If you’re running a bricks and mortar store, selling more items a day than you can mentally keep a handle on, and you’re not using a point of sale system, then I beg the question, why? You may think you don’t need it and are managing fine without it, but you could be even better with a great POS system in place. You might be surprised just how much it can help your bottom line. Take a look at these 6 good reasons to consider implementing point of sale software.
6 Reasons Why All Small Businesses Should Use Point of Sale Software
Eliminate Human Error
If you are manually adding up orders or calculating stock takes, you are leaving yourself open to human error. Sure, an error here or there isn’t going to break the bank but as little as 1% margin of error could lose you thousands over a year (for example, if you are taking on average £1,000 ($1569.60 U.S) a day, 6 days a week, there’s 52 weeks in a year then if you have just a 1% error you are losing out on, or not accounting for, £3,120 a year ($4897.15 U.S.)). Whereas, whilst a POS system might cost you a bit each month, it will help your bottom line figures and you’ll more than likely see a return within months.
Reduce Your Losses
It’s sad to say but quite often a business’s losses are due to theft from their own employees. Since these people know how the company’s processes work, they are able to exploit the flaws to cover up their theft. A POS system can track and evaluate every step in a product’s lifecycle from purchase from a supplier to the sale to a customer. You can use this data to understand a) where your losses are occurring, and b) where the flaws in your processes actually are, and act accordingly. Plugging these holes will help you to tackle loss from external shoplifters as well, so your saving could be twofold.
If your stocktake (inventory) always tallies (balances) with what you’ve sold, then you can move onto the next point. If you have discrepancies however, you may want to read on! Any POS system worth its salt will automatically enter sale information straight into your inventory so you no longer need to double-check for inconsistencies between the sales you made and what you have in stock. If you can integrate with your accounting software as well, then you will gain back even more time. This gives you and your staff more time to be able to concentrate on generating extra revenue by tending to customers.
Know Your ROI (Return on Investment)
Do you know what your best-selling product line is? Or which of your stores is most successful and why? Perhaps you have a particularly good sales person without whom you wouldn’t be selling so much? Sales reports generated by a POS system let you analyze the effectiveness of any campaigns you are running. This lets you find the products with the best margins, who’s the best sales person on your team, the top pricing structures or deals that convince customers to buy, and what marketing activities are the most successful for your business. You can then optimize your sales processes, ordering and marketing to improve your profit margins.
Optimize Your Checkout Process
Significantly speed up your checkout process with bar code scanning. Your customers will be much more satisfied if they don’t have to wait about queuing (wait in line) in order to make a purchase, and you will be able to serve many more customers each day. Plus, you will be able to record more data at your checkout that could be used to incentivize loyalty in your clientele and help you better market to them.
Keep Your Prices Accurate and Consistent
When you make a price change you only need to do it in one place and it will update across multiple locations and within your inventory management software. With your whole business up to date, anyone who sells an item will have visibility of the correct price or deal. This means your prices are always consistent, so your customers will never feel cheated if they notice a cheaper price in a different location, or even receive a different price from another salesperson in the store. If you integrate your POS system with your other sales channels, like your online store, you can automatically update these at the same time. Of course, not all POS systems will let you do this easily, but it is worth bearing in mind when you’re picking one out.
If you’re still running your small business with a pen and paper, calculator or simple spreadsheet software, it might be time to consider a proper point of sale system. When making your choice of POS, remember to think about the long-term and opt for a system that will let you scale and grow.
Penelope Edwards works for Brightpearl, who provide business management software for independent retailers and wholesalers that is designed specifically to save time, increase sales and make customers happier. Their multichannel retail system lets you integrate your inventory, accounts, CRM, order management and more with your online web store, POS software and online marketplace listings.