Do you own a small retail business? If you said, “Yes!” to this question then chances are pretty good that you are employing some type of Point of Sale technology at your shop or warehouse. If you have more than one or two locations, you’re certainly in need of a streamlined system and probably have devised a system that you believe is working for you.
POS, better known as ‘point of sale’ technology has been around since the 1970’s. Yet, it didn’t become available to Mom and Pop sized businesses, in an easy and affordable manner, until the 1990’s. While POS boomed and evolved throughout the ’80’s, many really small businesses with revenues less than ten million per year, didn’t always cozy up to the costs associated with POS.
But even into the 21st Century, there are clearly many micro-sized businesses that may ‘look’ tech-savvy when taking a customer’s order, but have no clue how to handle or use the critical data that the system is capable of providing. Most smaller businesses, especially those that are super micro-sized and rake in annual revenues less than two million dollars, usually aren’t taking full advantage of the systems they’ve purchased.
Whether checking into a hotel, renting a car or simply shopping for dog food, POS technology impacts the customer relationship that every retailer holds near and dear. An upset in the delivery process could mean a customer lost forever. Retailers are depending on their POS systems to not only help cut costs but to also help them provide customers with a more personalized and streamlined shopping experience.
The barista at your favorite coffee shop may remember your name and what you like to drink if you visit the shop three or four times per week. But that large department store that you visit once a month might know you and your spending habits better simply because of the manner in which their POS system tracks your preferences. Better yet, through POS technology, the store no longer needs to rely on the mere memory of a sales clerk, because the system can provide the clerk with information about customers who have charge accounts at the store. The clerk may not remember, but the system will know that you prefer Chanel No. 5 perfume, not CoCo Toilette.
POS systems have evolved to become so highly sophisticated that a hotel can assign wake-up calls, place a credit card on file and even provide specific instructions to staff electronically. In fact, most consumers take POS completely for granted. In a world that has become accustomed to getting more and getting it faster and faster, consumers are POS’s biggest fan!
Point of sale technology has changed the way major retailers do business and a good system can change the life of a micro-sized business owner who is resisting the use of technology to grow, promote and control their business. If this sound like you or someone you know, it’s time to understand that the positive effect POS had on major retailers a decade or two ago, is available even to the smallest business that opens its mind to change. POS mas changed the way people buy and retailers sell and most of the changes have been phenomenally positive. Micros need to get with a business consultant who can help them find and implement systems, processes and procedures that take full advantage of POS tech. The future survival of many businesses actually relies on it.