Store B, on the other hand, has sales people throughout the store with handheld Point-of-Sale (POS) systems. These devices allow customers to purchase items anywhere in the store. Retail clerks make quick sales, and satisfied customers are much more likely to make a return visit.
A handheld POS system is a device used to process electronic payments anywhere within a retail location. The unit reads the information from a customer’s credit or debit card, checks available funds, transfers funds from the customer’s account to the seller’s account, records the transaction and prints a receipt. POS technology combines both software and hardware to complete the transaction.
Store A or B: Which category are you in?
You may think these devices are too unwieldy, too complicated and too expensive. However, advances in the technology, portability and affordability of handheld POS devices have made them a valuable option for major retailers. Handhelds simplify the retail business model and streamline the customer experience.
If you’re looking for simple ways to improve customer relationships, you’ll want to consider these benefits of handheld POS systems:
By providing these benefits, handheld POS devices can help you create competitive advantage and long-lasting customer relationships. How do you get to the data? Just plug in a POS device to a computer that connects to the back-office system. You can download results from every store device — consolidating, monitoring and monetizing the information in the format that suits you best. The immediate flow of detailed information about daily sales enhances the effectiveness of tech-savvy managers.
Additional advantages of cloud-based, handheld POS systems include streamlining the entire sales process by automating previously cumbersome sales reporting, analytics and inventory management information. Mobile POS devices free managers and employees to focus on other important issues, such as improving customer service.
It’s no secret many brick-and-mortar retail stores are fighting off competition from online retailers such as eBay and Amazon. That’s one critical reason to solve the slow checkout problem in the Store A example before customers reach for their smartphone or laptop.
If you don’t recognize the increasing importance of modern technology and respond accordingly, you risk falling behind your competitors or being marginalized in a hyper-competitive atmosphere. Companies such as Ace Hardware and Sports Authority that pride themselves on their intense customer loyalty and personal service are ideal candidates for adopting handheld POS solutions.
The 2017 Retail Technology Report by Total Retail magazine analyzed trends, buying behaviors and future opportunities for retailers. It found approximately 32% of respondents currently have a POS system in place.1 And about 28% of survey respondents planned to increase POS spending within a year’s time while 65% intended to maintain the same budget.
Rather than maintaining the same budget, however, the case can be made to reallocate limited resources to handheld POS systems with direct customer benefits. This may be the simplest way to improve the customer experience and create long-lasting relationships.
The report statistics provide a strategic advantage to trailblazers who want to move ahead with the times. Smart retailers are taking market share away from challengers by pivoting to mobile devices.
The customer experience today is more important than ever. And bold merchants are doing everything they can to differentiate themselves in a hyper-competitive marketplace.
What are you doing to cultivate customer relationships? Handheld POS systems have a proven ability to streamline, automate and improve the sales experience. When it comes to emerging technologies, mobile POS devices may be the best place to start.
1 Total Retail, Radial and NAPCO Media. (2017). The 2017 Retail Technology Report. Mytotalretail.com.