May 2017, Google accounted for 62.6 percent of all traffic referrals. In comparison, Facebook only accounted for about 6 percent. Trends suggest that Google’s stranglehold is unlikely to weaken.

SEO is constantly evolving and with Google’s commitment to AI (artificial intelligence), its evolution will most likely become more dramatic. A strong omnichannel retail presence will depend on your ability to stay on top of the changing landscape in search engine algorithms. Though Google isn’t the only search engine, it owns nearly 75% of the overall search market which makes following its recommended guidelines essential. And as a tip, if and when you are paying to advertise with Google in a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing campaign, Google is your friend. When you are looking to gain traction in organic (or free) keyword positions, it becomes much more difficult.

SEO Myths and Pitfalls

Backlinks, which are incoming links to a webpage across the internet, have always been critical to high keyword rankings on results pages- but not all backlinks are equal in the eyes of search engines. This is where knowledge of the different types of relevancy could help a company develop a powerful SEO strategy. It was once thought that links from sites that shared the same niche were more valuable than others, but we now know it’s not necessarily the case. If a page is outside your niche links to your website, the effect could still be substantial if that page has useful information on your niche or subject matter.

Business owners should be wary of falling into innocent-looking pitfalls. For example, Google places a lot of weight on the age of a webpage. That means if you begin a strong content-driven online campaign with an emphasis on obtaining quality backlinks, you might not produce results for weeks, or even months. Budgeting resources for such long-term goals will help you maintain realistic expectations.

And to reach the very top of the search results page, other factors besides backlinks will play a role. To deliver the best search results to its users, Google measures how fast pages are, also known as load time. Google also tracks how long users stay on a page, how nice they look on mobile, and how many visitors actually convert on your pages. Learning about how to optimize for the end-user could be just as important as targeting for keywords and creating favorable backlinks.

Poor SEO Strategy

A website equipped with the latest retail technology and lots of beautiful product pages might not be obtaining the backlinks it desires. This is because most links created on the internet will be aimed at helping users discover valuable and relevant information, which many times is also free. That’s where the creation of quality content comes in. The word quality will ring empty if a company has not investigated what kinds of content are considered to be of interest to the users. Keeping up-to-date with SEO news and trends will allow you to understand what kinds of content and pages you need to create so that others link to your business.

SEO Next Steps

In short, if you want your new eCommerce website to succeed, it’s important to understand that going live with a fantastic website is only one part of the puzzle. A truly successful website must be complemented with an ongoing dedication to SEO.

As we have seen, organic search is the primary source of website traffic, and the most commonly-used search engine is Google. SEO builds trust and credibility, and improves the customer experience by allowing searchers (better known as potential shoppers) to compare and contrast.

With the web’s top referrer, Google, constantly changing its algorithm, and eCommerce becoming the most convenient solution for customers, you cannot afford for SEO to be a weak link for your company’s online shopping experience.

There are so many companies out there that specialize in SEO services, and in some cases your own eCommerce provider may offer ongoing SEO services as well. Perhaps there’s someone in your business who has the knowledge and time to dedicate to your SEO goals. Whichever route you choose, as an online retailer, the most important thing is that SEO doesn’t get ignored.

Learn More About Cumulus' eCommerce & SEO

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Online Retailers, Don’t Fulfill Your Web Orders Without Reading This…

Online Retailers, Don’t Fulfill Your Web Orders Without Reading This…

Online Retailers: Don’t Fulfill Web Orders Without Reading This...

There's no question that order fulfillment can be a challenge; learn how to improve your process!

Online order fulfillment can be very challenging especially when you are fulfilling orders from multiple channels and from multiple fulfillment locations. Luckily, there are options available to help streamline these difficult processes. 

While there are automated fulfillment tools available in which your retail system can automatically select the optimal location to ship from based on predetermined factors, let’s be honest; efficient fulfillment is difficult and frustrating.  

Blog Don’t Fulfill Your Online Orders Without Reading This (2)

Most SMB retailers do not even have large warehouses or DC’s to stock their merchandise or even the internal resources to effectively pick, pack and ship orders that same day.  And many smaller merchants might only have 1 store location from which they run their entire retail business, with limited space and resources.

1) Why Not Lean on your Suppliers to do the Heavy Lifting?

In the evolving retail market, savvy retailers are adopting newer methods in order to better serve their customers online and meet their ever-growing expectations. Most of the distributors, combined with your retail management technology provider, will allow you to sell their products on your website, without having to stock the merchandise, and they will handle the fulfillment from their warehouse on you behalf reliving you of that pressure. The result is you as the retailer can offer more products, and wider product lines, that can be fulfilled faster- while keeping all of your branding.

2) Stock Less Inventory

While there are products you will always need to stock for your brick and mortar store, which hopefully you are beginning to purchase electronically through automated purchase orders within your retail system, when it comes to your online website sales- most products you won’t need to stock at all.  With the right technology, retailers can pull live online feeds from their distributors– showing the products, descriptions, 360-degree images, and most importantly, available inventory levels from their warehouse. The orders made by the customers on your website can be sent directly to your distributor to fulfill on your behalf.

