Ok so running a retail outlet isn’t easy, if you have one you’d agree. This blog is focusing on a select few issues which immediately jump out on me when suggesting a cloud POS system to clients. I have personally worked in a retail outlet, managed hospitality and owned a retail outlet so have some experience in the areas and a lot of the below has come from first hand issues I faced from working as a till boy to managing the show.
Ok, so firstly working in a few retail stores including a high street clothing store and a wine shop, when the checkout was slow it drove me insane and especially the customers! No one wants to wait, it has become a typical trait of modern British society, but it’s fair enough – why would you want to wait 20 minutes to pay for the items you are paying good money for!
Checkout isn’t an easy process, from till input, de-tagging, prepping and bagging and then taking payment, maybe even 2 or 3 different types of payment, running a gift receipt and then printing one. With all of the above it is easy to forget to smile, say hello, engage, collect their email address or even give them a free copy of your most recent catalogue! But when you’re bringing in the customers, literally the moment they walk through your door the target has to be RETENTION; the only way to do this is make sure they leave your store content, and you’ve taken some of their details to retarget them in the near future. Speeding up the process of inputting and running payments is the easiest way to make the above happen.
How have we achieved this with UpLinkPOS? We have selected a number of softwares which will allow your staff to easily scan products, take payments with a couple of clicks and open up some time for your staff to interact with your customers and provide a retention worthy service.
Heard of JIT? Just-In-Time stock control is the new model which we are now seeing high street retailers adopt. Gone are the days of huge sales where you’d queue for 3 hours outside your local highstreet store, why? Because they have become super efficient, they buy as they need to and they keep stock tight. How can they do this? It’s quite simple; they know how much stock they have, they know how fast they sell it and they know what sells well!
Many businesses I have visited are still in the good old days of purchase as you see fit, how many should I buy? say 20-30-100.. it’s not based on fact, it’s an opinion and it’s rare that people always have the right opinions! Look at the statistics, read the reports, it’s all there to improve your business.
The systems we install for our clients allow them to view the best sellers, worst sellers and high stock products. This information opens a world of opportunity for promotions, stock selection and more, it allows managers to make informed decisions of where to invest their stock capital.
Let’s face it, the biggest cost that most businesses face is staff! And managing staff isn’t as easy as you’d like it to be – you are having an impact on peoples lives, their income and their family’s income. However, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, all you need to do is give them reliable shifts.
How do you find the reliable shifts, back to opinions, please don’t guess your busy times. I look at my till figures and look when I’m making the most sales! This information is invaluable; in the bar, the previous managers had been opening from 9-12 for 6 months, they’d made approximately £200… with a staff bill of over £8000!!! I walked in, printed off the till report and designed a whole new campaign around breakfasts, mid morning offers etc. etc. needless to say we made more than £200!
Something I must say I hate about traditional till systems is the maintenance costs of hardware! Because the traditional hardware is so old and ‘bespoke’ you can’t pop down to curry’s and replace a computer! No! You have to wait for your maintenance company to come, who charge you huge amounts of money for maintenance plans, who then also charge you for the hardware!!
With our new iPad solutions, if something goes wrong (which is rare), what’s the worst case? Slip in another temporary iPad and your whole till is back online – all the software, everything, within 15 minutes and you lose no sales!
Ok so to summarise – you need your staff to interact with customers, to do this they need to be able to use your till point fast and effectively so they can focus on the customer not on writing out your receipts. You need to make your business more profitable by making informed choices on stock; which stock and what quantities! Oh, and you need your rota to be tighter, but pick your high times from real stats not finger in the wind style! Finally, don’t be tied in with hardware you cannot easily control and replace when something breaks on your till point, especially when the card machine/till link goes (which doesn’t ever happen on ours!) as you could lose thousands, it happened to a new client of mine! Hopefully these tips have given you a small light of what we can do. More blogs like this to come – if you have any experiences with any of the above and would like to join in the convo pop a message below!