If you have a cash register, there is an inherent liability that goes along with it: the cash could disappear. When money is changing hands, there is a higher risk of both theft and mistakes. That is why having a third-party review your bookkeeping is invaluable to business owners.
By having a point of sales (POS) system recording each transaction, you can have peace of mind that, yes, this is how many sales were made and here is the money in the register to prove it. Tracking the sales and comparing your cash deposits is a way to make sure that your employees aren’t stealing from you.
Having unbiased sales reports on the back-end is the best way to track what’s happening in your storefront.
1. Don’t Waste Your Time
There are many ways you could track your daily sales activity. You could keep a running spreadsheet of the reports and update it every time a register closes out. But what happens when you want to pull a cumulative report to see how much sales tax was collected?
Yes, there are ways of keeping track of your daily sales without investing in a POS system. But based on my experience of aiding a client through a sales tax audit, their POS system was priceless. Its ability to quickly pull any reports for a date range is unparalleled when compared to making the reports yourself. Even when you are proficient at using Excel, the work required to compile reports and create V-Lookup tables by hand takes the time that you should be spending on growing your business.
2. Automation Prevents Mistakes
There is too much human error to account for in a reporting process that isn’t automated. Whether it is an Excel formula that got altered accidentally, a sale rung up after the register was closed (which requires you to try and figure out the over & short by hand), or the numbers that were simply mistyped, the accuracy of your reporting is too important to leave to any one person.
No matter how hard we try, there are going to be mistakes. So if you are still hand-keying information into a spreadsheet, you should stop now because in the end, it will take more time and effort to fix your mistakes than if you had invested in a POS in the first place.
3. Daily Updates On Revenue
Recording income on a daily basis through daily sales entries is a way to get a snapshot of revenues in an instant. Your data is not 100% accurate by nature, but you can get a rough estimate of where your current revenue stream is in relation to your goals.
With the option of being able to check in on your progress, patterns in the cash flow could be recognized more easily.
4. Prevent Problems Proactively
If you have the opportunity to notice patterns, you could be able to pinpoint areas in the business that need attention. Being able to see the patterns in the day-to-day activities as they occur could give you the information you need to proactively handle potential issues rather than waiting for real problems to materialize.
Why POS Systems Are Worth The Investment
Overall, POS reporting is the best way to get an unbiased report on what is happening at the cash register:
If there is something fishy going on, you will know, because verifying the report versus what hit the bank is one of the most effective controls on cash.
POS reports save you the time and money you would otherwise waste going back to fix the mistakes that someone made hand-keying the information into a spreadsheet.
You have up-to-date information on your cash flow, which gives you an opportunity to see how you are measuring up to short-term goals, allowing you to address problems as they arise, rather than after the fact.
Originally designed to handle QSR businesses, kitchen video display systems have become increasingly common fixtures in quick, casual and fine dining kitchens alike. Kitchen Display Systems eliminate steps, cut down on errors, improve productivity and speed of service, and drive increased guest satisfaction across all types and sizes of restaurants. Full-colour displays and multiple screen layouts make orders easy to read. The Bump Box is designed to make orders easy to control. And rich reporting keeps you on top of staff productivity at all times.
With a Kitchen Display System, service is faster and more accurate, reports more detailed and complete, and end-of-day closings simplified: all at a significantly lower cost than printer, paper and ink. The IT Perspective Installation and configuration is typically very simple as everything is preconfigured, no matter how many controllers you run. Every network address, device ID, the wireless connection—all the technical settings—are preset, or are configured automatically on initial startup: including integration with your POS system.
You can modify any or all of these settings—from changing the IP address of the network adapter to changing the color displayed for soft drinks—from the most familiar of interfaces. The Financial Perspective Kitchen Display Systems have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than Kitchen Printers For example, StorePoint Restaurant POS, there are two cost elements: all one-time, fixed costs.
1. A perpetual license.
2. Flat screen monitor(s). With printers, there are three costs: two of them go on forever. 1. The cost of the printer. 2. The annual cost of paper: R 2000-00 3. Annual cost of ribbons: R 3000-00 After four years, the cost of printing can be more than triple the cost of a kitchen display system.
Operations’ Point of View
A busy kitchen can struggle to maintain control in an environment driven by slips of paper. With a kitchen display system, the operational inefficiencies of the “enter-print-post” method of placing orders, fighting for a spin of the order wheels, expediting, and quality control are eliminated. The endless stream of orders coming out of paper printers— and the problems of backlog when the paper runs out unnoticed—is ended. In its place: a simple, direct connection from the point of sale to the place of preparation. It makes the last steps easier and more correct, providing both chefs and expeditors with pictures of the complete meal for garnishing and presentation control.
Emerging technology trends and mobile devices are changing customer expectations. To remain competitive, small and midsize retail businesses (SMBs) need to adopt a point of sale (POS) tools that address these changing needs.
For example, customers will start seeing checkout lines as a waste of time when other stores allow employees to check them out from anywhere in the store.
This article will help SMBs understand key retail trends and explain how new POS technologies can help businesses embrace mobile devices, social media and the internet of things (IoT).
Technology #1: Mobile POS
Mobile POS systems integrate with common mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to scan products and process payments. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies, 2016 (content is available to Gartner clients), these technologies will become mainstream in less than two years.