3) Offer More Products

By leveraging this technology, you as the retailer will be able to sell many more products and much wider product lines on your website.  By not only selling what you stock in your store, you can use your website as an extension of your brick and mortar store, and encourage your in-store shoppers to additionally purchase from your website.  Additionally, you can expand your reach and appeal to many more new customers on the web, but offering a vast variety of products to be more competitive online.

4) Minimize your Effort & Stress

Traditionally, merchants only sell the items that they have in stock and often times have difficulties syncing their available, physical inventory with what shows as available on their website.  Another challenge can be ordering your merchandise ‘just in time’ to minimize the dreaded overstocks, or worse yet, under stocks. By integrating with your distributors and/or manufacturers, pulling their live available inventory levels which display on your website, and allowing your distributor to fulfill your orders from their well-stocked warehouses, overhead and manpower needed for the picking of the products, packing and shipping are significantly decreased, if not completely eliminated.

5) KEEP CUSTOMERS HAPPY

In today’s retail world, customers have high expectations and want exactly what they want, and when they want it- FAST.  Retailers need to continuously be extending their product lines to keep customers engaged and reduce the chances they will start looking for the product elsewhere. Perhaps even more importantly, retailers need to come up with innovative new ways to get their orders out the door as fast as the customer’s expect.  Fortunately, the vendors that retailers order their products from usually have extensive resources which retailers can use to their benefit.  The important factor is this- you as a retailer need to recognize the resources which are made available to you, learn how to best leverage your vendors, and obtain the right retail technology partner in order to do so.

With the right Retail technology, many once manual processes can be made simpler, whether it be importing your vendor’s product catalogs, automating your purchase orders, enabling drop shipping; all are easy yet effective ways for retailers to streamline the processes. The ability to stock less inventory and offer more products with less work and happier customers might have once sounded as if it was impossible to accomplish. The savvy retailers are learning to evolve and take advantage of innovative technology, which enables them to effectively operate their business to stay at forefront of the industry.

5 Ways Retailers Can Save Time and Sell More

5 Ways Retailers Can Save Time and Sell More

5 Ways Retailers Can Save Time and Sell More

Automate your retail business & operate more effectively

If you came across this article then, like most retailers, you’re always searching for different ways to automate your retail business and operate more efficiently. Especially if this will help grow the company sales, right? Below are 5 processes that you can simply automate, and you don’t have to be a programmer to do so.

We understand not all retail software offers all the features listed below. Before investing in a 3rd party software, make sure your point of sale provider can integrate.

5 WAYS RETAILERS CAN SAVE TIME AND SELL MORE IMAGE

1) Integrate with distributors and vendors

With this type of integration, you can easily import you vendor’s product catalogs into your retail database, with no manual effort. After that, you will be able to generate and send purchase orders automatically to your suppliers based on predefined minimum and maximum stock levels to replenish your in-store inventory. You can then receive purchases order acknowledgments back from your vendors, and also Advanced Ship Notices (ASN’s) before the shipment arrives, as opposed to having to scan every item that is in the shipment and not knowing what should be included. For your online sales, ask your vendor if they offer drop shipping and if they do ask your eCommerce provider if they can integrate with your vendors. If so, you can pull your vendors available inventory levels from their warehouse onto your website and sell their merchandise as if it were your own. By enabling drop ship, you can sell more products on your website and offload fulfillment to your vendors, speeding up delivery and saving you time.

2) Integrate with accounting software

By integrating your POS and accounting software (i.e., Sage, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Great Plains), syncing sales totals can be done automatically, cost of goods sold and payments for easy reconciliation- eliminating manual data entry and human error. Also, you can learn how to create and send smart invoices through QuickBooks.

3) Integrate promotional email campaigns with your customer & sales data

Integrate your email marketing tool with your retail software and use its CRM and sales data, from both your in-store as well online businesses to segment and automate personalized emails to consumers based on their shopping behavior, past purchases, brand preferences and demographics. (Example: send a 10% coupon for a scarf to customers who recently purchased the matching hat/gloves.) 

By creating automated workflows based on specific behaviors, you can continuously market to your customers, based on their specific preferences and actions, without any ongoing effort.  The process will flow automatically once a certain purchase is made or action is taken.  Personalized email marketing has been known to produce up to 6x times more success than sending out generic mass emails to your entire customer list.

4) Automate abandoned cart emails

Don’t allow the shoppers with items in-cart to slip away. Create an automated marketing campaign consisting of emails, popups and chatbots that offer discounts, free shipping, product reviews or links to products that are similar to entice your shoppers to complete their online order and buy from your website; the more web searches which end in conversions, they higher you will ultimately rank on search engines for your applicable keywords.  And, of course, more conversions means more revenue.

5) Sell your products via online marketplaces, integrated with your point of sale

Many retailers now sell on marketplaces such with Amazon, Wal-Mart, eBay, Facebook and other 3rd party marketplaces to expose their products to potential new shoppers, but the savviest retailers now integrate this process through their point of sale software. 

