Image credit: Lightspeed
Since the start of the COVID crisis, small businesses in the retail industry have been among those that were hardest hit. With radical safety measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus, businesses were forced into lockdown, sending many countries into a deep recession that will last longer than anyone had ever expected. As a result, consumer shopping habits have changed. The major shift to online shopping has pushed retailers to move the majority of their business online. Contactless payments have been top-of-mind for merchants since March and COVID has greatly accelerated the move from cash to digital methods and transactions.
While the virus has shaken the global economy to its core, retailers that are still standing are looking for ways to recover financially while satisfying their customers’ changing needs. Point-of-sale (POS) software is helping these businesses navigate through this COVID era and preparing them for a stronger future.
Why use a POS software?
Image credit: Lightspeed
The need for flexibility has driven small business owners to rely on POS software to help them reclaim their losses. POS technology has unquestionably evolved from the traditional ways of selling into a sophisticated, all-in-one system that simplifies your day-to-day operations so you can provide better customer service and have customers coming back.
Whether you’re looking to add a new POS system or replace the one you’re currently using, you will want to start by asking yourself what you need to accomplish this upcoming year. Then you’ll need to make sure the software can do what you need it to do. Does your business need to increase its ROI or reduce errors caused by manual processes? Can it use more real-time analytics, a new e-commerce store, contactless payments, or all of the above? It is important to keep in mind – the POS system you choose should complement your business and the way it operates.
Today’s consumers and buying trends speak volumes. Customers expect 3 things out of their shopping experience: convenience, efficiency and personalization. Business owners are fulfilling these needs with time saving, automatized, cloud-based POS technology driving sales across multiple retail channels, both online and off. That’s because POS software like Lightspeed Retail for example, creates seamless shopping experiences through superior customization features, built-in payment processing, their own e-commerce platform, inventory management and powerful reporting capabilities in one place. Retailers who use POS software to streamline their operations can expect repeat business, and it is worth looking into for those seeking a complete system for any kind of retail environment.
What to look for in a POS software
You’ll want a POS system that automates processes through easy integrations with other software solutions so your business isn’t forced to start from scratch. This means both retail stores and e-commerce sites must remain synchronized to be able to offer the best possible customer experience all around. Sharing information among different store locations and viewing payments and transactions in one place is easy with an automated cloud-based software. Lightspeed’s all-in-one retail POS solution even has mobile reporting features that allow you to step away from the store and track sales, employees and performance from anywhere, on your smartphone.
Today more than ever, the need for mobile solutions that can process transactions and provide critical information to customers is greater than it has ever been. You can instantly increase sales and simplify tasks for your sales staff with a POS system that moves with you. To accommodate today’s customers, a portable terminal that functions as a cash register and can perform and finalize transactions from anywhere on the sales floor, is a good idea. Being able to offer better in-person customer experience is now more vital than ever, especially for small businesses struggling during unprecedented times. When sales people are equipped with the information they require to attend and respond to requests at the palm of their hands, the customer’s willingness to do future business grows.
Let’s face it, inventory management is the backbone of your business. Knowing how to manage one’s inventory helps better serve customers, with less stock. A good POS software helps you track inventory across all locations, whether online or off. Your POS software should have advanced inventory reporting capabilities built-in, so you won’t ever run out of the popular items and don’t need to worry about how much stock is left and where it is located. Cloud-based inventory solutions like Lightspeed’s, automate all of these processes so they aren’t done manually – helping business owners avoid costly mistakes.
Having complete control over costs makes this inventory management feature a key component to your business’ survival. Tracking inventory affects everything from cash flow to product availability, no matter the size of the business. If you are a smaller business however, you’ll want to do this properly with the help of POS software so that your funds don’t get tied up into overstocked items that aren’t selling fast enough.