John and Jane each own and operate a high-end retail boutique outlet in town. They sell the same types of products to the same demographics, are in direct competition with one another and save for one critical detail – the presence of a newly installed next-gen POS system in John’s store - are nearly identical in the way they operate and do business.
Let’s take a look at how John and Jane both handle a typical Friday morning’s business, and see firsthand some of the differences a modernized POS system can make for a retail operation:
The doors to John’s and Jane’s stores open promptly a few minutes before nine o’clock in the morning. The senior employee at both stores shows up to work with a very bad cold. Jane asks that in the future they please call in and not come to work sick and that they try not to cough in front of customers. John, however, is able to quickly make some staffing adjustments on his next-gen POS system and sets things up so that his sick employee will spend most of the day fulfilling orders and restocking. This frees himself and his other healthy employee up to focus exclusively on dealing with people in person.
During the first couple of hours, customers filter into both stores to browse and shop, and the staff assists them. Several people are less than thrilled to speak with Jane’s sick employee, given her sniffling and snuffling, and a few with babies in tow walk out. Jane’s other, healthy employee is also, unfortunately, the least experienced person in the store when it comes to product knowledge and salesmanship causing her to miss a few sales. Still, business is relatively brisk. At John’s store, his sick employee offends no one, having been successfully sequestered in the stockroom.
John’s inexperienced new hire is able to compensate for their relative lack of knowledge by relying on John’s next-gen POS system to pick up the slack.
It helps John’s trainee sell like a pro, by providing them all the information they need to successfully address customer concerns, and even helps him make a few upsells by suggesting additional products the customer may enjoy based on what they are looking at. Business is better than usual at John’s store!
Right around lunchtime, John and Jane are thrilled to see one of their biggest customers walk in. The owners both smile and wave to their star customer, but before they are able to approach they are signaled by one of their employees, holding the phone. The two employees explain to their respective store owners that their major supplier is on the line, and needs to discuss their most recent purchase order. Apparently, there was some typo or mix-up with it, and if the issue doesn’t get addressed immediately, their shipment of new products won’t make it out the door today, potentially causing a real headache next week.
Frustrated and torn between wanting to handle their best customer personally and attending to a critical infrastructure issue no one but themselves is qualified to address, the latter eventually wins out. Jane is forced to take the call and direct one of her clerks to assist her customer. Jane ends up making a relatively nice though not particularly lucrative sale, as the clerk mishandled a couple of questions and forgot to upsell the customer. John, however, was able to make his biggest sale so far this year by personally attending to his major customer; on his way to take the call he remembered he had entered all of his purchasing and product information into his next-gen POS system, so he was able to direct a subordinate to talk through the supply issue.
The moral of today’s story? Deploying a next-gen retail POS system isn’t about bells, whistles, and fancy tablet computers – it has a significant and measurable impact on your bottom line, and can dramatically change how you run your business for the better.
Find out how to revitalize your in-store experience with a new POS. Download our whitepaper titled, POS Transformation below.