In retail, the “point of sale” has long been associated with the idea of a basic cash register. While cash registers don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, there is no denying that new tech is having a dramatic impact on the way customers pay for their goods and services — and this is also changing the overall customer experience.
Research from Forrester found that 72 percent of businesses report “improving customer experience is their top priority.” In a time when more customers want to manage their lives through their smartphones (even non-techies), implementing new point of sale tech solutions can easily prove to be one of the best ways to improve the customer experience.
One of the most important elements in modern point of service tech is the ability to accept an ever-increasing range of payment options. Surveys have found that 34 percent of adults under 50 don’t use cash at all during a typical week, while one in 10 millennials use a digital wallet (apps such as Venmo or Apple Pay) for every purchase.
If a business doesn’t allow for these and other alternative payment methods, it could easily miss out on a large portion of its target audience. Even something as low-key as implementing a checkout device that allows users to scan their smartphone to make a payment will ensure that you can serve all customers.
2. Data Analysis
A key feature of many point of sale software programs is the ability to capture data about your customers and their buying habits. With accurate insights, you will be better equipped to manage inventory and even adapt marketing messages to better tap into your audience’s preferences.
As Francesca Nicasio of cloud retail management program Vend writes, “When you use your POS to help you stay on top of stock levels, it’s easier to track items every step of the way — from product ordering through the point of sale (and even returns). This helps you make better forecasting, purchasing, and even marketing and advertising decisions.”
She continues, “Most importantly, the POS data you receive will help you ensure that your stock levels are optimized. Automated reorder points, stock transfers, inventory counts and other key features enable you to always have the right products at the right time.”
3. Speed Up Transactions
For restaurant patrons, an otherwise enjoyable dining experience can turn into an excruciating ordeal based on a single factor: waiting for the bill to arrive. Point of sale apps like Rooam directly address this issue by allowing patrons to view their tab or bill in real-time via their smartphone. When they are ready to leave, they can close out their check by pressing a button within the app.
“Nobody likes to wait around for the bill to arrive,” says Junaid Shams, co-founder and CEO of Rooam. “Anytime you can eliminate delays and help guests go about their business, they will be more satisfied with the overall experience. A faster, more streamlined checkout will also help the establishment itself, allowing staff to serve more guests in a shorter amount of time to generate a greater profit.”
4. Personalize the Shopping Experience
E-commerce has made it far easier for brands to dig deep into individual consumers and their preferences. The ability to personalize follow-up marketing materials can make all the difference in getting customers to come back for future purchases.
One study found that when promotional emails were personalized with customer names and offers based on past purchase behaviors, the mailings “had 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates.” Customer surveys have repeatedly shown that today’s consumers want and expect personalization.
When you take advantage of the data collected via point of sale software to give customers a more personalized experience, they will feel better appreciated and be more likely to make an additional purchase.
5. Employee and Customer Retention
While much of the benefits of point of service technology focus on the customers themselves, it is also worth noting that these innovations can also help employees. Whether in retail or the restaurant industry, employees are a crucial part of the overall service experience. A friendly, efficient employee will be far more likely to satisfy customers.
Surveys have found that as many as 78 percent of customers will abandon a transaction if the customer service experience is poor. Hiring, onboarding, and lost productivity costs from replacing an employee can equal up to 20 percent of their annual salary. Acquiring new customers can cost five times as much as retaining old ones. Keeping everyone happy matters for your bottom line.
Point of service software reduces the stress and inefficiencies of checkout, making it easier for service staff to do their job. This gives staff members more energy for appropriately addressing customer service issues and ensuring that each customer has a quality experience. Such measures will improve retention rates for both employees and customers.
From streamlining purchases to offering greater personalization throughout the retail experience, quality point of sale technology can make a huge difference in the overall customer experience.
In a time when an increasing number of countries are making the transition to a “cashless society”, adopting point of sale technology is becoming increasingly vital. Craft a better customer experience, and your business will be better poised for great results.