These systems can speed up the checkout process and help employees better interact with customers. They’re also useful for small retailers with limited floor space, as they reduce the need for a dedicated cash register.
Mobile POS systems are more suitable for low-margin items, such as groceries, than high-margin categories, such as apparel and electronic items. These products require proper bagging and de-tagging by store associates.
If a retailer has fixed checkout areas, they should make sure that the mobile POS system integrates with their main POS app.
Benefits of Mobile POS for Small Retailers
Mobile POS systems can help small businesses and retailers in a number of ways:
Manage multiple stores and engage with customers in a better way: Mobile POS lets retailers track their sales, profits and inventory levels at different store locations using a unified dashboard on their mobile device. Some options integrate with loyalty management programs so customers can access them from their mobile device.
Improved sales and data security: These systems allow sales associates to conduct transactions easily from any location inside the store, thus providing better customer service and making more sales. In addition, transactions carried out through a mobile POS are fully encrypted and do not store card data.
Many SMB retailers who called Software Advice were also interested in buying a mobile POS in the near future. Here are some sample conversations:
A small retailer with a single-store operation wanted a POS system that could automate their sales and track inventory efficiently. They were also interested in a mobile POS option since they visit about 40 events and shows annually.
Another retailer with operations across four stores was unhappy with their existing POS system due to ongoing data loss. They also required better credit card processing and were interested in a mobile POS for sales during trade shows.
A mobile POS helped these retailers:
Make sales at various trade shows and events. Retailers can meet customers directly at trade shows and conduct sales on the spot. Also, they won’t need to convince customers to visit their stores at a later time, increasing the chance of a sale.
Check inventory levels. When a customer asks for a specific product, the associate can use their mobile device to check its availability. If it’s not in stock, they can even place an order for it.
These systems enable retailers to reward and interact with regular customers through a centralized system that tracks loyalty points, discounts and gift vouchers. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies, 2016, loyalty management systems will become widespread within two to five years.
These systems can help small retailers encourage and reward customer loyalty. They can help businesses track customer interactions on social media and mobile, and provide appropriate rewards, such as cashback offers or special recognition.
Benefits of Loyalty Management Systems for Retailers
Simplify loyalty program adoption: These systems can enable customers to participate in loyalty programs using mobile devices, increasing their adoption.
Appeal to millennials: A recent study found that millennials are twice as likely to pay a premium if they are earning loyalty rewards.
Understand customers’ buying patterns: Retailers can track and understand their customers’ buying patterns. They can offer personalized deals to customers based on their purchase histories and buying trends.
How are Loyalty Management Systems Useful to You?
Thousands of small and midsize retailers already use loyalty management systems or seek to deploy one. Based on a recent survey by Local Commerce Monitor, nearly 24 percent of the SMBs surveyed offer some kind of loyalty program. About one-third of the respondents plan to start offering a customer loyalty program in less than a year.
Chris Luo, VP of Marketing, FiveStars, a loyalty technology company, revealed to Forbes contributor Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle that he believes most retailers that retain customers through repeated sales have better chances to enhance their overall profitability.
Luo is also of the opinion that loyalty programs enhance the overall lifetime value of customers by nearly 30 percent through retention and increase in number of visits and spend.
Retailers can use loyalty management systems in numerous ways.
For example, an SMB crafts retailer in the US that deployed a customer loyalty program had nearly 20,000 customers sign up for the program. The retailer can now identify the most valuable buyers and reach out to them to promote sales events, trade shows and new merchandise.
Technology #3: Digital Wallets
A digital wallet solution securely stores a person’s credentials, such as bank account details, identification cards, loyalty programs and payment cards. Customers can use it in a retail store using their mobile devices.
These wallets can also store multiple payment options, and customers can keep track of their loyalty program progress and benefits.
Apple Pay in action
Before making large technology investments, SMBs should determine whether there is customer demand. As the technology becomes more popular and SMBs adopt digital wallet technologies, they should explain the advantages of these systems to more reluctant users. Incentives should be considered in order to drive customer use.
The use of digital wallets can significantly increase sales for small retailers. Customers will appreciate the ease of transactions and the opportunity for customized offers.
Benefits of Digital Wallets for Retailers
Digital wallets can make the transaction process faster and more efficient. They also offer additional benefits:
Simplified buying process: Digital wallet technology can ease the shopping experience for customers by securely storing customer’s’ payment card information on the server.
Increased sales: Customers usually prefer a streamlined buying process and would return to a retailer if their overall transaction process is quick and easy. This gives opportunities to increase sales as existing customers would repeat their buying.
How are Digital Wallets Being Used?
An apparel retailer that operates in two stores contacted Software Advice regarding a retail system to automate their core checkout processes, manage inventory in the stores and track customers. They need the system to support payments made through Apple Wallet or Android Pay, as well as have e-commerce functionality and back office analytics.
Takeaways and Next Steps
These technologies are already in the wild, and customers will increasingly rely on their ease and convenience. To remain competitive, it’s essential for SMBs to be aware of these trends and develop a plan to adopt them within the next two to five years.
Have a look at our website to see what to keep in mind when it comes to technology for your business that best fits your company’s needs.