BLOG 5 WAYS RETAILERS CAN SAVE TIME AND SELL MORE4

Depending on the retail POS software you use, you will be able to automatically upload your products from your POS database, synchronize your stock levels and pricing, offload fulfillment to Amazon, and track sales from each marketplace in one place. Your incoming orders can flow directly into your point of sale software as if they were coming in from your own eCommerce website.  If you are to use multiple marketplaces, your retail system might integrate with Channel Advisor, allowing you to easily manage all marketplaces centrally through one platform. 

Important Questions Retailers Should Ask Themselves When Looking for a New Point-of-Sale Software

Important Questions Retailers Should Ask Themselves When Looking for a New Point-of-Sale Software

Important Questions Retailers Should Ask When Looking for New Point Of Sale Software

Meet Amy... a fellow Retail Business Owner comparing Retail Solutions:

Have you been overwhelmed with your online search for a new point-of-sale retail software?

It can be an exhausting process as there are so many retail technology providers on the market.  You are likely looking for an affordable retail system, with the retail features specific to your evolving business, as well as with the ability to integrate your brick and mortar store with your online website.

Some Point of Sale providers offer outdated software and lack the mobility aspect, while other retail system providers are too new and don’t have the retail experience or the industry reputation for an experienced retail.

If I choose a Cloud-based SaaS point-of-sale, what happens if I lose internet?

Many of the more cost-effective POS solutions on the market are SaaS, with your retail software and data hosted in the cloud- this helps to bring down your overall costs, but what happens if the internet goes down?  Does your POS provider offer on-site, local redundancy, so that even if the internet is lost, your store can still process sales and look up customer, sales and promotional information?  Basically, is your POS ‘Always On’?

How can I save time during my POS implementation process?

Getting started on a new point-of-sale can be challenging and time consuming.  One way to make the initial steps faster, is too integrate with your vendors.  Can your point-of-sale import your vendor catalogs directly into your retail POS, to help you build your database?  If so, there is no need to manually enter all of your products; gone are the days of manual entry and human error!

How can I integrate my brick and mortar store with my online website?

Another important question is can your website be integrated with your point of sale software at your store?  Are you able to sell gift cards both in-store and online?  Can you gift cards, that were sold in-store, be redeemed online?  Can you offer loyalty reward programs which can be accumulated and/or redeemed in your store and on your website?  With an integrated eCommerce platform, updates to products, pricing and promotions are entered once, and reflected immediately, in real-time, to your website and any other store. 

Should I sell my products on online marketplaces?

You can easily expand online sales by not just selling on your own website, but also integrating to popular online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart and more.  Of course, while you can sell on these marketplaces regardless of which point-of-sale you are using, having a POS system which is integrated to each marketplace can save you a lot of time and reduce errors.  You can push your products through from your POS to the marketplace with a few clicks, and your online orders will then flow into your POS database just as if they are coming in from your own website, without any duplicate or manual entry.

How can I sell more products online?

Take the work out of stocking and fulfilling orders: pull your distributors’ and vendors’ available inventory feeds onto your website and drop ship through your website.  This process allows you to sell tons more merchandise and a wider array of product lines on your website then you are able to carry in your store, since you are not stocking the merchandise!  Simply have it ship directly from your vendor; you can even fulfill through Amazon or eBay!

And perhaps the biggest question…

How can I increase traffic and sales to my store and my website?

Email marketing is by far the least expensive and most effective type of marketing, but how can you break through the noise and ensure that your customers open your emails, click through to your website, and convert into a sale?  By integrating your point of sale software with your email marketing platform, you can send out personalized emails based on your customers’ past purchases and individual preferences.  By setting up automated email workflows, once you complete the initial set-up, the personalized email marketing will flow entirely on its own and you can enjoy increased visits, clicks and sales on your website, and in your store!  For example, a week after an order is placed, you can send an automated email encouraging an online review, linking specifically to the product page from the purchase.  Another example, each time a specific product is purchased, a week later you can send an automated email suggested associated products in an attempt to upsell.  The possibilities are endless and you can ‘follow’ your customers while marketing specificly to them, with little effort on your end.

What happens when I outgrow my SaaS retail software?

It’s important to find a software company that can allow you to start small, yet support your growth.  Whether you start with only one store, add on integrated eCommerce later, and then maybe add on an online marketplace- eventually add-on a few more.  If your retail software company has different software versions available, enabling you to upgrade as you grow- with even the potential for an Enterprise system upgrade one day- that has huge advantages. Implementing a new software with a new POS provider can be challenging, time consuming and often times a difficult process for your small business, so why not find a vendor who will partner with you for the long haul? 

With the right POS software provider, manage your store’s growing loyalty program, you can sell gift cards, create coupons & promotions, integrate your eCommerce and online marketplace orders, and even bring your digital marketing efforts to another level.  Before making your decision on which point-of-sale provider is right for you, it’s important to do your research to ensure you are making the best decision for today and for the future of your growing retail business.